Saturday, December 31, 2005

final score / final game / finally - Raiders 21 Giants 30

No Rain, No Wind, No Win. The Raiderettes didn’t do a halftime jig with wet hair slinging in the night air, and the Raiders went down to a NY Giants team that I feel was only slightly better than us this night. Tiki Barber broke off a long touchdown run and so did Plexico Burress, but other than that we played a tough game against them as we have most of our games this year. Derrick Burgess made his season leading/Team Record Setting 16th sack of the season, but the defense giving up those two big plays early were the goats of this game.

With us not having a running game available, Kerry Collins had what may have been his best passing game tonight. He withstood the defensive pressure of the Giants and threw three touchdown strikes to keep us in the game. I must admit that I’ve been hard on Kerry all season long. Tonight it was evident our offensive line just isn’t that good. They held off the Giants pass rush after making some adjustments but still they couldn’t push the Giants Defensive line enough to run one yard in four tries for a touchdown.

Kerry Collins can be a decent quarterback when given the time to pass and not allowing himself to be rattled by the defense early. Tonight Kerry proved he still has the toughness to stay in the pocket and throw accurate passes given the time to do so. But I feel we need a quarterback who’s a bit more mobile and decisive on his reads. One pass to Moss for a touchdown was so accurate that Moss appeared to be jogging as the ball attached to his fingertips and he continued into the end zone.

Doug Gabriel (one touchdown) and Randy Moss (two touchdowns) both had big games tonight. Jerry Porter caught some key first down passes and made a spectacular catch and run for a first down. Our special teams were awful tonight. It was the first time I’ve seen them look this bad all year. They gave up big returns, one that was more hurtful because Norv Turner had decided on the play before to punt rather than go for it on fourth and one. Granted we were backed up on our own thirty-yard line, but what the hell, we’re 4-11 with nothing to lose. The punt was returned all they way to the Giants three-yard line and it was a matter of seconds before the Giants would score with a run up the middle.

We still had a chance after Moss’s final score made it 31-21 with roughly two minutes to play. But with the ball at their one-yard line we couldn’t punch it in for a score and turned it over on downs. A better coach would’ve come up with a better play than 40-blast (Zack Crockett up the middle) three times and one quarterback sneak. But that’s Norv Turner and that’s why we’re 4-12.

Holiday Spiritual Sharing was in the stands and all fans were joyful regardless of the inevitable loss. Much laughter and hope for next season. Talk of buying tickets for our same seats and discussions of prices for next season were heard throughout. I purchased a classic 2005 New Year’s Eve Beer Mug with battery operated flashing lights of blue/green and red. Dammit if Al Davis didn’t get me for $15 for the mug. I thought it was $7.50 but couldn’t refuse once I had it in my hand. A memento for the season that was 2005.

I did see my good friends Frank and Gia while tailgating. Shared a New Years beer with Frank then headed into the Coliseum as they both wished me a Happy and Safe Holiday. It was such a coincidence when my sister, their friend, Dawn called me early in the game to see if I’d attended and wish me a Happy New Year. She also wanted to remind me of her G-Men being playoff bound. When she asked about Frank and Gia I mentioned I’d run into them while tailgating and they’d wished her a Blessed New Year. All was good.

Tailgating consisted of Ribs from Emil Villa Restaurant in Hayward. Ate all but three ribs out of the rack and with the sweet barbecue beans I was feeling just right for the game. Rain and mud delayed traffic on highway 80 near Fairfield but it didn’t seem to keep fans from those areas away. The stadium probably had less than 40,000 spectators, but as usual it sounded near capacity. Other than a church service I’d attended one New Years with a full choir and orchestra, this had to be one of my favorite New Years experiences. Where else would I, a Raider Fan, rather be on the last day of the year?

I got a bit choked up as I left the coliseum tonight. I took that last look at the field of green with the Raiders Shield in the middle and silver letters painted Oakland and Raiders on black End Zones. The Goal Posts, their familiar canary yellow glistening in the night-lights, red flags barely fluttering in the breeze atop, seemed to wink at me. The Coliseum ushers wishing all a Happy New Year and See You Next Season. A few fire works were seen from the parking lot as a final farewell. Honest, it wasn’t gun fire. And somehow I didn’t feel so bad about the losing season. I felt more a part of a family than a victim of a long war. I felt accepted as a member of a family who were leaving for their adult homes for the year but would return to this, their childhood playground, next season to share those days of yesterday and make new tomorrows with their extended family. The Raider Nation Family.
Win, Lose or Tie - Raider til I Die

Raiders vs Giants - National Weather Advisory Warning!

Well I've made it to this, the final game of the dreadful 2005 season. And what do I get as a treat for all my suffering, A basically meaningless game to be played in what looks like a deluge of rain, wind and drunken New Years Eve revellers. Whoever thought of scheduling a Raiders game on New Years eve should be arrested for insighting a riot. The powers that be know how passionate us Raiders Fans get, and they know how we do it at our Tailgate Parties. My guess is that they want to get some good shots of us bringing in the New Year smashed so that they can broadcast it over the networks as a warning of how not to spend your New Years Eve. Yes, the conspiracy lives and I urge all Raiders Fans going out to the game tonight to be responsible and safe. Let's not give them any fuel to add to the fire they're always roasting us over.

As for the game, Bring on the playoff-bound New York Giants, bring on the record setting Rainstorms that the National Weather Advisory has warned will continue through the weekend, we've survived worse. And if we go down tonight I can truly say while weathering the ugly conditions that I, A Raiders Faithful, went down with the ship that was the Oakland Raiders 2005. But you can believe I'll be making sure that Kerry and Norv don't escape the blame and are tightly strapped to the mast as the ship goes under. So it's off to the game I go.

Oh, there will be one treat to look forward to tonight, Wet Raiderettes. Yes, if you're a red-blooded American born male, relationship committed or not, you don't wanna miss the Raiderettes performing in the rain. Trust me, I was at the rain-soaked game in 2002 when we played Kansas City in the final game. Of course the circumstances were different, we clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs that game I think.

But other than Zack Crockett's two touchdowns and our defense shutting out KC, visions of the Raiderettes swinging their long wet hair seductively while performing shaking dance routines remain clear as crystal in my memory. And the great part was that the Coliseum camera crew didn't miss a beat. They made sure we got the full angles and looks that make the Raiderettes the finest babes in pro sports. I believe they even showed it in slow-mo a few times to give that SpiceChannel effect. You even get the change of outfits after the half-time. How does tight black bodysuits sound with a silver sash about the waste? Sounds better than the Autumn wind doesn't it? Either way, you'll leave the Coliseum with a smile and a dream.

Need Proof? Click here for the Raiderettes Rainsoaked Picture Gallery....You Dog.


Happy New Years Raider Nation!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

"Moving and Memorable" -Newsweek

In my recent viewing of classic movies leased from the public library, I came across one I’d heard about as a kid but somehow had never seen. The movie, “Nothing But A Man,” starring Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln, is as Newsweek stated, “Moving and memorable.”

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

We all knew this droopy-eyed character actor who passed away at age 57.

Vincent Schiavelli, personally one of my favorite character actors, died from lung cancer. I didn't create this blog to list obituaries of famous and infamous persons, but recent deaths of people who've made an impression on me I've felt obligated to post something about.

Mr. Schiavelli first impressed me in the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" as one of those loveable mentally challenged patients who Jack Nicholson rejuvenated with life. When Mr. Schiavelli resurfaced in the movie "Ghost" he again impressed me with his scary yet human character who taught Patrick Swayze the art of moving objects as a Ghost.

I'm sure professional actors will hail his acting skills, but what I remember him for is that uniquely real look and presence he brought to his characters onscreen. Think of the mental patients you remember from "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest." You may remember Cheswick and possibly one other, but nobody else comes to mind other than Jack and Mr. Schiavelli's character.

There've been many actors who by their sheer unique look, Marty Feldman, Rowan "Mr. Bean" Atkinson, Jimmy Durante, have made it as leads in Hollywood. The thing those actors had going for them was comedy. It is common for us movie viewers to laugh at odd or comical looking characters on screen and I believe strange looking actors tend to use comedy as a way of making it in Hollywood. But Mr. Schiavelli for whatever reason didn't take that route in his acting career and maybe that's why his name isn't well known. He was never a lead actor in a Movie. Whatever the reason he chose not to persue comedy as his platform, his performance in those parts he played will be remembered by all moviegoers as unforgettable. Who can forget that face and those droopy eyes that could scare one moment then beg compassion from an audience the next?

I believe he did show his comedy acting abilities in some parts (He was actually in the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," wow) but the parts he'll be remembered for are those where he wasn't the brunt of a joke or the oddity at the party. He will be remembered as that character who made you look in amazement at how Hollywood-looks do not always determine the magic of an actor.

Blessings go out to the family of Vincent Schiavelli. link to obituary

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Just couldn't stand to watch the game today

I didn't boycott watching the Raiders game today, I just wasn't feeling it and neither was the team. So I just didn't watch it. The day being Christmas Eve I didn't want Kerry or Norv to ruin my Holiday Spirit. True sports fans understand. On a day when your team loses its as if a close friend has died. You really don't have much good to say to folks, you have a hard time smiling about anything, Kids sense your smouldering presence and avoid you, your woman will try to cheer you up but then decides to go shopping. Even with nothing at stake for your team you still go through this funk for the day. I've learned how to get myself out of the funk and make the rest of the day decent, but the anger of losing is always there in the back of my mind.

That constant nagging of a loss usually effects me in a physical way with my body experiencing subtle twitches, my legs kicking at air and deep groans ending with the word Shit. I'll admit, I act like a spoiled baby who didn't get what he wanted for Christmas. But I see it as just my passion for my team overflowing negatively when they come up short.

So I'm typing this on Christmas Eve and I have nothing but Seasons Greetings and good thoughts flowing through my person. I'm glad that I chose not to watch the humiliating loss against the Broncos as they clinched our division. I did wince once when hearing the final score of the game announced on the radio today, but I experienced no lasting twitching or uncontrolable vocal sounds. Instead of having a humbug day I enjoyed a beautiful sunny California day outdoors and it was wonderful.

So I'll be ready to attend the final game of the season next week at the Coliseum against the NY Giants. Maybe the Raiders will give me my Christmas Gift win next week. Or maybe I'll just have to except the fact that there really is no Santa Claus. Just an Ugly Grinch that likes stealing Christmas from passionate fans such as myself and transforming us into Scrooges for a day if we let him.

You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Prayer vigil today at Dungy church

The Northside New Era Missionary Baptist Church is hosting a prayer vigil for the Tony Dungy family this afternoon from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. inside the church at 517 W. 30th Street in Indianapolis.

The Rev. Clarence C. Moore will show a PowerPoint presentation of James Dungy, Tony Dungy's 18-year-old son who was found dead early Thursday morning in what investigators have described as an apparent suicide.

Our Prayers go out to the Dungy Family.

New Bugatti is fastest road car ever built

At the moment, the Bugatti Veyron appears to have it all:

* A W-16 engine that can produce 1,001 horsepower
* A top speed of 250+ mph (400+ kph)
* A zero-to-60 time of three seconds
* A zero-to-180 time of 14 seconds
* A price tag somewhere in the $1 million range.

Here's a paragraph from a great article by Matt Stone associated press, describing his experience of test driving a Bugatti:

As I pilot the 16.4 through one of Sicily’s mile-long tunnels, and the speedo swings past 280 kilometers per hour (about 174 mph), I now know what it feels like to be a hollow-point slug traveling down the barrel of a long-nose .44 Magnum. Potent forces lunge me forward, the tunnel’s lights blur into streaks, and the W16’s subwoofered rumble is magnified by the rock walls. The tiny white dot way up ahead represents the end of the barrel and bursting out into the daylight is as bright as any weapon’s muzzle flash.

Wanna know more about the Bugatti? Click Here

Remember Last Season's Game in Denver. It could Happen

Sure, it could happen. The Raiders could go into Mile High/Invesco Field and pull off an upset over the playoff bound Broncos, again. It was only a year ago that the Raiders stunned the Broncos in a Sunday Night ESPN game viewed by all. The game I still believe to be their best in three seasons.

Last year the Raiders were coming off a five-game losing streak. This year they're coming into Denver with a four game losing streak. The weather may not be as bad as last year but the Broncos appear to be a better team. I'm sure the Broncos remember the 25 to 24 loss and have vowed not to let such a thing happen again. This game is not a nationally televised game but like last season's, but when the Raiders and Broncos meet nothing extra is really needed to incite the players competition level. We hate the Broncos as much as they hate us. And anytime we play them we're looking to not only win but demoralize them in the process. And if we can spoil their chances of home field in the playoffs or even a bye week then so much the better.

So come on Raiders, let's give this game a true Raider effort an come out with a shocking win against these western division rival donkeys. I don't care if we get ten personal foul penalties, as long as we win and hurt them in the process. Nobody's giving us a chance but us, so let's give ourselves a winning Christmas Gift. We deserve it for making it through a disappointing 2005 season.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Along Elevated Lines, It's Hard to Stand the Silence

Stores on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens, along the elevated No.7 subway line.Some welcomed the silence of the transit strike.Others missed the noise.

Published: December 22, 2005
New York Times

For nearly 90 years, life along Roosevelt Avenue has been pre-empted every few minutes by a sustained interruption of train clatter, as the elevated No. 7 train rumbles overhead. The 20-second interjection is loud enough to banish thought itself. It halts conversations and forces newcomers to hold their ears.

But since the trains stopped on Tuesday, the hammer of the gods has suddenly stopped, too. People who live and work along the avenue seemed slightly disoriented yesterday. The decibel level that has defined life there, as well as at other places in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx - is conspicuously absent.

"It's strange, but the silence is more noticeable than the noise," said City Councilman Eric N. Gioia, who represents Woodside, Queens, and grew up under the El. "When you spend your life hearing the screech of steel wheels over your head every two minutes, you almost forget what quiet is."

Ever since 1917, when the elevated subway was built along Roosevelt Avenue, the steel-on-steel scrape and the rumble of a subway train overhead have been constant companions. Some residents liken it to being a roller coaster operator, or being trapped in a revolving door at a heavy-metal concert.

But when transit workers began a citywide strike on Tuesday morning, the quiet that was long ago banished from the area returned.

The ambient noise level of Queens neighborhoods along the line - including Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights and Corona - returned to that of your average busy New York City thoroughfare. While many residents embraced the relative silence, others seemed bewildered by it, and, after only two days, even began waxing nostalgic for it.

"I actually miss the noise already," said Cristina Fletcher, 33, a Filipino immigrant who for the past five years has lived in a building in Woodside, a half-block from Roosevelt Avenue. "You get used to it. It's part of life here, the sound of the city. It's strange to actually be able to walk down Roosevelt Avenue and talk on your cellphone.

"Living here is like having the subway running through your living room," she said, "and now it's turned off."

Angel Perez, 30, of Brooklyn, a mail carrier who delivers along Roosevelt Avenue, said the day "feels like a funeral procession." He added: "It's a big difference. You learn to block it out normally, but it's always there."

The image of the hulking structure of the elevated tracks has become an emblem of gritty urban living mythologized in pulp novels and film noir.

In Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, Tajara Barnes, 30, has a fourth-floor apartment so close to the elevated J line that she can look passengers in the eye. "The silence is unbearable; it's keeping me up," she said. "I can't even sleep this week because I've become so accustomed to the train noise."

In the South Bronx, though, workers in the many automotive shops along Jerome Avenue relished the lack of noise overhead. "The noise is so annoying, I hope the strike lasts forever," said Jose Martinez, 22, who fixes flat tires. "It's a whole other world without those things going by."

The No. 7 line has sometimes been glorified as the "immigrant express," serving Flushing's vibrant Asian community and the ethnically diverse neighborhoods along the route. But to those who live under it, it is more notable for its noise.

Some residents living on or near Roosevelt Avenue spoke of finally getting a sound sleep. Others confessed to feeling a bit uneasy: Things seemed just a little too quiet.

Mahmud Hossain, 31, a Bengali immigrant who owns the New York Deli and Grocery at Roosevelt Avenue and 76th Street, said life on the avenue had always been about "the big noise." For the past seven years, Mr. Hossain said, he has worked at his counter 12 hours a day, separated from the El outside by a pane of glass. Since he lives in an apartment building on the avenue, he also hears the train all night, he said.

He and his wife have a relationship based upon intermittent conversations. "When we talk to each other, part of every conversation is saying, 'Hold on a second,' " he said.

"It's funny to say," he added, "but the silence is driving me crazy."

Linda Ramos, 27, a waitress in a nearby restaurant, feels otherwise. "One thing we don't get in this neighborhood is peace and quiet," she said.

Francisco Garcia, 30, a street vendor who pushes a cart along the avenue, selling tamales and the soupy sweet rice pudding known in Spanish as arroz con leche, was equally pleased. "The silence is good," he said. "That noise can drive you nuts."

But Mr. Hossain said, "I feel bad about the quiet because at least when I hear the noise, it means the city is working and running."

Comment From Raiderlegend: And I thought the fire truck sirens here in San Francisco were noisy. At least I don't look the firemen in the eyes when they pass my window, but then again, I'm on the fifth floor and the street is not elevated. Such is Life in a City.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Paths of Glory

I watched an excellent old movie entitled "Paths of Glory", from world-class director/writer Stanley Kubrick. In the movie, Kirk Douglas plays French WWI Colonel Dax who is given a direct order from his front lines General to take the German Ant Hill at any cost. A blatant suicide mission, the attack is doomed to failure.

To cover-up their fatal blunder, the Generals order the arrest of three innocent soldiers, one from each of Colonel Dax three company's, charging them with cowardice in the face of the enemy and mutiny. Dax, a lawyer in civilian life, rises to the men's defense but soon realizes that unless he can prove that the Generals were to blame, nothing less than a miracle will save his clients from the firing squad.

If you like a good black&white war movie which is not your typical blow'em up gun'em down war movie, then I'd recommend you check this one out. The politics of war and the lowly worth put on a soldier's life in times of war are all exposed in this great film. I found myself rewinding to get a better look at the up close shots of soldiers faces. Somehow, the director captured a look in the soldier's faces, though really actors, that reflected the coldness and ugliness of living in a front line trench during WWI.

Though many parts were what I'd consider great scenes, two really stick out in my mind. One scene reminds me of that scene in Shawshank Redemption when the prisoners are awestruck by the sound of a woman's voice singing the italian opera Figaro. For that moment in Shawshank Redemption and in the scene in this movie these hardened men are reminded of what it is to be human with family and loved ones.

The other scene is more of a quote than the scene itself. When the General, in trying to convince Colonel Dax to lead the suicide mission, shouts that patriotism is old fashion but patriots are honest, Colonel Dax says "not everyone always thought so. Samuel Johnson said something else." When the General forces Colonel Dax to tell him who Samuel Johnson was and what it was he said the Colonel replies with this famous quote from English writer Samuel Johnson:

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel

The Motion Picture Guide review gave the movie five stars with the statement: "One of the greatest anti-war films ever made."

Newsweek review stated: Paths of Glory is a blistering indictment of military politics and "an unforgettable movie experience."

The politics and cover-ups could be compared to the situation the U.S. finds itself in over in Iraq today. Watch the movie and judge for yourself.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Norv and Kerry can both kiss my A$$

It was a cool, wet and breezy day out at the Oakland Coliseum. No worry, we were playing the lowly Cleveland Browns. Forget that Norv Turner chose to start Kerry over Tuiasosopo, Kerry can find a way to beat the Browns. Wrong, dead wrong.

Our defense did enough to beat the Browns, but it takes an offense to put points on the board and the Raiders offense couldn't muster more than seven points. It was so obvious that the problem on offense was Kerry Collin's inability to read defenses that I wonder why Norv left him in the game. The only logical answer is that Norv has something to gain by playing Kerry. Maybe its money, maybe its someone to blame for the losses, but Norv is clearly stuck on Kerry. He doesn't give a damn about the future of the Raiders or about giving Tuiasosopo another chance.

Some believe Norv went with Kerry to protect his job. Scary to think that a coach would rather stick with a quarterback that has only been consistant in being the goat for losing games than give a five year backup a legitimate chance to play. Giving Tui one start in a game where you didn't gameplan for his style of play (last week against NY Jets) nor protect him from the expected blitzes all day is suspect to say the least. With our running game working today against the Browns, it would have been a perfect scenario for Tui to play, even if it meant coming off the bench to relieve Kerry. I know the fans would have praised Norv for trying to win the game as opposed to protect his job.

Being at the game you got to see just how out-of-synch Kerry Collins is with the offense. Granted, he was getting blitzed early, but the offensive line stepped it up later to give him the time. Kerry, other than the 28 yard touchdown to Randy Moss, wasn't making the reads to see the open receiver. Again many of his throws were either too low or too high. His low pass to TE Courtney Anderson may have attributed to Courtney injuring himself while trying to reach low to catch the ball. I believe Courtney Anderson is 6ft 8in or so. All season us fans have been wondering how is it that our quarterback fails to see an open receiver as tall as Courtney? And then when he does see him how is it that he either under throws him or over throws him? It's mindboggling that our coach hasn't made adjustments at the quarterback position for more than just one game.

SeaBass missed a 51 yard field goal attempt and had another long attempt blocked. But I wouldn't attribute the loss to SeaBass. The conditions were poor. I actually question why Norv didn't opt to go for it instead of trying the long attempt that was blocked? That missed field goal gave Cleveland good field position for their final drive.

So with a Leader that can't lead us to victory over a lesser opponent, the Raiders lose in the final seconds on a field goal to the Cleveland Browns 9 to 7. The Raiders Faithful braved the wet and windy elements to support their underachieving team. If the saying "struggle brings unity" bears any truth, then seeing the Raider fans united in their rejection of Norv and Kerry will hopefully uplift our struggle for replacement at head coach and quarterback come next season.

Bring us your tired and hungry longing to be free. Bring us a Coach and Quarterback who'll deliver victory.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Darrell Russell, A Raider, dead at age 29.

Anyone who ever saw him play knew he had the potential to be great and dominate on defense. On the field he was a monster defensive lineman with two pro bowl appearances to his credit. Unfortunately, off the field problems derailed such a promising young career.

I think former Raiders offensive lineman said it best saying about Darrell that, ''He was a big kid like me that had a big heart. He couldn't say no to anybody. That's what had a big deal [to do] with his demise. ... He couldn't let his past go. He always wanted to try to take care and do for other people. It ended up bringing him down.''

I'm sure that come this Sunday the Raiders Organization will have a moment of silence before the game against the Cleveland Browns in memory of Darrell Russell. I'll be there, my head bowed with hat in hand, thinking about what should have been. He'll always be remembered as a Raider.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Childhood Memories of Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor
1940 - 2005

An early Monday morning in mid-December 2005. I listen while the radio sports announcer talks about this past weekend’s sports highlights. While recanting the top sports news stories he pays homage to a fallen great comedian of my era who just so happened to pass away over the weekend. I, upon hearing the name Richard Pryor, bolt upright in bed crying out as if someone had just thrown cold water on my body. The radio commentator mentioned the sad news almost as an afterthought and moved along to other events of the weekend related more to sports than my childhood memories. But for me at that moment sports had become a past time. For I was bombarded with many thoughts of Richard Pryor and the laughing times I’ve had being entertained by him.

Of course the classic comedy Car Wash crossed my minds eye immediately. Funny that I just watched the 1970’s movie only a month ago for the first time in over twenty five years. The music with the Pointer Sisters, the fashions of Afros and the comedy of Richard Pryor reminded me of the beauty us Black people have stamped on American culture. To see or hear Richard Pryor is to become Black whether your skin color is white yellow black or brown. Even a Native from Africa becomes Black upon being entertained by Richard Pryor’s thought provoking comedy. And when I say Black I mean African American Black. For it is our Black experience here in America that so molded the comedy and person of Richard Pryor.

Just four months back or so I attended the special engagement viewing of “Young Frankenstein,” a classic horror-comedy from the early 80’s. The star of the movie “Gene Wilder” was on hand to meet fans and autograph his new book released that month. While waiting in line to meet Mr. Wilder it dawned on me that my memories of him were most likely very different from the majority of the other folks waiting to meet him. When you’re Black and find yourself alone amongst non-black persons such thoughts can sometimes surface. While looking up and down the waiting line and discussing Mr. Wilder’s new book with other patrons , (the book was terrible per discussions), I could only think of his movie sidekick Richard Pryor in such classics as “Silver Streak” and “Stir Crazy.” I still sometimes find myself singing The Birmingham Jail lullaby that Norberg sang so eloquently in Stir Crazy. Other patrons mentioned their reasons for wanting to meet Mr. Wilder were tied to memories of his late wife Gilda Radner, who it was said he treated very poorly during their marriage. I never did meet Mr. Wilder that day. The line was moving slow and it dawned on me I wasn’t so much a fan of his as a fan of the movie era he was a part of. I got close enough to make eye contact with him, his aged blue eyes showing signs of a pained but thankful life. I gave a nod to him before strolling out of the theater with a satisfied happiness in knowing I’d just re-lived a few wonderful memories. Richard Pryor was first and foremost as the memories that flashed across my mental screen that day.

As I finish with thoughts of Gene Wilder’s book engagement another Richard Pryor memory comes to mind. It was to be my introduction to the censored comedian’s material and a poor ten year old boy determination to stop at nothing to obtain it.

The year was 1972 when the release of another classic movie “Lady Sings the Blues” came out. The movie was an unofficial biography of the life of Billy Holiday and her rise and fall from stardom. Richard Pryor stole the show in his part as a piano playing friend and fellow heroin addict. There was no HBO or video at that time so if you missed the movie in the theater you either depended on family and friends to tell you about it scene by scene, or you purchased the soundtrack on album or 8-track and hoped to hear a few lines between music tracks. Someone in our house had purchased the 8-track soundtrack which I’d listened to many times, getting glimpses of the unexplained taboo comedy that was in the movie. I, being so curious to learn more about sex and drugs as well as the comedy of Richard Pryor, decided to procure for myself and other neighborhood youngsters a copy of a Richard Pryor soundtrack by hook or crook. It would turn out to be closer to crook than hook. The tape man Paul, a hustling Jewish guy who’d come to our black neighborhood on weekends with his huge chevy trunk loaded with boxes of 8-track tapes and other products of Afro-American interest, would be my conduit to Richard Pryor and the taboos that came with his comedy.

As I type this I realize I haven’t thought of Paul since those long gone days. I don’t even know how I remember his name but there he is in my memory along with Richard Pryor, Diana Ross and Big Ben from the City. For those who don’t remember Big Ben (played by scratchy voiced Scatman Crothers)in the movie “Lady Sings the Blues” he was a good paying customer at Miss Lorraine’s Whorehouse where Billy Holiday worked and Richard Pryor played piano. Here are the lines that etched Big Ben so permanently into my pre-adolescent mind:

Young and Tender
A Chocolate Treat
Gonna give me some of that fine Meat
You see I’m Big Ben from the City
And I’m gonna squeeze your little Titty

Billy Holiday then decides to not service Big Ben and gathers her things up out of the room to leave. When Big Ben asks her what she thinks she’s doing Billy Holiday, played by Diana Ross, smoothly says “Nothing personal Mr. Ben, but I just quit the business.” Big Ben gets upset and begins yelling at her and yelling for Lorraine. When the Madam Lorraine see’s Billy Holiday leaving she tries to stop her but Richard Pryor comes to her aid and the two of them escape the whorehouse with Big Ben and Madam Lorraine vowing that she’d never work in this town again as sure as his name is Big Ben, ain’t that right Big Ben, “That’s Right.”

I should inform you that our house was like the Neighborhood Walmart in the hood at that time. I grew up with what seemed like hundreds of cousins with thousands of friends, so a weekend at our house brought people with money to spend and products from less than ethical distributors available for purchase, no drugs mind you. You name it, Rabbit Coats, Leathers, Dysheekies, Alpaca Sweaters, Afro Care Combs&Products, Mini-Skirts, why even my purple apple jack hat(forerunner to Kango) was purchased through one of the most colorful ghetto distributors of the day who patronized our communal home.

And so it was that I’d somehow come up with a dollar and some words of promise to Paul that I’d encourage my mom about buying some other products from him if he sold me the Richard Pryor 8-track labeled “for adult listening pleasure.” I’d spied the Richard Pryor 8-track tape in Paul’s trunk on his last two visits and knew exactly where to find it and which box it was in. The sneaky smile and determination that I must of shown when Paul opened that old dusty trunk in search of the 8-track tape should have been caught on tape. It would be my first planned hustle that would work to perfection. Now that I think about it, the dollar had come partly from my mom and partly from neighborhood kids I’d promised to play it for. When I pointed out to Paul the box with the tape tucked snuggly between Billy Preston and Parliament tapes he slowly reached down and pulled and wiggled until he held the Richard Pryor cartridge in his hand. Before handing it to me Paul had the strangest look, today I know the look to be that of a man about to perform a shameful act and contemplating the consequences if any. Paul hesitated as he eyed the tape title, patted the tape a few times against his free hand then handed it to me with instructions not to tell my mother I got it from him or else we don’t do business anymore. I with dollar in hand, mouth agape and eyes staring wide in anticipation of receiving the tape, could only nod in agreement as Paul passes down the rectangle cartridge of pleasure, plastic wrapped as proof of untainted goods. I hardly noticed Paul easing the dollar out of my other hand as I looked at the 8-track tape in awe. Maybe it was then that Paul reminded me not to tell my mother, but either way I’d made my first deal and now was running off to my brother’s bedroom to play the 8-track in his portable 8-track player, the one that you had to put a matchbook under the cartridge to prevent it from dragging.

Later that afternoon with the bedroom door closed, a roomful of adolescent and pre-adolescent boys listened and rolled in hushed laughter as Richard Pryor, uninterrupted by music, opened our young world to the wisdom of what it means to be Black and the things that boys should know about sex, drugs and being cool. I’d become Paul’s little retailer with my cliché of friends eager for their own copies of the latest Richard Pryor tape. I charged two dollars and Paul allowed me a pick of any 8-track tape I wanted along with each purchase. I made out with a one dollar profit and what would turn out to be a tape collection of Richard Pryor and the Soulful sounds of R&B that was the early 70’s. I sometimes sold the musical 8-track tapes still plastic wrapped to cousins or friends at the house on the weekends. My profit was tied to the two for one deal Paul agreed to give me. It was then that I learned the words capitalism and hustle carried the same meaning. And it all started with wanting to hear Richard Pryor tell jokes and talk about being Black like me.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Jets Attack Tuiasosopo

Tui's coming out party was crashed by the New York Jets defense resulting in another Raiders loss. Is the Raiders offensive line that bad? Jets DE Johnnie Abrams was all up in our backfield causing havoc on Tui. I'm sure Kerry Collins was in a "see I told you so" mode while watching from the sidelines. Between the bad play of the offensive line and the penalties the Raiders didn't have a chance today.

I hate to have to admit that we are living up to the negatives that analysts and sports writers preach about the Raiders. We are undisciplined and beat ourselves with penalties and mistakes.

Tui's performance was probably no worse than any inexperienced quarterback behind a weak O-line. Just look at the 49ers earlier in the season. Three quarterbacks later and they're just starting to put drives together.

Now the blame game for the Raiders poor play will probably be directed toward head coach Norv Turner. I wouldn't have minded swapping coaches today. Herm Edwards had his team prepared to compete today. I ask myself if today's game plan was one that gave better protection and opportunities for an inexperienced quarterback? I don't think so. Shorter routes and quick passes to the tight end may have helped, but I must admit that I couldn't watch after a while, so I'm not one to analyze the game today.

From what I saw, and I hope I'm wrong on this, it appeared that the team kind of gave up on winning the game. They began playing for the "Reggie Bush Sweeepstakes" and may qualify by season's end. That may not be such a bad thing. I wonder if maybe Al saw all the Reggie Bush highlights the sports networks ran this weekend after he won the Heisman? They say Reggie is maybe the best back ever to play college football. One analyst said he's a combination of Gale Sayers, Walter Payton, Earl Campbell and O.J. Simpson as a running back. If that turns out to be proven true, look out NFL. Maybe Al knows what's best for the Raiders in trying for the Reggie Bush Sweepstakes, we'll see.

I love my Raiders, but it's times like these that test my allegiance not to the team but to the organization. Are we a good team lacking leadership and smart organizational choices or are our players just not worth their price on paper? We'll see when and if Tui is given another chance, this time on home turf against the lowly Cleveland Browns.

Win Lose or Tie!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Introducing No. 8 - QB Marques Tuiasosopo

Well we asked for it, now we got it. Number 8 for the 4-8 Oakland Raiders, Marques Tuiasosopo will be starting this Sunday against the 2-10 New York Jets. It's only Tui's second start as a Raider but that shouldn't matter, anyone wearing a Raiders Jersey looks better behind center than Mr. Collins these days. And who better to play against than a team with less wins and hope than yourself?

Because of the few stats accrued while holding a clipboard on the sideline for the Raiders, I give you this link to click on for Tui's Washington Huskies College Career Stats.

So let's give a Raider Nation welome to Tui and hope that Norv puts in a game plan that fits his abilities and gives the team a chance to win this one. For us who've been calling for Tui to be given a chance, it'll be like watching your little brother finally get his chance in a pop warner game. Somehow that just doesn't sound too reassuring. But hey, at least he's no longer the waterboy or clip boy. Go Tui!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

High School Championship Football at the Coliseum

Saturday night High School Football at the Oakland Coliseum. The autumn wind was Raiding the stadium as I sat watching High School Powerhouse DeLasalle, or as one San Leandro fan heckled, "DSL" battle San Leandro High for the EastBay 4A Championship. DeLasalle, as usual, was expected to win but not without San Leandro giving them a fight. The offensive action wasnt much as the defenses put on a show. Hard hitting and a few turnovers made for a dramatic game. DeLasalle committed a number of penalties which is uncharacteristic of them.

In warmups you could see the discipline and preparedness of DeLasalle as they mechanically performed all sorts of drills. On the other end San Leandero came out looking relaxed and nonchalant, almost to a fault. But once the game got going it appeared the teams were evenly matched on defense. DeLasalle's discipline is what I believe won them the game. They were poised and patient while waiting for their offense to put some points on the board, any points. Somewhere in the first half they managed seven points. Their offense moved the ball but couldn't get it in the endzone whereas San Leandro's offense moved the ball in spurts.

San leandro punted frequently and did a decent job on punt return coverage. Delasalle's special teams missed a field goal attempt in the third quarter. With time winding down in the third quarter San Leandro intercepted a pass and returned it down to around the ten yard line. This was the highlight play of the game for them. They switched endzones and I was able to get a close up of the DeLasalle defense attempting a goal line stand. Four downs later DeLasalle had the ball on the three yard line and San Leandro still had zero points, a successful defensive stand for DeLasalle. The San leandro coach may have blown that one by not having a creative play to run in that situation. But then again, execution is the key and the San Leandro team just couldn't execute against the DeLasalle defense.

The scrambling San Leandro quarterback started taking chances and looking rattled. He'd thrown two interceptions and appeared out of synch with his wide receivers. Granted they dropped quite a few balls during the game which may have made the difference. One dropped ball by a San Leandro receiver was a sure touchdown as the pass hit in right in the hands as he ran a perfect route between the DB and Safety. Had he caught the ball there was clear sailing to the endzone. On that play it looked as if Delasalle's defense had conceded the touchdown without trying to stop what was obviously to be a touchdown. But the San Leandro offense just couldn't make a play.

Hats off to DeLasalle for winning their umpteenth Championship. They tacked on another touchdown with less than a minute left in the game after their interception of a San Leandro pass killed any chance of overtime. I was impressed with the San Leandro team for not giving up, especially on defense. With an offense that looked like it had speed but couldn't overcome a good defense, San Leandro played a great game. The damage could have and should have been a lot worse but for their defense stopping the powerful DeLasalle offense that had scored sixty points in their last game. From what I saw in the stats, San Leandro's offense had scored sixty in it's last game but gave up forty eight in winning.

So hats off to both teams for giving me memories of High School sports and a reason to visit the Oakland Coliseum in my Raiders gear.

Final Score
DeLasalle 14
San Leandro 0

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"What goes on in the bus should stay on the bus"

This story really needs no introduction. Thanks Rod Brooks!
But please do yourself a favor and click on "Party Bus" link to see inside.



Published: Nov 29, 2005

TAMPA - -- Police raided a strip club on wheels parked near Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, complete with a disco ball and seven strippers performing lap dances for fans.

Police busted the "Party Bus," owned by Gala Transportation Inc. of Tampa and rented by the strip club Deja Vu, shortly before Sunday's kickoff between the Buccaneers and the Chicago Bears.

Eleven people were arrested, including the dancers, a club manager, a bouncer, and a customer accused of smoking marijuana.

Mitchell Scott Stone, 29, of Tampa, who owns and operates the bus, told investigators this is the fourth time Deja Vu's dancers have taken their show on the road to entertain Bucs fans near the stadium. Stone faces a misdemeanor charge of renting space for lewdness. Stone could not be reached for comment. He, the manager and bouncer also face two misdemeanor charges related to selling liquor without a license.

"I still have the question: Why bring this to a Bucs game?" Sgt. Bill Todd said.

Luke Lirot, the attorney representing Deja Vu and its arrested employees, said the club wanted to drum up business for its home at 6805 Adamo Drive, about 11 miles from the stadium.

He challenged the liquor charges, likening the bus to a tailgate party where people share beverages. Todd said charging admission for access to alcohol constitutes a sale.

Formerly a transit bus from Broward County, the 40-foot bus with black windows, plush seats, a brass pole and a dance floor sat in the police impound lot Monday.

Police seized $2,000 from the portable party and also impounded a 2003 Chevrolet Venture minivan owned by Deja Vu. The van is covered with a pink advertisement featuring photos of women and the license tag "SHOWGLS."

Police said Deja Vu rented the party bus, which is advertised online, for $500 for Sunday. Lirot said the vehicle also is used for "rolling bachelor parties."

Each dancer is accused of violating two city ordinances, prohibiting nudity in a commercial establishment and in a place where alcohol is sold. Each is punishable by up to a year in a county jail.

Those ordinances apply to zoning issues, not moral ones, Lirot said. "How would you have any zoning impact if you're in a different zone every few feet?" he said.

Undercover officers found the bus parked in Lot 14 in the 3300 block of West Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard after seeing people hand out fliers advertising the party onboard, Todd said.

Lirot said representatives for the club told him they obtained a permit to distribute the fliers. He did not know the exact language on the fliers.

Aside from a pink tarp hung outside the bus, the vehicle offered little inkling of the goings-on within, Todd said. Once each officer paid the $20 cover charge, they discovered the women in "various stages of undress," offering topless lap dances for $20 and nude lap dances for $40, he said.

Six to eight customers were inside, Todd said.

Police charged two dancers with a misdemeanor alleging they performed oral sex on each other, which Lirot disputed. "Simulating sexual activity is part of an exotic dance performance," he said.

Two dancers, Nohelia Terrell, 24, of St. Petersburg, and Katrena Wolf, 27, of Pinellas Park, were released from the Orient Road Jail on Sunday after posting bail. The others were released on their own recognizance, officials said.

Lirot said the business should not be punished for promoting exotic dance, which he called a form of expression protected by the First Amendment. As long as partygoers exercise discretion and do not violate state statutes, "what goes on in the bus should stay on the bus," he said.

"I still have the question: Why bring this to a Bucs game?"

Monday, November 28, 2005

Say it ain't so Michael Irvin

I must admit, I’m just as shocked as the average sports fan about Michael Irvin’s recent encounter with Plano,Texas police. Do I believe Irvin’s claim of innocence? Well, not without some doubt. His story sounds contrived and without merit. I still try to believe in the “innocent until proven guilty” theory. Michael was not caught in the act like Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Berry. He wasn’t trying to sell to an undercover agent like some retired football players recently. And he wasn’t high when the police arrested him as far as we know. Supposedly, Michael was on his way to a furniture store with his wife during daytime when he was pulled over for speeding. The only reason the car was searched was because of an outstanding traffic ticket. I guess in Texas an outstanding traffic ticket warrants a full search of the person and their vehicle.

I heard my boy on KNBR Sports Talk “Rod Brooks” say he now knows why Michael Irvin is the only TV Analyst who sided with T.O. these past few weeks. Rod said Michael sided with T.O. because he was high, clear and simple. Is there some truth to that? Rod was joking of course but sometimes jokes can bare bits of wisdom. We’ll have to let this story run it’s course before the truth is either confirmed or uncovered.

As for the Michael and T.O. relationship, I would've liked to have seen Drew Rosenhaus (T.O.'s agent) representing Michael at a press conference. To watch Drew deny that the pipe belonged to Michael while fielding questions about the incident would have been priceless. I picture it going down like this:

Reporter: Why did Michael Irvin not have the alleged friend come forward and clear him of ownership of the crack pipe?

Mr. Rosenhaus: Mr. Irvin wanted to protect his troubled friend from any further hardship in his life at this time.

Reporter: Mr. Rosenhaus, do you know the alleged friend who the crack pipe belongs to?

Mr. Rosenhaus: No, next question.

Reporter: Mr. Rosenhaus, is it true that Michael Irvin refused a drug test by police?

Mr. Rosenhaus: No, Next question.

Reporter: Mr. Rosenhaus, do you believe your client is telling the truth?

Mr. Rosenhaus: Mr. Irvin has done nothing wrong other than try to help a friend in need and fail to take care of a traffic violation in a timely manner.

Reporter: Does that mean that he’s not being charged for the used crack pipe found under the seat of his car?

Mr. Rosenhaus: What I’m saying is that we expect this mishap to be straightened out and Mr. Irvin cleared of any wrongdoing. Final question.

Reporter: Can you tell us whether the crack pipe was made of green glass with a Philadelphia Eagles emblem painted on it?

Mr. Rosenhaus: No further questions.

Inconsistency and QB issues sink Raiders against Dolphins

It's official. Raiders are not making this years playoffs. Lamont Jordan came out and finally admitted to that fact as well. Let's see, how do I explain what I saw at the Coliseum yesterday? One word pretty much sums up the entire first half, LETHARGIC.

At least Michael Irvin blamed the mysterious crack pipe on an unnamed friend. The Raiders had nobody to blame but themselves for their mysterious play against the Dolphins.

The Raiders came out on offense looking like they hadn't fully digested their Thanksgiving dinners. They looked slow, unfocused, uncaring and pretty much lost. A combination of our offensive line falling apart and Kerry Collins indecisiveness was part of the story in our offensvie futility. Miami's DE Jason Taylor might have been the other part of the story. The Dolphins on the other hand looked like they, coming in at 3-7, had something to prove and did. The Dolphins looked like a good team with a bad record. And even after making mistakes they were able to bounce back and not lose control of the game.

Our Defense, who've kept us in games the past few weeks, were obviously missing the push of Warren Sapp in the middle of the D-Line. Gus Ferotte stood in the pocket at times picking our out of position DB's apart. Though Derrick Burgess made his presence known with two sacks, too many times our defense looked overmatched. Gus Ferotte for God sakes.

Ricky Williams had some break away runs that made me question whether he should've been tested after the game for enhancing substances in his bloodstream. Ricky looked young and quick at times. Hats off to Ricky for coming back and being an asset to his team.

I hate hearing our fans boo our team at home, but their performance on the field was definitely deserving of booing. It hurt to watch and hear the fan mutiny in the stands but nobody was accecpting those Raiders as Our Raiders. One fan said that if Kerry or Norv were to come up into the stands they'd never leave alive, and I believed him. Many fans questioned Norv's decision to punt the ball away on 4th and 1 around midfield with approx. six minutes left in the game. I understood Norv's reluctance to go for it though I would've supported either call.

So here we find ourselves back in the nightmare that was last season with no light in sight at the end of the tunnel. I say let's get rid of what we all know is a huge part of the problem on offense, Kerry Collins, and give the backups some needed playing time in preparation for next season. Al should begin talks with either a new offensive coordinator or head coach. I believe Norv is a decent coach being given bad advice, kinda like George Bush. Remember, Bush in all appearances looks like a regular Joe, too country common to make the global mistakes that have been attributed to him. It's always the smarter advisors that surround the leadership who are responsible for the leaders bad decisions. Maybe it's time to pull the troops out of Iraq not because we're not winning, but because it's been discovered that the advice for going to war was flawed and misleading.

But if Norv has lost his nerve to Lead then it is time for a change at that spot. Al should begin searching for that Leadership soon. If Chicago can win with a 2nd year head coach (Lovie Smith) and strong defense, then the Raiders should be able to build on what they have with adding new leadership. Do I hear Herm Edwards name being thrown around in Raiderland?

Sure, I'll continue rooting for my team and going to the remaining games. I have no choice, Do or Die I'm a Raider for Life. So for those fans who are bashing the team and thinking of abandoning ship, I question your commitment to the Raider Nation. You wouldn't abandon your family during a crisis would you? It's okay to be mad with family, but you don't join with enemy forces to bring the family down. As Michael Corleone told his brother Freddy in "The Godfather": Never take sides against the family, Ever. We all know what eventually happened to Freddy. He Got Whacked!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Have A Raiders Thanksgiving

Although we all plan to Gobble Up some turkey meat this Thanksgiving, let's save some room for some phish come Sunday when the Dolphins come to town to play the Raiders.

We'll also be celebrating our "Bring Your Bong for Ricky Day" on Sunday in acknowldegement of returning humboldt hemp graduate Miami RB Ricky Williams. Heck I might just take a hit for old times sake myself. So dig out those old Ricky Williams dreds to wear to the game and win yourself a nice fuzzy green bud of some sticky icky. Cause it ain't sticky if you ain't Ricky.

Happy Thanksgiving Day 2005 and remember there's no fans like Raiders Fans!

Oh, and ladies, please vist the High Times page for information on how to enter the "Miss High Times" competition of 2005. It's Smoking.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Catch

The catch this past weekend by 49ers wide receiver Brandon Lloyd was a spectacular grab. He's a young receiver to watch for down the road. But his catch was not as great as my favorite Raiders catch by Ronald Curry last season.

Lloyd's catch didn't score a touchdown, he didn't have to adjust his body to the ball other than reaching with an outstretched hand, weather was not a factor and the game was not on the line at the time. And lest we forget, the 49ers didn't win the game.

But I'm no hater when it comes to the whiners, it was a highlight catch. But I'll never get tired of seeing the Ronald Curry catch against Denver on Sunday night in the snow. It was a thing of beauty and the Raiders were victorious that night.

Syringe-wielding man is arrested

Syringe-wielding man is arrested

Jaxon Van Derbeken

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A man who allegedly used a blood-filled syringe to commit robberies was arrested after he returned to the same store near Union Square that he hit three days before, police said Monday.

Jonathan Black, 24, a transient, was caught last week when security guards at Banana Republic recognized him from Nov. 13, when he allegedly shoplifted from the store at 256 Grant Ave., police said.

Police said Black had begun using the syringe to threaten victims on Nov. 12, when he went into Fortress Telecom, at 878 Sacramento St., and tried to take a laptop computer.

The next day, Black -- this time dressed as a woman -- allegedly went into the Banana Republic store at 6:05 p.m. and shoplifted $204 worth of leather gloves. When two store security officers confronted Black outside the store, he pulled out an uncapped hypodermic needle in a stabbing motion and said he had HIV, said Lt. John Loftus.

On Nov. 16, Black returned to the clothing store, this time dressed as a man. He was spotted inside by the same security guard he had threatened before. He had the syringe with him, but he was arrested without incident, Loftus said.

Raider Legend's Comments:

Personally, I feel the syringe wielding guy in Bangkok a few years ago was much sicker than this guy. He was worse for three reasons:

1. He didn't have a motive when he stabbed a woman in a park
2. His syringe was filled with Cobra Venom
3. He hasn't been caught

Read the full story Cobra Venom

Monday, November 21, 2005

Some people call me Maurice

Okay Raider Fans. Who can remember the 1973 song these lyrics came from?

"Some People Call Me Maurice"

After the lyrics a funky sounding synthesizer makes a Kazoo type of sounnd. While listening to Rod Brooks on sports talk 1050am I heard him throw out those lyrics along with the synthesizer sound. Rod's that cross between ole skool new skool that makes sports talk fun listening without being over-silly. I used to picture Rod as a tall David Chappelle, until I saw him hosting one of the Raider Rallies.

I remember Rod when the ticket 1050 had "The Brooks and Paulie Show." Now that was a true Raiders Flagship station and helped me catch up on my Raiders history. Brooks and Paulie had some of the best radio talk game give-aways. Some of the games I remember were "Dead or Alive" and "Black Guy White Guy." I think I have one taped episode somewhere in my dusty cassette collection. They were the pioneers of great soundbites from classic movies like "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and other party films.

Rod Brooks is now a seasoned veteran of Radio who gives it to you straight. He always attempts to present his arguement in a clear concise manner and gives the caller a chance to make himself look like a sports genius or idiot, it all depends on your presentation.

Though Rod is a Houston native and still cheers for anything in a Houston Jersey, he's a Raider fan and supporter and I believe he still attends Raider home games at the Oakland Coliseum. Keep representin Rod.

So, have you guessed the name of the song yet?

Here it is!

Artist: Steve Miller Band
Song: Space Cowboy
Album: Best Of 1968-73
[" Best Of 1968-73 " CD]

Some people call me the space cowboy, yeah
Some call me the gangster of love
Some people call me Maurice
Cause I speak of the pompitous of love

People talk about me, baby
Say I'm doin' you wrong, doin' you wrong
Well, don't you worry baby
Don't worry
Cause I'm right here baby, right here, right here, right here at home

Cause I'm a picker
I'm a grinner
I'm a lover
And I'm a sinner
I play my music in the sun

I'm a joker
I'm a smoker
I'm a midnight toker
I sure don't want to hurt no one

Cause I'm a picker
I'm a grinner
I'm a lover
And I'm a sinner
I play my music in the sun

I'm a joker
I'm a smoker
I'm a midnight toker
I get my lovin on the run
Wooo Woooo
Wooo Hooooo

You're the cutest thing
That I ever did see
I really love your peaches
Want to shake your tree
Lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey all the time
Ooo-eee baby, I'll sure show you a good time

Cause I'm a picker
I'm a grinner
I'm a lover
And I'm a sinner
I play my music in the sun

I'm a joker
I'm a smoker
I'm a midnight toker
I get my lovin on the run

Cause I'm a picker
I'm a grinner
I'm a lover
And I'm a sinner
I play my music in the sun

I'm a joker
I'm a smoker
I'm a midnight toker
I sure don't want to hurt no one

People keep talking about me baby
They say I'm doin' you wrong
Well don't you worry, don't worry, no don't worry mama
Cause I'm right here at home

You're the cutest thing I ever did see
Really love your peaches want to shake your tree
Lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey all the time
Come on baby and I'll show you a good time

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Raiders Win with Defense

Did you see the Raiders Defense today? Well I almost missed it all. I vowed to attend church and pray for Kerry and Norv. So while I was in church praying like a sinner, the Raiders were stinking up the first half with penalties, turnovers and what I hear a missed Jano Field goal. But you gotta give credit to us sinners who still believe in Raider Dominance.

I arrived home from church to see Kerry Collins being blessed with better decision making. He'd thrown an interception in the first half that was run back for a touchdown, memories of last weekend against the Broncos. However, in this second half Kerry made at least five straight completions on a drive that culminated in seven Raider points. Then the Defense got down right nasty and Derrick Burgess showed pro bowl style pressure. The defense held the Redskins to a few three downs and out series allowing our offense to use the clock and make plays.

Jerry Porter and Doug Gabriel made back to back big gains on passing plays that should have culminated in a touchdown. But Norv's play calling on first and goal at the two became very suspect and predictable. I still question some of Norv's offensive play calling. It seems he may be calling plays that limit collins decision making, which is a needed evil unfortunately. Granted, Zack Crocket should have caught the badly thrown ball from collins for a touchdown, but in the end the field goal held up, so Kerry's off the hook.

The Raiders may not make the playoffs this year, but they'll definitely be feared by those teams they'll play who have a shot at the playoffs. We finally have a defense that can pressure a quarterback. Now it's just a better offensive game plan and a confident quarterback.

Raiders 16
Redskins 13

Monday, November 14, 2005

Defensive Opportunities Wasted by Kerry Collins Collapse

The Denver Broncos were not much better than the Raiders on Sunday. But when your quarterback and offense are having a very bad day it can make the opponent look superior. Such was the Raiders loss to the Broncos yesterday. A day that may have spelled the end to the Raiders chances of making the playoffs this season.

The day was such a gorgeous fall afternoon for a football game in the Bay. Sellout at the Coliseum with all the tailgating festivities that go along with a Raider Nation party. My favorite tailgating highlight, actually there were two but the 475horse powered Raider 68 Camaro is deserving of a story to itself, was the guy carrying around a homemade beer chugging contraption that could accomodate up to eight brave beer chuggers at no cost. Only requirement to take a dive on the chugger was to BYOB(bring your own brew). You simply poured your beer into the top of one of the 1.5 inch diameter hoses until full. Once the carrier of the device lifted it in the air the contraction resembled an octopus with baby octpusses ready to feed at each of it's tentacles. On the count of three each baby octo (Raider Fan Guzzler) would open his red tap lever with his mouth positioned at that end of the hose to let in a full flow of brew with gravitational pressure pushing it into his gut. Think of it as a big bong being filled with brew and you've tilted it upwards to allow for a nonstop flow straight into your mouth. Only at a Raider Tailgate. I hope to post a pic of the contraption once I download the pictures.

I must say that the parking lot was jumping with all kinds of activities. A runner up in ingenuity, and boy were there some creations out there, were some stuff animals. Someone had put a Denver Broncos jersey and helmet on a stuffed Donkey and had it bent over on all fours with it's head to the ground. Riding on it's rear with what must've been running on eveready energizer batteries was a chihuahua stuffed dog with a Black Raiders Jersey and sunglasses humping (via pelvic thrusts) the stuffed Donkey like there was no tomorrow. The scene drew laughs from all that passed by it and I couldn't help but place a can of budweiser on the back of the Donkey while Raider Chihuahua was humping away. I believe the song playing in the background was "Who Let the Dogs Out."

Anyways, back to the game. Our defense gets game balls all around. They limited the Bronco offense and gave our offensive unit plenty of opportunities, some golden. But Kerry Collins was rattled by the many Bronco blitzes and we all know Kerry when he's pressured. Three interceptions, passes off the mark, balls thrown away when flushed out of the pocket. Hell, there was one throw Kerry made towards one of our streaking receivers in the endzone that a fan in the stands caught. That drew more applause than many plays by Kerry throughout the day. I want to spread the blame to other offensive players, many dropped balls by receivers, but Kerry's dismal play was so obvious that I feel a better leader would've pulled this one out.

We had a chance thanks to our defense causing two fumbles in the fourth quarter, but Kerry and the offense just weren't up to the task. The final stake in the heart was an out pass Kerry threw that everyone but him saw as disaster waiting to happen. The covering DB jumped in front of Jerry Porter intercepting the ball and running it back eighty yards for the final Broncos touchdown. The Raiders were crushed and us fans........exasperated.

I agree with what one of the newspapers stated today when they suggested that Norv Turner put too much responsibility on Kerry Collins in expecting him to beat Denver with his passing. It was clear that the Raiders came out wanting to pass against Denver who's ranked 28th in pass defense. But you can't scrap your running game Norv, not with Kerry at the helm and a Denver Defense pressuring all day.

So in the end it was a gallant effort by our defense in a losing cause to a team not much better than the Raiders. The one thing I believe all Raider fans were convinced of yesterday was that we need a Quarterback. Kerry's legacy will go down as Mr. Inconsistant and he's well deserving of that title. Great arm, terrible under pressure and unable to read defenses quick enough. Exasperating.

Miami is up next on the road. Is there really any reason to care anymore? Exasperating.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Our Defense Broke at the End

Coulda, shoulda but in the end we let another one slip by us. The dagger stuck in my chess prevents me from typing more.

Raiders Lose A Close One!

Let the game begin

Twenty minutes until kick off. This game is huge for us. With Denver coming up next week at home, we beat the chiefs and the worm turns. And to beat them in their house would be all the more impressive. Back to back road wins can do wonders for a team.

KC is banged up at RB and I don't see trent green turning into Trent Manning for a day. I'm predicting that our defense will make the plays tha'll make a difference. If they shut down Tony Gonzalez (double up) we should be able to contain their passing game.

Let's play!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

You Don't Want To Jump, Here's Why

Though I've never even come close to considering jumping off of a bridge, any bridge, I've thought about what it would feel like to fall off and hit the water from such a height.

The San Francisco Chronicle is printing a series of articles on Suicide by Bridge. There's a huge debate that's been going on about whether to put a barrier up on the scenic Golden Gate bridge in efforts to prevent "jumpers."

I found this description of what occurs to a jumper after he hits the water very enlightening. Hopefully it will enlighten any would be jumpers out there to just pick up a phone and dial suicide prevention. There are phones at or on the bridge for these purposes. The alternative to making that call is not what I'd call going out in style.

excerpt from Lethal Beauty: The Barrier Debate
san francisco chronicle

Suicide by bridge is gruesome, and death is almost certain. People have survived the fall, but not many. You might survive if you hit the water feet first and come in at a slight angle.

The impact is tremendous. The body goes from roughly 75 to 80 mph to nearly zero in a nanosecond. The physics of inertia being what they are, internal organs tend to keep going. The force of impact causes them to tear loose. Autopsy reports typically indicate that the jumpers have lacerated aortas, livers, spleens and hearts. Ribs are often broken, and the impact shoves them into the heart or lungs. Jumpers have broken sternums, clavicles, pelvises and necks. Skull fractures are common.

Which means you die one of two ways, or a combination of both. One, you hit the water and the impact kills you. Sometimes the jumper is knocked unconscious. Other times, the jumper survives for a time. The person can be seen flailing about in the water, trying to stay afloat, only to succumb to the extensive internal bleeding. Death can take seconds or minutes. Two, you drown. You hit the water going fast, and your body plunges in deep. Conscious or otherwise, you breathe in saltwater and asphyxiate

Quote: The main cause of depression is not a lack of material necessities but a deprivation of the affection of others.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption

There's a guy like me in every state and federal prison in America, I guess - I'm the guy who can get it for you. Tailormade cigarettes, a bag of reefer if you're partial to that, a bottle of brandy to celebrate your son or daughter's high school graduation, or almost anything else...within reason, that is. It wasn't always that way.

Above is the first paragraph in the story written by Stephen King, the same story that the movie Shawshank Redemption was based on. I decided to read the story after years of proclaiming the movie to be the best prison movie ever. Why I must've seen the movie no less than ten times over the years and each time is almost as good as the first, a sure sign of a great movie.

In reading the book I found the voices of the movie's characters as well as their faces filling my head. It was a fun experience, but I often found myself comparing the two stories as I read, which is not the best way to enjoy a story. So I vowed early in my reading to let go of my preconceptions of what the story should be and just sit back and enjoy the book, letting the story unfold in front of me.

I couldn't do it. From that first paragraph I could hear Morgan Freeman's voice just as clear as ever. The actual narrator of the story in the book, also named "Red", is not a Black man but Irish, and that somehow takes away from the special friendship established in the movie between Andy and Red.

I did enjoy the book mind you, but I don't think I would've enjoyed it as much had I not had the sights and sounds of the movie to fill in the blanks. Usually its the other way around where a book is so much better and has so much more detail than the movie, but that just wasn't so in this case.

Again, I think anyone who has seen the movie and then reads the book will enjoy the book. But I don't think the book added anything to the story that made it better. On the contrary, it was the movie that took a mediocre story and made it special. Nothing against the writings of Stephen King, but in comparing the book and the movie I wonder if maybe King's story was cut down for marketing purposes. Maybe the movie allowed King the format to give his story it's full range to reach it's total potential. Either way we as readers and movie goers are treated to a very enjoyable experience in the story Shawshank Redemption.

I guess I should give more praise to the book. There were some lessons to be learned about the effects of prison life on an individual. The reason for Rita Hayworth being part of the book's title is also made clear in the book.

Here's a part from the book where "Red" (Morgan Freeman) is talking about what its like once a convict's been in for awhile, like himself, and gets "institutionalized":

When you take away a man's freedom and teach him to live in a cell, he seems to lose his ability to think in dimensions. He's like the jackrabbit I mentioned, frozen in the oncoming lights of the truck that is bound to kill it. More often than not a con who's just out will pull some dumb job that hasn't a chance in hell of succeeding...and why? Because it'll get him back inside. Back where he understands how things work.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Back to Back Wins for the Raiders!

The Raiders are winning against the teams they should beat and they're doing it in a convincing way, by beating the opposing teams in every phase of the game.

I'd give the patched up defense the game ball as they dominated the first quarter, then rebounded after a poor showing in the second and third quarters to shut down Steve McNair and the Titans. The Defense also sacked McNair 6 times for 43 yards, causing 3 fumbles in the process. Our much improved Warren Sapp can boast and proudly wear his old title of "QB Killa" again after having 2.5 of those sacks.

One crucial roughing-the-passer penalty on 3rd down kept a Titans drive alive. It would be the only penalty first down the Raiders would give up in the game. That's a big improvement for our Defense, or maybe the Referrees actually saw the bad calls made in the World Series last week and gave the Raiders some slack. Not.

Rookie Fabian Washington broke up passes and played like a first round pick. Rookie Stuart Schwergart did some hard hitting, one of which caused a fumble. In the end the Titans 10 minute advantage in time-of-possesion wasn't a factor.

Our Offense did it with varied and creative play calling such as Lamont Joran screens and a wide receiver reverse that gained 24 yards for a first down. With Jerry Porter being the star reciver of the day having two touchdowns, big play Randy Moss was not missed. Moss did contribute but not in his usual spectacular way. Offensive blocking at the line and downfield was awesome. Kerry Collins was well protected and sacked only twice for short losses. I saw collins interception as possibly Kerry shedding his cautious ways. Maybe he learned that he can overcome making a mistake in a game.

No team win is can be called complete without the special teams contributing. Rookie Chris Carr is still returning kicks with a hunger for the end zone. Carr returned one for 31 yards today. Shane Lechler's three punt average of 52.0 yards is indicative of his pro bowl player status, though the coverage did give up a 39 yard return. We'll ignore the Tennessee kick return for a touchdown that was called back. I'm sure had the Titans not held our player we would've tackled the return man.

Finally, a game ball to Norv and his coaching staff, Offense, Defense and Special Teams. This week they implemented a plan that suprised the opposition. Then they made the necessary adjustments to fight off a comeback.

It's our first ROAD WIN since that snow filled classic in Denver, which personally is my favorite game of the past two seasons. How can any Raider fan get tired of seeing that stunning one-handed touchdown catch by then emerging wide receiver Ronald Curry. I've replayed that game at least twice during the off season. Boy, it's almost mid-season with us and Indianapolis as the only teams in the AFC with a winning streak of two or more games. We got momentum, keep it going into Kansas City next week.

Raiders 34
Titans 25

Friday, October 28, 2005

Raiders Fan Documentary Now Screening

Wanna know how I'm planning on spending my Friday night? Attending the screening of a short 23 minute documentary about tailgating Raider Fans, that's how. I need to see if the makers of the film do justice to our Raider Nation image. I'm a bit suspicious of persons who've never been to a Raiders game all of a sudden thinking their the Jack Cousteau of fandom. Don't let the costumes and tatoos fool you, we all have jobs and families just like anyone else. Takes money to attend a professional football game these days.

The film maker, Jason Blalock, says he was inspired by a Heavy Metal documentary. Well I don't ever remember seeing infants and grandparents at a Heavy Metal concert, do you? Sure, the Raider Nation has elements of heavy metal types, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's so much more in what I consider one of the most Diversified Nations on earth.

I guess I'm hoping that this film shows more than the "wild side" of tailgating with Raider Fans. With reporting there's responsibility to show and tell all. Unfortunately, Jason may have bought into all the negative hype about drugs and alcohol being the theme of tailgating with Raider fans. Well Jason, if you're going to show the ghetto of a city you should also show the palace.

We're a Nation that welcomes everyone. The only requirement to becoming part of the Raider Nation is pledging your loyalty to the Oakland Raiders, through good times and bad. Our only prejudice is against the opposing teams and some of their obnoxious fans entering our perimeter. And against wanna be documentarists looking for a "shock and awe" type story to pimp. Especially someone from SoCal who's never been to a Raiders game at the coliseum. My question is, who sent you? Jim Rome?

Stay Tuned!

Interview: Jason Blalock

The first time SFist went to an A's game (back when they were only $1 on Wednesday nights) we were struck not by the impressive management, nor the players themselves, but rather by the fans. Not the A's fans, mind you, but the Raiders fans. Yes, Raiders fans at the A's games! We knew that there was something, uh, shocking and aweing about this motley crew.

Jason Blalock combined inspiration from an old SFist fav, Heavy Metal Parking Lot, and his shock and awe-induced state from encountering the Raider Nation, and turned this all into art. Jason's film Oakland Raider Parking Lot is well, amazing. It takes you into the depths of the so called 'Black Hole' of the Raider Nation. Turns out some of those costumes cost THOUSANDS of dollars to make. Make sure you check out Jason's flick while you can at the SF Independent Film Festival.

Oakland Raider Parking Lot screens before 24 Hours on Craiglist and can be seen on Saturday. An additonal screening is TBA, probably on Monday.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Champion Chicago White Sox

Congratulations Chicago White Sox, you're on top of the baseball world winning the MLB 2005 Championship. Although they swept the Houston Astros in four games, each game was a fun, tension filled battle to watch.

For myself, I had nothing invested in either team. I just wanted to see a competitive series and I did. If only the Astros could have batted in another runner or two the series would have been longer. I credit White Sox pitching and defense for winning the close games.

And move over Eric Gagne (aka "The Beast), the baseball world saw the emergence of rookie closer Bobby Jenks. He's big, he's bold and he throws a mean 99mph fastball. I haven't checked his stats from the series but I only remember him giving up hits in one game.

Just so happens that I watched the movie "Eight Men Out" this week. The movie depicts the 1919 Black Sox Scandal. They were called the Black Sox because of their conspiracy with mobsters to throw the 1919 World Series, which the Cincinnati Reds won 5 games to 3. I believe it was the only year the world series was the best out of 9.

Eight Sox players were charged with conspiring to throw the World Series, including their star Joe Jackson. All eight were acquitted of charges but the tough judge and future first commissioner of baseball, Judge Landis, banned all eight players from ever playing major league baseball again.

Based on the movie, "Shoeless Joe Jackson" didn't want to be a part of the conspiracy, but Joe wasn't the brightest apple in the basket and eventually he took the money. The kid in the movie that mouthed the line "Joe, Say it isn't so Joe" did okay, but the scene just seemed a bit too staged, almost anticlimatic. In other words he was no young Ricky Schroeder pleading with his boxer father John Voight in "The Champ." I vote "The Champ" the best sports tear jerker behind the original Brian's Song, (story of Brian Piccolo).

Well, hopefully Shoeless Joe has been given a reprieve up there in baseball heaven. For a man who couldn't spell his own name he was a hero to many fans of that day, young and old. I believe Joe took one for the team when he was banned. He just wanted to play baseball.

So hopefully the 2005 champion Chicago White Sox will raise one of their historical heroes up from the ashes of scandal and give him a proper place of rememberance here in today's baseball world. Make it So Sox, make Shoeless Joe Jackson's legacy one that shows he justed wanted to play baseball. He should be remembered as part of what makes America's Past time so special. Our love for the game.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A Case of Domestic Violence

Well our Park Ranger is off the hook for treating the homicide suspect lightly, but the state courts sure have a lot of xsplaining to do.

Turns out the body in the trunk was the suspects ex-girlfriend whom he'd threatened, attacked, stalked and pretty much told the world he'd kill her someday.

The paper lists the guy's three plus felonies dating back to the year 2000, all involving violent actions toward the girlfriend. He spent less than six months in county jail for all this and lastly was ordered to attend a domestic violence counseling class. They say he'd attended one of the classes just two days before the ex-girlfriend dissappeared.

Guys, let me preach to you about how not to go off the deep end and violently attack the woman you love. Unless you just have a flat out hatred for all women (seek help if you do) you should understand that using physical strength against a woman is easy and addictive. It gives the abuser a sense of power that's most likely stronger than anything he's experienced in his life. Crack cocaine is close but eventually the money runs out. That powerful feeling can make a man feel industructable. When that happens anything is possible. Because once a man feels he's industructible then there's no need for him to respect anything or anyone.

So men, before we allow ourselves to go off the deep end and lose it when dealing with our women, just walk away. She may scream at us, curse us or say the most hurtful things to us that anyone could imagine, still just walk away. Her words are her fists and many women don't know the strength of their words against us.

For us that love sports, watching a game can be an outlet for frustrations in a relationship. Hell, it was the disagreements in my marriage that steered me toward becoming a season ticket holder. We eventually divorced, but she's alive and well and I'm still free to goto the coliseum, eat, drink and scream my frustrations out at my team.

Bottom line, find some way to gain control of that inner monster that we're all capable of becoming. And when all else fails......... get a bigger trunk and put in a false bottom for transporting illegal cargo such as drugs, guns and bodies. Because bigger is better. (tasteless joke I know)

Just Walk Away!

Welcome to the Black Hole

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


In sports, defense is defiance. Defying your opponent the freedom to oppress you with their offensive powers and skills. When a person or group resorts to defiance of someone or something, they're committing themself/selves to defending what they believe to be theirs by right.

If someone or something has taken what was once yours by right, then you must go on the offensive to gain back that which was taken. Once you've obtained that which was taken you don't just sit back and celebrate but begin building on what you've acquired and strengthening your defenses so that what you've amassed will not be taken away again.

Such is the basic principle of sport. So to are principles in life and life's causes.

Today I mourn the loss of a woman who rallied my people into taking back what they believed to be theirs by right. The right to be treated equal as citizens of the United States of America. The lady I honor here today had grown tired of watching her people being oppressed by powers which up to that point were beyond her control.

It was on a winter day in 1955 that my heroine, tired of being offended, let Defiance take over her person and stood in defense of what she believed to be her right. A right to sit in a seat on a bus without having to relinquish the seat because someone with white skin wanted to sit there. Though it may sound like a trivial triumph to persons unaware of the racial history in the U.S., to us who know better it was Huge.

That one act by Mrs Rosa Parks changed the course of history for Black People here in the United States as well as oppressed persons throughout the world. That one act of Defiance signified to all the oppressed worldwide that a single voice, a sparked action, committed to a rightful cause can restore a broken hope and bring about change. A change that's proven we can all enjoy the fruits of this world equally if we stand strong together in Defiance of the many wrongs in humanity.

Mrs. Rosa Parks 1913-2005
A Defiant Patriot Against Oppression and Injustice


My Shepherd is the Lord my God,-
There is no want I know;
His flock he leads in verdant meads,
Where tranquil waters flow.

He doth restore my fainting soul
With His divine caress,
And, when I stray, He points the way
To paths of righteousness.

Yea, though I walk the vale of death,
What evil shall I fear?
Thy staff and rod are mine, O God,
And Thou, my Shepherd, near!

Mine enemies behold the feast
Which my dear Lord hath spread;
And, lo! My cup He filleth up,
With oil anoints my head!

Goodness and mercy shall be mine
Unto my dying day;
Then will I bide at His dear side
Forever and for aye!

By.Eugene Field, 1889

Monday, October 24, 2005

Female corpse found in trunk of man's car

Article 1
U.S. Park Police were questioning a man Sunday after finding the body of a young woman in the trunk of his car parked on Conzelman Road in the Marin Headlands.
A park police officer first came to the aid of the man, who was in a white Honda Civic, about noon Sunday because he looked ill and was vomiting, according to Christine Powell, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service. She said the officer decided there was cause to search the car and in the process discovered the body of a young white female in the trunk.
The man, also white and young, was first taken to Marin General Hospital and later released into the custody of the park police, Powell said. He is a suspect in the case, and authorities were questioning him Sunday to try to determine what happened, she said.

Article 2
A woman's body was discovered Sunday in the trunk of a man's car parked in the Marin Headlands.
A National Park Service ranger approached a man parked on the side of the road on Hawk Hill around 11:45 a.m. because he was vomiting off the side of his car, said U.S. Park Police spokeswoman Christine Powell. After briefly questioning the man, the ranger searched his white Honda Civic and discovered the body in the trunk, she said.
The 25-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was taken to Marin General Hospital, where he was treated and released. Powell said she didn't know what he was treated for.
U.S. Park police held him for questioning late Sunday.
Authorities said the body of a 21-year-old white woman appeared to have been dead for 12 to 24 hours. An autopsy was planned to determine the identity and exact cause of death.

My Comments:
How does a park ranger find a man with a corpse in his car trunk and not immediately call in the authorities to investigate? Based on one article in the paper this morning the gentleman discovered with the corpse in his trunk was taken to the hospital for illness then released into custody of the park rangers for questioning. Another article just states that the man was treated and released. What I want to know is not why the man was riding around with a corpse in his trunk, but what’s the protocol for Park Rangers when discovering such an individual? Should I be found in the same situation, this is still a fictional piece, would the Park Rangers treat me like a cousin who’s just a bit ill and maybe confused or because of maybe my skin color will I be handcuffed and thrown into some cold barracks cell puking my illness all over myself while they wait for the “Real Authorities” to arrive to question me?

I try very hard not to read racial tones into stories such as these but I can’t help but wonder how someone with a corpse, not a dead dog or a stolen palm tree, but a corpse, be given such courteous treatment by anyone wearing a civic badge? If there was suspicion enough to search the suspect’s car, then why wasn’t there precautions taken to apprehend him first and treat his illness later as practiced with so many other arrests? Nowhere in the article does it say why the corpse was in the trunk. So either there’s a language barrier or the suspect is taking the 5th amendment (refusing speech), which would definitely be cause for apprehension and containment.

The tone from the article doesn’t even seem alarming. At first I thought that maybe the Park Rangers, familiar with handling dead animal carcasses, determined the corpse to be that of someone long dead. But then I read the second article and it states that the corpse had been lifeless for 12 to 24 hours. Shouldn’t homicide detectives be called in immediately? Don’t all the homicide television shows say that the trail of a homicide murder is hottest within the first 24 to 48 hours of the crime? But for some unexplained reason the Park Rangers are heading the investigation and that’s what bothers me.

When I Think Park Ranger I think of a friendly guy named Bob dressed in green and wearing a green trooper type hat. You know the type, the outdoorsman with the scraggily mustache. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a park ranger with a firearm or even a pair of handcuffs. They tend to move slow, again probably from their experience with the handling of wild animals. Let’s face it, when was the last time you heard of a Park Ranger breaking open a murder case? Yeah, that’s what I thought, never. If anything it always seems like the Park Ranger is the one that screws up the evidence or fails to take precautions that would’ve caught a criminal sooner. How often do we hear of the Park Ranger stopping a suspicious vehicle only to say a few kind words to the killer behind the wheel, maybe give directions, and send him on his merry way? Only later, when the criminal is caught three states away, do we learn of the terrorized crime spree he’s committed and the lone Park Ranger that could have possibly prevented the carnage had he “called his suspicions into authorities.”

I guess I shouldn’t be so harsh on our Park Rangers. They’re job is to watch after our beautiful parks and remaining wildlife, not take on tough guy roles or play detective whenever humans go bad in their neck of the woods. So we’ll just have to wait and see where this story goes. It’s been a week of sad stories in the bay area with the mother who flung her three children into the bay and the teenager who brutally killed a woman because he needed money for his marijuana venture. How much of this behavior is due to economics and how much of it is just selfish needs? Or is the country just losing it's damn mind I wonder?

Oh, I almost forgot to share my final guess at why the suspect is being treated so royally, he’s related somehow to George Bush. That poor Park Ranger should’ve just given the bad human directions and kept his mouth shut.