Friday, May 25, 2018

A Raiderlegend Repost- "Lest We Forget"

NFL Draft A Quarterback Crapshoot - by Raiderlegend

Above is what one of the expert football analysts said years back about an unproven young quarterback named Russell coming out of the draft.  No, this wasn't the prediction for the small of stature recent super bowl winner Russell Wilson, quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks.  This was a Russell of an entirely different mold.  A quarterback who stood 6'5 and weighed 223lbs coming out of high school.  A quarterback who could throw 70 yards from a kneeling position.  A quarterback who's unbelievable workout was called "star wars" by former Raiders coach Jon Gruden. Jon "Chucky" Gruden....   

This was all the talk before heading into the 2007 draft.  ESPN, now with the benefit of hindsight, looked back on twelve quotes from the experts heading into the 2007 NFL Draft.  As a Raiders fan both then and now, I learned two lessons from the #1 draft pick of the Raiders that year; 1> Expert analysis/prediction is a crock 90% of the time  2>Irregardless of talent there's no way to predict the success or failure of a college quarterback entering the NFL.   

You may be wondering just who the heck am I to rebuff the word of so-called football experts?  I am the fan who witnessed first hand the Russell that was said to have thrown the football with a strength unheard of and marveled experts with his fantastic footwork for a big man.  I am the fan who sat and watched this football Adonis fail miserably over and over in a #2 silver and black jersey.   I watched and waited, for all the great expert predictions about this Russell to come to fruition.  

After a few years I and the rest of Raider Nation knew that the experts had sold us a bag of damaged goods.The fresh sparkling fruit penned with the #1 draft pick ribbon was rotten inside.  It never fully developed and had to be thrown out of the Raiders barrel for fear of spoiling the whole bunch.  It didn't matter to onlookers what caused its insides to rot, the fact was that big money was spent and expectations were through the ceiling.  There came a time to cut bait.

By now, most reading this know of whom I speak. The Russell who left his rotten mark on my Oakland Raiders never even came close to the expert predictions and expectations.  He might have had the potential at one point, but something got inside his head and caused his skills to simply rot away.  

I learned from no other than LSU's Jamarcus Russell, to trust absolutely 10% of what any and everybody says about the draft class coming into the NFL any given season.  Each has the potential to be great. Most will prove to have one and done NFL seasons.  At least one that shined so bright in college will be a complete bust.  And a few of the strangest fruits deep down in the barrel will outshine the entire draft bunch.  

I owe Jamarcus Russell a thank you. Because of him I no longer get too caught up in the NFL draft class and expert analysis. Because of that kneeling bomb throwing freak, I give my full attention to college and pro basketball along with pro baseball spring training, instead of watching the draft board fluctuate.  And because of JR I cannot be baited into discussing with friends what college player should go to what pro team.  I am the unfortunate 'fool me once' recipient who refuses to carry the twice fooled label of shame. 

I am a reformed draft day enthusiast who lost his draft passion with one bite of rotten fruit.

And with the fifth pick of the first round the Oakland Raiders Select!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Gruden/McKenzie Call-In A Blast

Today at 4:00 p.m. PST, Head Coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Reggie McKenzie hosted a Season Ticket Member conference call. It was all good! 

A heartfelt Thank You goes out to Lincoln Kennedy for emceeing yet another great conference call-in with Oakland Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie and new head coach Jon Gruden. The "Big Fella" done got good with a mic in his hand. He kept it moving with a rhythm and flow that would make the top chart rappers jealous. Good job Linc!

This year's conference call was extra special because it featured "CHUCKY" being back in black, reminding us Raiders fans why we love our team so much; we got history. Gruden hasn't lost his touch with communicating his thoughts and passions for the game of football and it's players. He came across as excited to be back with a genuine love for Oakland. Sure he threw a sales pitch for buying tickets to the games but whaddaya expect, he's on the job.  

The call-in went great with many questions asked that Raider Nation felt were important for Reggie and Gruden to give their take on. It wasn't an interrogation type call but an informative one. Nothing but respect on both ends. Reggie McKenzie has gotten better at answering questions and even welcomed the joking criticism of his son being drafted a Kansas City Chiefs. Reggie was great when asked how it felt to see his son go to a rival; "come game day it is what it is!." 

The callers were very respectful as usual and 99.9% were definitely on top of their game with questions that needed to be asked. Maybe it was due to good caller screening by the Raiders organization for there to be no questions about the team moving. That kept the conference call positive and upbeat, smart move.

Although the Raiders had a disappointing season last year there was nothing but love for Reggie and the direction the team is heading. A lot of that probably had to do with Gruden being back. Chucky is likely the best addition the Raiders have made during the offseason. He's looking to prove to himself and doubters that the game has not past him by. He trusts the pedigree of his assistant coaches. They've put together a football teaching clinic in Oakland; teaching our guys to win.

For those who couldn't listen in on the conference call, a season ticket members only event, trust me when I say we Raiders fans will see an improved football product wearing silver and black on Sundays come this fall. Gruden is not making any guarantees nor is he shying away from the notion of a Raiders return to Super Bowl greatness in the near future. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Yeah, Go Talk To Him Charles, He's Downstairs"

Finally, basketball commentator Charles Barkley was silenced after asking a chump question of a Golden State Warriors player. 

The Question:  "Is Draymond Green as annoying in person as he is on television?" 

The Answer:  "You should go talk to him, he's downstairs.

And you guessed it, Charles didn't move one ounce of his big biscuit eating butt toward the stairs. You know why?

Yep, Draymond Green don't take kindly to someone wanting him punched in the face. Even if the wanna be perpetrator is slinging a mock punch from upstairs behind a desk. Dray is simply Ol'Skool when it comes to anybody throwing threats his way. He knows talk is cheap and his feeling toward that type of cheap talk is simply they know where to find him. 

Because Dray ain't hiding from nobody. His teammates know it, us Warriors fans know it and now I suppose Charles Barkley knows it. And if Chuck knows what's best for him he'll finish up his game 4 visit to Oracle Arena Tuesday and go directly to Oakland Airport to get out of the bay. And don't even think of catching a bus or train. Because as Cyrus once said in a legendary speech of the streets; 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Thought of Death - Maurice Guest

“Do you ever think of death?”
Maurice had been the listener for so long that he started.

“Death?” he echoed, and was as much embarrassed as though asked whether he believed in God. “I don’t know. No, I don’t think I do. Why should one think of death when one is alive and well?”

Krafft laughed at this, with a pitying irony. “Happy you!” he said. “Happy you!” His voice sank, and he continued almost fearfully: “I have the vision of it before me, always wherever I go. Listen; I will tell you; it is like this.” 

He laid his hand on Maurice’s arm, and drew him nearer. “I know—no matter how strong and sound I may be at this moment; no matter how I laugh, or weep, or play the fool; no matter how little thought I give it, or whether I think about it all day long—I know the hour will come, at last, when I shall gasp, choke, grow black in the face, in the vain struggle for another single mouthful of that air which has always been mine at will. And no one will be able to help me; there is no escape from that hour; no power on earth can keep it from me. And it is all a matter of chance when it happens—a great lottery: one draws to-day, one to-morrow; but my turn will surely come, and each day that passes brings me twenty-four hours nearer the end.” 

He drew still closer to Maurice. “Tell me, have you never stood before a doorway—the doorway of some strange house that you have perhaps never consciously gone past before—and waited, with the atrocious curiosity that death and its hideous paraphernalia waken in one, for a coffin to be carried out?—the coffin of an utter stranger, who is of interest to you now, for the first and the last time. And have you not thought to yourself, with a shudder, that some day, in this selfsame way, under the same indifferent sky, among a group of loiterers as idly curious as these, you yourself will be carried out, feet foremost, like a bale of goods, like useless lumber, all will and dignity gone from you, never to enter there again?—there, where all the little human things you have loved, and used, and lived amongst, are lying just as you left them—the book you laid down, the coat you wore—now all of a greater worth than you. You are mere dead flesh, and behind the horrid lid lie stark and cold, with rigid fingers and half-closed eyes, and the chief desire of every one, even of those you have loved most, is to be rid of you, to be out of reach of sight and smell of you. 

And so, after being carted, and jolted, and unloaded, you will be thrown into a hole, and your body, ice-cold, and as yielding as meat to the touch—oh, that awful icy softness!—your flesh will begin to rot, to be such that not your nearest friend would touch you. God, it is unbearable!”

from the book titled "Maurice Guest, by Henry Handel Richardson (aka Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson) 1909

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

It's Not Just Starbucks - RACE

This article about Native American teens pulled off a college tour because of a white woman's discomfort with their presence says a lot about American race issues today. As with anti-communist scares of the past (Red Scare), our country has gotten stuck on a media diet of foreign invasion and homegrown race hatred. When every incident is seen as a potential racist or terrorist event, maybe it's time to change our diet and start addressing the underlying issues of race and privilege.

We live in a time when the American government encourages us to "see something, say something." But, increasingly, it feels to people of color like being seen by white people means having the police swiftly called on us, because we make those white folks feel uncomfortable based on our presence alone. What they're "seeing" is people of color in spaces they expect to be more white, and they're calling law enforcement to reassure them of that - and it's blatant racism.

THINK: Native American teens pulled off college tour are latest victims of the push to police white spaces

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

John Ruskin - The Art of Becoming Rich

The Veins of Wealth
By John Ruskin
(English art critic and university professor, 1819–1900; author of many works upon social questions, and master of perhaps the greatest English prose style)

PRIMARILY, which is very notable and curious, I observe that men of business rarely know the meaning of the word “rich.” At least if they know, they do not in their reasonings allow for the fact, that it is a relative word, implying its opposite “poor” as positively as the word “north” implies its opposite “south.” Men nearly always speak and write as if riches were absolute, and it were possible, by following certain scientific precepts, for everybody to be rich. Whereas riches are a power like that of electricity, acting only through inequalities or negations of itself. The force of the guinea you have in your pocket depends wholly on the default of a guinea in your neighbor’s pocket. If he did not want it, it would be of no use to you; the degree of power it possesses depends accurately upon the need or desire he has for it,—and the art of making yourself rich, in the ordinary mercantile economist’s sense, is therefore equally and necessarily the art of keeping your neighbor poor.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Andrew McCutchen Lifts Giants Over Dodgers


San Francisco Giants newly acquired right fielder Andrew McCutchen, the former Pittsburgh Pirate, hit a two run walk off home run in the bottom of the 14th inning to give the home team the win. McCutchen had his best game as a Giant producing 6 Hits on the night with 4 RBI and 2 Runs. 

You could see his frustration of a 2-24 at bat season melt away with each successful hit of the night. Then came his twelve pitch at bat that ended in a walk off home run. Afterwards McCutchen was pumped up like any game winning hero would be as new teammates and home fans showed him all the love that San Francisco baseball is capable of.

As a Pirate he was a 5-time All Star, NL MVP, Silver Slugger (4x) and Golden Glove Awards winner as well as a Roberto Clemente Award winner.    

Seeing McCutchen in tonight's game swing, celebrate with class and gusto and round the bases in a Giants #22 jersey brought back shades of Will "The Thrill" Clark. The Thrill had some big moments as a Giant against the Dodgers in his playing days. Let's hope this is just a small sample size of bigger things to come for McCutchen this season. 

Final Score (14 innings)
Dodgers 5
Giants 7

Clutch adjective

  1. 1.
    (in sport) denoting or occurring in a critical situation in which the outcome of a game or competition is at stake.

    "they both are hard-nosed players who seem to thrive in clutch situations"