Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Draft Bias is Obvious

It is clear the so-called "draft experts" - especially ESPN - have a bias against the Raiders. Now that we've had a few days to absorb the draft picks, several things jump out at me as being unequal treatment...

Nobody slammed the Chiefs for reaching for DE Tyson Jackson, yet the "experts" universally slammed the Raiders for taking DHB.

If you look at all the pre-draft info out there, I challenge you to find anyone who had Tyson Jackson rated as the #3 overall player. Most sources had Brian Orakpo rated higher amongst DEs. Most sources had Tyson Jackson rated as a midround talent ~ around #15 or so.

This situation is similar to the Raiders reaching for DHB. Most sources had another WR rated higher than DHB and most had him as a midround talent too. Yet no one bagged on the Chiefs selection... why?

Several things come to mind:

First, everyone said what a great fit Jackson is for Chief's GM Scott Pioli and their 3-4 Defensive scheme. He was probably the best 3-4 DE in the draft. But this doesn't explain the difference in the way the picks were treated.

Darrius Heyward-Bey (DHB) is certainly a great fit for the Raiders' vertical game Offense. DHB is probably the best home run threat at WR. But the Raiders weren't congratulated as finding the player who best fits their scheme, the Chiefs were...

Second, everyone gave Scott Pioli the benefit of the doubt because he comes from the *Patriots organization. They also bashed Al Davis because he comes from the Raiders.

Having ties to Bill Belichick is great and all, but look at the "prodigies" that have come from Belichick's system: Charlie Weiss, offensive "genius" has blown monkey chunks at Notre Dame. Romeo Crenel has done nothing with the Browns - they don't even know if Charlie Weiss' QB is their starter. Eric Mangini already got fired in his first HC gig with the Jets and is now trying to mop up Crennel's mess.

If you look at it objectively, Bill Belichick looks like a genius, but his coaches and staff don't look like much on their own. They've failed. Why would Pioli be any different? Al Davis has been a scout, HC, GM, and owner in this league for 45 years. Wouldn't he deserve the benefit of the doubt over Pioli, who is running a draft without Belichick for the first time - a rookie?

Third, many of the experts had Tyson Jackson penciled in as the Chiefs pick (some had Aaron Curry). When Jackson was indeed picked, he made the "experts" look smart because they had predicted this outcome.

Few of the "experts" besides Lombardi had the Raiders taking DHB. When DHB was the pick, he made the experts look "stoopid" because they hadn't predicted this scenario.

We all know that ESPN is in Bristol, Connecticut and that they hype the local teams incessantly. The Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics all receive a lot more hype on that station than other teams.

But the truth is, if you rearrange things, and had Scott Pioli or Bill Belichick making the same picks the Raiders did, they would have treated the same picks differently.

Ask yourself, if the Raiders drafted all high-character players this time for a change, why aren't the "experts" applauding Tom Cable for changing the environment in Oakland and getting Al Davis to sign off on these types of players?

Ask yourself, if the Raiders traded back to get Mike Mitchell, scoring 4th and 6th round picks in the process, why all the hang ups about "value" for the pick?

With the 4th round pick, we got Louis Murphy. Murphy was a WR generally predicted to go somewhere in the 2nd-3rd round... With the 6th round pick, we got Stryker Sulak, a DE-OLB hybrid guy with character, the kind of player the *Patriots pick all the time as a LB. So if we got three picks for our #2, why all the negativity about "value"?

Ask yourself, if the *Patriots made our picks, how would they have been treated?

Some of the criticism is warranted. The Raiders haven't been good since the SB of '02 and many of our draft picks haven't turned out as expected. But the assumption that just because its the Raiders it has to be crazy, stoopid, insert derogatory comment here is just ridiculous.

People like Chris Carter turning DHB into the running joke of the day with his "honorable mention" comment over and over and over is just plain mean. DHB didn't pick himself. Why would it be acceptable for a TV analyst to insult the kid when it is the biggest day of his life being drafted?

The kid has never gotten into any trouble, yet when prompted, Chris Carter says the Raiders shoulda picked Percy Harvin over DHB because Harvin had college production and DHB didn't. You can't be serious! PERCY HARVIN? That's who Carter thinks shoulda been the Raiders pick? The player with reportedly the worst character in the draft? You thought DHB brought criticism, imagine if we actually HAD drafted Harvin...

It is what it is. The Haterade is flowing. I hope Mitchell and DHB light it up, so "experts" like Chris Carter and Mel Kiper are exposed for what they are, mediots


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am certainly pleased that there has been some national attention given to the reoccurring fact that ESPN "hates" the Raiders. I gave up on ESPN long ago. I can't stand practically any of them as commentators because the network allows blantent bias in both directions, and I know that there will be no objectivity in anything that they say. You go back to 1993 season when the Raiders played the Broncos back-to-back games (last reg. season game and the playoffs). The Raiders won both games, and the NFL Primetime highlight show had Chris Berman stating to Tom Jackson that he knew that "Tommy" was hurting because the Broncos lost. Are you kidding me? From that point on, I knew that watching ESPN, you were either in their "click" or you weren't. As Raider fans, they are not even worth our time.

May 02, 2009 5:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Article - ESPN has lost their credibility. There are not many ex-players that are good and un-bias. Kiper has to be the most annoying person on the planet and he is their expert. How sad is that. Give the other kid (McShea) a shot. At lest he is not annoying. Nobody listens to what they say anyway, ESPN just gives good coverage and is the only game in town.

May 02, 2009 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Raiders757 said...

Wow, I hadn't seen that clip before. Chris carter is an ass. That was low class and out of line. Very unprofessional on all of their part.

Tom Jackson has been a biased prick for ages now, but to see Chris Carter stoop to his level, is very disturbing. ESPN should be ashamed to have this crew represent them. Even worse, is all the stupid sheep that see nothing wrong such biased TV journalism.

Raider fan or Raider hater, anyone with half a brain should see that as wrong on all levels.

I hope DHB makes a fool of Carter with his play on the field.

May 02, 2009 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good article. Yes the BSPN bias is clear for every logical person to see, except for those sheeple who are brainwashed by the mediots. It amazes me how I am constantly trying to push against those who are regurgitating the group speak from BSPN and the mediots. The next day at work, there were those telling me that Al Davis picked a track guy who could not catch. There are even those who never even heard of Asomugha. They still think that Champ Bailey is the best cornerback in the league because it was BSPN that anointed him to that spot a few years back. Bailey gets burned all the time. Even Jerry Porter used to burn the great Champ Bailey. What a joke BSPN has become.

And the way that Jackson and Carter were acting on Mitchell’s biggest day of his life in front of his family was disgraceful. They were acting like two little immature teenage boys. You could even hear Jackson laughing during the interview.

I will take Al Davis any day over these so called politically correct “geniuses” around the league. His philosophy has fielded great teams in every decade for the past 40 years.

May 02, 2009 10:25 AM  
Anonymous abe said...

To be honest I dislike conspiracy-related, Raiders vs. the world - articles - and this one is no exception. Why waste ur time crying writing about news written on the Raiders rather than writing some original piece of news, something new and fresh? This article smells like plain old cheese.

BTW, Prisco commented on Jackson: "Taking Tyson Jackson with the third overall pick is a move that will be watched closely. Why not Aaron Curry?...I didn't like the pick of Jackson with the third overall pick. "

And on DHB: "Best pick: Darius Heyward-Bey. Yes, their first pick. Most think they should have taken Michael Crabtree, but they picked the right guy."

Also, I am not saying there is no bias against or in favor of the Raiders - I'm saying who bloody cares??? I say don't bother with petty stuff.

PS: Given our recent draft history and the Patriots draft history, c'mon Al Davis is almost 80 years old - its obvious his lost it. Yes he has over 45 years experience but what good is that when the screws are becoming loose? Old age is not pretty (and yes I know there many other point of views - but that is just my opinion).

May 02, 2009 3:36 PM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

Abe ~

The NFL is a better place when two teams are good - the Oakland Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys.

Like the guy in the white hat and the guy in the black hat in the Westerns...

The Cowboys are "America's Team," the one people love when they don't even know anything about football. They know the Cowboys QB is datin' Jessica Simpson, but they dunno the name of a single offensive lineman.

The Raiders are the anti-team, the one people hate even when they don't know anything about football. They don't know a vertical game from a horizontal one, but they do know Raider fans are all felons.

My point is the mediots hate on the Raiders on purpose, to give the unknowing masses something to root against. Its good for ratings, and to that effect it is a conspiracy. Like Darth Vader is good for Star Wars. Best thing about the whole damned movie.

The more they jibber like baboons on ESPN, the more folks act like trained monkeys and regurgitate the opinions they've been taught on TV. But they are just made up like a sitcom.

The thing is the more they paint us black, the more it feeds the desire to win and say f' you, we did it our way!

May 02, 2009 4:41 PM  
Anonymous The Sports Curmudgeon said...


I have no dog in this fight that you have set up between yourselves and the "experts" at ESPN. I do live in suburban Washington DC and so I got to watch DHB play more than a few college football games.

He is indeed fast. Here is something else I saw by watching him play: He does not have great hands; he will "double catch" lots of balls AND he will drop some balls that hit him on both hands.

Cliff Branch fit the Raiders system because he could fly AND because he could catch the ball reliably when it got to him. Based on what I saw in college games, DHB will have to master that second part of what it takes to be a great receiver while playing in the NFL.

If he masters it, he will be a great pick for the Raiders. If not, he will be another reason to say that Al Davis USED TO BE a great football mind and an innovator but that he has NOW gone round the bend.

Sometime around April 2011, the answer here will become far clearer than it is at the moment..

May 02, 2009 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course there's bias! We suck!! Going 24-72 over a 6 year period will always result in not getting the benefit of the doubt!!! The Chiefs picking Jackson gets the benefit of the doubt due to Pioli coming from the most successful team of the decade. 'Til we show it on the field, picks like our first two will always get a bad reaction. 'Til Pioli shows he's not the guy they think he is, the Chiefs will get the benefit of the doubt. It's not really that hard to understand.

May 02, 2009 11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice write up. You apologists for ESPN do not get it and are part of the mindless minions of "Stepford Fans" created by them. Nuff said there.

I too am pleased that this bias is getting some press. I've been fighting the fight on various blogs for over ten years.


May 03, 2009 12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Jackson is a tool.

May 03, 2009 1:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot McDickhead in DEN self-destructing the program. He is another Hoodie disciple.

May 03, 2009 1:42 AM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

Anon ~

Riddle me this:

If Tyson Jackson was a rated a mid-1st-round pick, why are the Condiment Chefs not getting drilled for not moving back in the draft to get 'em?

Every bozo with an opinion will tell you the Raiders coulda dropped back and gotten more "value" for their #7 pick. Couldn't the Chiefs get even MORE value for the #3?

In fact, the Jets were the only team willing to move up this year. They traded with the Browns to get Sanchez. Now the Chiefs - who picked two spots before the Browns - coulda gotten at least the same package the Browns got for their pick (maybe more), picked up Jackson at the Jets' spot, and got more "value" than they did, right?

Well IF the Raiders could, the Chiefs not only could but had more "value" to be had than the Raiders.

I dunno. I dunno if Jackson woulda been available at #17. I dunno if DHB woulda been there either if the Raiders had traded back. Nobody does. Anyone who claims to "know" this is delusional.

In fantasy world, Mel Kiper decides where players are picked.

In the REAL world, Tyson Jackson is the #3 overall pick and DHB is the #7 overall pick, and only one team is getting bashed for it. Go figure...

And don't anybody give me "the Raiders suck" and they deserve to get bashed cr@pola argument either. The Chiefs were worse than we were last season, and so deserve even MORE derision than we do by that logic...

May 03, 2009 5:50 AM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

Curmudgeon ~

Gotta hand it to ya, always thought you had one of the best pseudonyms out there. Glad to have you on board.

I think Al Davis indeed has visions of Cliff Branch dancing in his head when he watches DHB.

Something to remember is Cliff Branch wasn't NFL ready when he was drafted. Cliff spent his first two seasons basically on Al Davis scholarship not catching much:

Seems like Cliff had to work on his hands and route running a while too...

As you know, back then (before free agency) you could spend more time developing players. Now, people will start rioting if DHB basically doesn't play for two seasons.

Times have changed and I don't think DHB is gonna get that kinda slack... and neither is Al Davis.

May 03, 2009 5:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al Davis is a clown. His drafts are a joke. Look at the last 15 years. That's around 100 or so picks.

Now count how many pro bowl players Al Drafted in those 15 drafts.

Al Davis is a joke. The Raiders are a joke. Anyone who blames ESPN for this is retarded. How can you defend Al Davis?

Biased? Give me a break. The Raiders deserve to be ripped. Monroe and Rajii will be Pro Bowlers. DHB will be the latest track star bust for Davis.

May 03, 2009 7:29 AM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

Anon ~

Thanks for your completely original comments... yawn.

Reading is fundamental. I did not say I would have drafted the way Al Davis did this year (or any other year for that matter).

I would have drafted one of the OTs, Eugene Monroe or Michael Oher with the #7 pick. I subscribe to the Planet Theory. Davis subscribes to the Need for Speed Theory.

But I don't make the picks.

Neither do you.

Al Davis is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You and I are not.

You don't have to agree with everything Al Davis does or says. I certainly don't. You do have to respect him and his contribution to the game. I certainly do.

You do have to admit that he has been a scout, position coach, head coach, general manager, owner, and league commissioner. Unless you have been those things, you are probably talking above your pay grade, amigo.

I did say the mainstream media is biased against the Raiders. I did say there is a difference in the way NFL teams are treated, and supported this premise by using this draft and Chris Carter's comments as one egregious example.

May 03, 2009 12:48 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Welcome back Stick'em!

Your return to the Raider Way brings a much needed dose of good karma for the 2009 campaign.

Best Wishes and Warm Regards,
Calico Jack :D "Cheers!"

May 03, 2009 10:46 PM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

That's the fact, Jack!

Glad to see ya, my brotha!

May 04, 2009 4:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just don't understand how anyone could've watched the crap from Cris Carter and Tom Jackson during ESPN's draft coverage and think they treat all NFL teams equally.Especially if you actually saw the commentary regarding the selection of Heyward-Bey.I don't care what you think of Al's selection, ESPN's commentator's never laughed like that at any other team.I have never paid much attention to the ESPN bias argument myself,and I havn't really noticed it on NFL Network ( where I watched that day) as others seem to, but you couldn't ignore it on draft day on ESPN. The bias against the Raiders was and is thereat ESPN even if you refuse to see it.

May 04, 2009 6:58 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

To Stick'em and any other serious Raider fan:

I totally get what you guys are saying about the bias from the mainstream media against the Raiders. I'm totally in tune with this notion but you know what, who really cares?

If Mel Kiper or Johnny Small Balls says something about the Raiders, a particular player, draftee, Head Coach, whoever, you need to ask a couple of pertinent questions:

#1: Is this commentary relevant?
#2: Does this desk, microphone jockey's opinion mean anything in the real world of actual results or is it merely speculation?
#3: Does any commentary whether real or imagined, have any bearing on wins or losses?

For example, let's use Chris Carter riff on DHB be exhibit A. Let's assume that DHB does better than expected in 2009 ... what is the retribution if any on Chris Carter? Does it really matter what Chris Carter says about DHB in the big scheme of things? No. All that really matters is what is accomplished on the field. Everything else from the "experts" is white noise.

Church. CJ

May 05, 2009 12:00 AM  
Blogger Stick'em said...


I respectfully disagree.

ESPN specifically (and the media in general) spoonfeeds the masses bogus Raider info all the time...

How many people will tell you JaMarcus Russell weighed 300lbs. last offseason even though there are no photos of him this size and he came to camp at 270?

They saw it on TV so it must be true...

They may not hold themselves accountable at ESPN for gossiping like schoolgirls but I do.

May 05, 2009 5:18 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Stickem': First and foremost, I'm so happy that you are back in the S&B swing of things. Your insight, witty humor, and world views have been sorely missed.

I think you are missing the main thrust of my opinion. I totally understand the concept of accountability. I'm fully on board as far as being in agreement about the unfairness, sloppy journalism, and bias of most of the media as it relates to the Raiders. However, and this a big HOWEVER, does this bias really matter? Does it affect performance? Does it really mean anthing beyond opinions being expressed whether it is based on solid facts or speculation? Using Chris Carter once again as my example ... Does the fact that Carter unfairly harpooned DHB have any bearing whatsoever on how well DHB does in 2009? If DHB does well, will Carter's feet be held to the proverbial fire? Of course not. All of these high paid flunkees are just filling up air space. Is it shocking that ESPN and other news medias try to stir shit up? Are you suprised by the bias against the Raiders? If anything, I have come to terms with this bias and I have reached a point where I actually relish all of it. I like that it is "Us" against the world. I like that the Raiders are being bashed because it will make it so much sweeter when we rise again.

Like any major forms of entertainment, as consumers we need to pick and choose what we watch, read, and listen to. The good journalists, analysts, stations are the ones that I gravitate towards. The others I take with a grain of salt.

Another perfect example similar to the draft in terms of speculation is the preseason predictions done for how each team will fare in the upcoming season. If ESPN says the Raiders will go 4-12, do you really think I give this any credibility? The "final scoreboard" is what really counts not predictions, speculation, or bias opinions. In my mind, winning on the field is the great equalizer. Just my humble 2 cents of rambling.

May 06, 2009 8:51 PM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

CJ ~

We're on the same page. It has always been about Us vs. Them...

I understand where Chris Carter is coming from.

When asked who the Raiders shoulda drafted as a WR insteada DHB, he made the inane statement the Raiders shoulda drafted Percy Harvin, ostensibly because Harvin had better college production than DHB...

But the truth is Harvin was actually drafted by the Vikings... Carter's old team. Ya think he was just being a homer and hyping the pick so the Vikings look good on TV because most people have Percy pegged as a POS?

Ya think Carter is a little miffed at not getting voted into the Hall of Fame, so his reaction is to question DHB's credentials? Carter musta said "Honorable Mention" ten times on ESPN throughout the draft and giggled...

I can see Carter's ego in all of his statements.

It really has nothing to do with DHB as much as it does Carter. I take it with a grain of salt too, meaning that I certainly recognize he has an agenda more than he has anything meaningful to say.


My advice?

Let's just strap Chris Carter to his ESPN chair with duct tape show 'em this tape of Jack Tatum takin' off Sammy White's hat over and over and laugh:

May 07, 2009 7:25 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Enjoy your weekend Stickem'!

You are exactly right about C.C.
Unfortunately, some of these former professional athletes let their own ego and agenda get in the way of offering insightful, objective analysis. You would expect a former WR to be more open minded about WR draftees as prospects. Why? I'm quite certain that C.C. has seen his fair share of successful and bust WRs who have had a wide array of backgrounds and skill sets. The one factor that can trump stats, highlight reels, combine results are the intangibles such as work ethic, desire, motivation, perseverence, coachability, and a entire host of variables and circumstances that he can't measure. Oh well. All of us can only wait and see how DHB pans out.

May 08, 2009 6:10 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Stick'Em: You still blogging and a part of the BFN? Just wondering since it has been 4 months since your last post. I hope you are doing well. Shoot me an email.

Calico Jack at

September 03, 2009 9:53 PM  
Blogger John C. said...

I think CC was right, like him or not. Harvin is an excellent prospect. He certainly has better mitts than DHB. But just about every receiver in the draft had that. Not that we didn't know this going in: DHB has much smaller hands than the average NFL receiver. I guess ol' Al was holding a patent on molecular hand expander at the time.

Maybe the reason ESPN constantly ridicules the Raiders is because Al Davis is running a pathetic organization. Let's stop using the media as an excuse. Al deserves this, and he needs to wake up.

November 11, 2009 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Tony Daysog said...

Are you still high on Darius Heywood Bey? He seemed just so so when I saw him play against Cal in 2008. I think he scored a TD but nothing came out at me that said, Wow. I know it's early in his pro career and let's give him the BOD. But, he needs to get cracking!

November 20, 2009 2:08 PM  
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