Saturday, December 23, 2006

Cliff Branch Hooks a Brotha Up!

The final Raiders home game left little to look forward to come next season. Check that, WR Ronald Curry and RB Justin Fargas had productive games, but the team as a whole with Andrew Walter at quarterback looked just what they are, 2-13. We loyal fans sucked it up while watching KC take one at our house. Most of us will be back next season to cheer on the silver and black once again. Win, Lose or know the motto.

I can at least delight in meeting a Raider Legend today. I met the man who once wore #21 for the Raiders and helped them win three Super Bowls.

WR Cliff Branch was at the Raiders Tailgate Tent before the game signing autographs and I just so happened to be wearing my #21 Branch jersey (white). When I asked CLiff to just hook me up with something nice on the back of my Jersey it almost began in disaster. Not only did the silver pen he was using run out, but he'd began the spelling of my name incorrectly, as many people do. So Cliff being the kind gentleman he is got a better writing pen then said "Tell you what, why not take off the Jersey and let me hook it up for you on a flat surface." The Jersey was off my back and in Cliff's hands quicker than you could say "Touchdown Raiders." And true to his word Cliff hooked my Jersey up with the following:

While Cliff was doctoring up my Jersey I had a fun conversation with another ole skool Oakland Raider. His name was Ted Kwalick and he'd grown up and played college football in Pennsylvania (Penn State). When I mentioned to them both that I was a 70's child watching football and my favorite player at the time was Bob Hayes, Cliff immediately referred to Hayes as "Bullit", his nickname, as we went on to discuss the speedy olympic gold medalist. I complimented Cliff by saying how Bullit just outran everybody on the defense but I remembered Cliff running the short routes and getting the tough yards as well as the bombs. Cliff didn't say anything but the smile it bought to his face told me that I'd given him an early xmas gift. Proof that recognition and appreciation for athletic accomplishments is truly what the players played for back in the day.

When Cliff handed me back the Jersey and saw my face light up with appreciation we both just stood there and enjoyed the moment as if old buddies exchanging xmas gifts. I believe we'd both somehow shared gifts with each other in the way of our exchange of mutual respect and friendship. We shook hands as Cliff wished me and my family a wonderful Merry Xmas, then threw in a joke about getting caught under the miseltoe. And throughout the day when fans asked where I got the Jersey I'd mention not only how I met Cliff at the tailgate tent but just how cool and respectable a person he is. One fan went on to tell me just how cool Cliff was when he and his wife met him one time. The fan said about Cliff all the things I'd just seen in the man. He's truly a Legend and I'm honored to have a Jersey and Game Day memory of him to hold on to.

Cliff did such a good job with his penmanship that at least two fans thought I'd bought my Jersey that way and wanted to know where they could get one. Now that I think about it that could have been the alcohol in them that caused the confusion. Either way, I learned just how well respected and admired #21, former Raider CLiff Branch was and still remains to Raider fans. I can't tell you how many times I heard a fan shout out "Branch" as I walked by. And I always turned and acknowledged that I was representin not just a Raider wide receiver, but a Raider Legend. I feel I reprented Cliff well today. So well I even ate my barbecue like a gentleman for fear of having a few red splats soak into my newly autographed white Jersey.

Now comes the big decision. Do I frame the autographed jersey and hang it up on my Wall of Fame or just retire it for the winter until next football season? Guess I'll find out come next season. For now, as I type out this proud Raider memory, I'll enjoy hanging it up at home, looking at every detail of Cliff's generous personalized autograph and telling the story over and over again to family and friends. The story of how former Raider WR Cliff Branch hooked a brotha up with a xmas gift like no other. Thanks Cliff Branch for being the man you are and the Legend you'll always be to us loyal Raider Fans.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Conspired Against Yet Again

Congratulations Derrick Burgess on your Pro Bowl Selection. HOWEVER:

The NFL Conspiracy against the Raiders is alive and well in 2006. How the hell do you explain Shane Lechler not getting a Pro Bowl nod? How about Nnamdi Asomugha's seven interceptions, tied for third in the AFC? Even Warren Sapp with 8 sacks this season should've been considered for nothing less than a reserve role in the Pro Bowl. The Raiders may rank 32nd in offense but our defense has ranked #1 against the pass. I know the voting is based on fans, players and coaches ballots but as in Presidential elections of late, there's a hole in the machinery and the integrity of the selections has been compromised.

I hate to allow the conspiracy to overshadow the Pro Bowl selection of Derrick Burgess, but even his 11 sacks only guaranteed him a reserve role. I tell you its time the NFL just come clean and admit to their unfair treament of the Raiders since the AFL-NFL merger. Every single player who's come from another team to the Raiders says they've seen questionable treatment of unfairness from the league while playing as a Raider. Though not all subscribe to the Conspiracy Theory, many have smelled a rat lurking in decisions that effect the Raiders in one way or another.

Again back to Shane Lechler, currently the #1 ranked punter in the AFC, he was out voted by the buffalo bills Brian Moorman, ranked #7 in the AFC. Does it have to do with buffalo having a 7-7 record and the raiders 2-12? I watched footage of Shane Lechler punting on I think it was "Behind The Shield." They showed Shane's leg in slow motion. His follow-thru on his punts are a thing of beauty, poetry in motion. Any athlete or person with artistic abilities has to appreciate the way Lechler's Leg swings down and lifts the football up into the heavens. Its like watching a ballet. Unfortunately those that conspire are all too biased against the Raiders to admit the obvious. If they can conspire to keep Ray Guy (former Oakland Raider Punting Great) from being inducted into the Hall of Fame, then they can conspire to keep Lechler out of away from the Pro Bowl in Honolulu come 2007.

Yes football fans, the Conspiracy against the Raiders is alive and well. It doesn't excuse the Raiders poor performance this season, but it sure as hell is good to know we ain't making this stuff up. Just watch the next Shane Lechler punt and you be the judge. Or better yet, find some interview footage of those democratic Florida voters from the 2000 Presidential election and tell me if you believe them when they say something has run afoul in some of the voting precincts. Again, if it looks like a duck and sounds like a's probably a damn duck.

How To Hack A Voting Machine

See why "Numbers Just Don't Add Up"

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Longest Tenured Raiders Fan Passes

Twice before the start of today's game against the St. Louis Rams, the public announcer asked for moments of silence. The first was for American Football League visionary Lamar Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, who passed away this weekend. Though Al Davis and Lamar Hunt had their differences, Al respected the man for all he'd accomplished in building a football league.

With a semi-quiet crowd the announcer began his second request for silence as a tribute to Oakland Raiders equipment man George 'Run Run' Jones. A hush blanketed the coliseum followed by applause. Run run has been with the Raiders since 1963 and he died doing what he loves best, working for the Raiders. The news of Run Run passing was a shock to us fans. Earlier before the game there was a tribute to Run Run Jones at the Black Hole Tailgate which recognized Run Run as one of us. Meaning, he was as fanatical about the Raiders as any Raider Nation fan.

After the moment of silence for Run Run I remained standing and clapping in his honor, then realized that this might be the first game I've attended without Run Run on the sideline. I'm sure I wasn't the only one in the stadium with thoughts of missing Run Run Jones. In Art Shell's postgame radio interview he confirmed that Run Run listed his home address as the Raiders complex. And he was known for saying he had the largest house in California.

For a 77 year old man, Run Run had the excitement and exhuberance of a child when it came to Raiders football. I only met Run Run one time and yes he was wearing all his rings at the time. Thanks for showing us what true loyalty to a team is Run Run. If Run Run had to pass on, it was a blessing to him that he passed while doing the one thing he loved doing all these years; being a Raider in the place he called home.

George 'Run Run' Jones (#33), We the Raider Nation Salute YOU.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Golden State Warriors Entertaining Night

I treated myself to a Golden State Warriors basketball game tonight and boy was it worth every penny. When I heard that the Houston Rockets with Yao Ming would be in town for their only game in Oakland this season, I couldn't resist. I guess you could say Yao fever hit me. Arriving at Oracle Arena (Oakland Coliseum West) I saw that I wasn't the only one looking to get a glimpse of 7ft6in Yao. And Yao did not disappoint, putting up 38pts and playing better than I knew he could.

But the show belonged to Baron Davis (34pts) and the Warriors. A game that seemed to have a life all its own ended with a rousing 10 seconds of tension and elation as Baron sunk a three pointer with 1.2 seconds left to lift the Warriors over the Rockets 109-107. Though Yao had won the battle, Baron won the war.

Last time I considered watching a Warriors game it was like making a dental appointment. In anticipation of the pain to come I'd waited until the last minute (last game of season) to see them play and the actual game was true to the pain I'd envisioned. But this game tonight was no such thing, and Baron Davis's surrounding cast might have been the difference.

For the folks who don't know, there's a young star with mad game in the line-up for the Warriors these days. His name is Monta Ellis, he wears number 8 and he's about 18 months removed from playing at Lanier HS (Jackson, MS). Did I say how nasty he is? He's got a game that appears so smooth and seasoned for such a young player. A team player who isn't afraid to take his shots.

The big suprise for me tonight was the 80% attendance of asian fans that showed up. Wow, I didn't know the asian culture loved basketball so much. Young, old and a few prenatal, the asian community came out in full force to support the Warriors as well as get a glimpse of their homeland superstar Yao Ming.

One other hightlight of the evening was the moment of silence for the late great Paul Azirin, who at 78 years old passed away in his sleep Tuesday night. The announcer reminded the crowd that Paul, a hall of famer, was chosen one of the NBA's 50 greatest players of all time at the NBA 50th anniversary ceremony held during the 1996 all-star game.

As good as young Monta Ellis is predicted to become, It is Baron Davis who wears the Warriors leadership crown. Because when the game is on the line and you need someone to step up and make a play, Baron delivers. He did it tonight in BD fashion and looked good doing it. The 2006 version of Baron Davis is slimmed down, muscle tight and more upbeat than ever. Hopefully his newly styled conditioning will see him less on the injured list and more on the court leading the Warriors to that long awaited playoff birth that's been so elusive and unreachable these last 13 years.

I will be attending another Warriors game or two before seasons end. Who knows, dare I say playoffs?

Other moments:

-Adonal Foyle articulated a warm thank you and happy holidays to all Warriors fans.

-During the teams' instroduction they came onto the court with gifts for the excitedly lucky kids lined up on the court.

-The Warrior Cheerleaders. What can I say. Sure they look young and shake their booty more than show any real gymnastic type ability. Sure some are underdeveloped below the waist and supersized above it, but me complain? I say put a few dancing poles at midcourt and let'em have a go at an adults only show. I'm a good tipper. Go Warriors!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Welcome Back to Silver&Black Doug Gabriel

Whatever the reason the New England Patriots cut former Raiders WR Doug Gabriel, we in Oaktown ain't complaining. Actually, we're slapping our thighs and stomping our feet celebrating his return to the Raiders. And we get to keep the fifth round draft pick acquired from the cheating bums of tuck-rule lore in the process. In a season that's given Raider Nation little to cheer about, this is a high-five moment.

I've always seen Doug Gabriel as a talent just waiting for his chance to shine. Now with Moss injured and Porter still "Shell-Shocked", a youthful receiving corps of Ronald Curry and Doug Gabriel will get their chance at glory this weekend. Curry showed some of his spark last week as the leading receiver in a losing effort against the Bengals. Hopefully newly promoted offensive coordinator John Shoop can find the best way to utilize Gabriel's skills.

Again, welcome back home Doug. Welcome back to a team and coach who'll give you a chance to show what you're made of, both the good and the bad. There's always room for second chances in the Raider Nation. Screw New England.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Buckle Up NFL teams - Speed Kills

Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap small buildings in a single bound. Look, up in the endzone, its Reggie Bush. Again!

Yes folks, he's arrived. RB Reggie Bush showcased his many talents against the SF 49ers yesterday in a New Orleans Saints 34-10 romp. If you weren't around to see the likes of Gayle Sayers, O.J. Simpson, Walter Payton or Barry Sanders, its okay. There's a new superhero of football and he's just down right nasty. He's already stamped his signature on cutback running and leaving tacklers grasping at air. Try catching highlights of his punishment of the 49ers on on-demand NFL. Reggie said he personally took his agression out on the 49ers when angered over his former USC teams' loss to UCLA the day before. The 49ers claim their loss was due more to missed tackles than the heroics of Reggie Bush. I guess if I were faked out of my jock strap or bulldozed over for a touchdown I'd blame bad technique too. But when its Reggie Bush doing it to you it somehow seems silly to blame it on technique doesn't it? I mean, we all saw the 4 touchdown highlights on espn. Just what technique were the 49ers implying? the I got'em, I got'em, I got'em, I ain't got'em technique is what it looked like to me.

Please, when you get a chance catch Reggie Bush's 74 yard catch/run. Oh yeah, he can catch alright. And man is he fast. Former saints LB Pat Swilling, who played two seasons with Barry Sanders, says he's as good as Barry and probably a step faster.

Again, combine the cutbacks of Gayle Sayers, the acceleration of OJ Simpson, the sweetness of Walter Payton, the agility of Barry Sanders and the speed of Bo Jackson and you have a Reggie Bush. The 49ers really shouldn't feel too bad, they're just the first of many to come of teams who will deny they had a problem with stopping Reggie Bush. Kinda like someone with an alcohol, drug or gambling problem who just can't stop. When you can't handle the truth you sometimes fabricate an excuse. But in football there's the tale of the tape, and the tape don't lie! Roll'em - Reggie Bushwhacks 49ers Highlight

Win Lose or Tie!

by William E. Henley

OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

With my Oakland Raiders capturing the worse record of any NFL team this season at 2-10, I still enjoyed a cool sunny day out at the Coliseum. The real Raider Fans showed up to wear their colors and support their team through turbulent times. How turbulent are these times? Read any newspaper this coming morning and I'm sure you'll hear. In the meantime let me tell you why real fans continue to come out to the games and what keeps us coming back each weekend.

A big part of the game experience is tailgating. Seeing and greeting other fans you've grown to love over time. The comraderie that comes with having a single team goal is what makes any season worth the investment of your time. Fantasy football is just a fantasy, but this thing that makes us "Brothers-in-arms" is real. When tailgating before the game there's nothing but optimism about our team's chances on this day. Especially today when we face the just as lowly Houston Texans, a game we knew going in that we'd win. Unfortunately, nobody told our offense how lowly Houston was and we played them as if they were the vaunted Chicago Bears D-fense.

Sporting my newly purchased Cliff Branch Throwback Jersey, white with black 21 numbering, I strolled into the coliseum feeling like King motherfuc@ing Midas. I just knew the day would turn out golden for the Raiders. Full of barbecued tri-tip steak, yams and a few beers I was definitely ready to see the Raiders feast on the Texans for our third win of the season. Well, as you already know that didn't happen, but suprisingly I and many other fans, continued to enjoy our day together. I guess maybe theres a bit of pirate in all of us. When things go bad and the battle seems lost, drink, be merry and live to fight another day. That is if the ship doesn't go down to the bottom of the sea.

Well, enough rambling about having fun while losing. Nobody can truly enjoy losing in sports. There's no real lesson from losing other than learning how to pick yourself up and try to better yourself. Somehow we'll find a way to put a dominant team in silver and black back on the gridiron again. From where we currently sit in the standings the task may seem insurmountable. But the Raiders organization and us fans who support them have been a resilient bunch throughout the years. Not only will we survive, for this too shall pass, but we'll eventually thrive again as one of the elite teams in the NFL. "My head is bloody, but unbowed" -Invictus!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Gator Bait!


Thanks to the great highway of fast internet update information, an audio clip of our infamous "crackhead" alligator victim has been found. The thing I found most disturbing though was not the victims screams or the concerned neighbor's reportage, but the nonchalant inquiry and instruction of the 911 dispatcher.

Listen to 911 Audio of reported Alligator Attack

Amsterdam Curbs Prostitution 'Windows'

Kammers te huur” means “Rooms for rent”

You know times are changing when Amersterdam, known for its legal red-light district, begins downsizing sex worker windows. Depending on which article you read, the reason for the downsize ranges from crime, to money laundering, to financial. Whatever the reason, the 800-year-old district will continue as Amsterdam's biggest tourist attraction, with the hashish dens running a close second. And here in California we're stuck in legal battles over medicinal marijuana. Pleaaassse!!!


Here's a weblink to Amsterdam's Red Light District for those more curious. Its titled "Window Shopping, Amsterdam Style." Amsterdam is a beautiful city.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


We’ve all heard the stories; don’t go too close to the Florida swamps after dusk.” Better still; just stay the hell away from Florida swamps period, especially when partying. Why you may ask?


Flesh-eating Alligators no doubt. One of today’s top news stories drives home the point. Imagine partying on a beach, maybe over-indulging a bit, and then passing out with nobody around. You wake up as you feel yourself being pulled into the water with something knawing away on your arm. Depending on your earlier partying drug of choice you might think it’s a giant gerbil nibbling away or an alien dragging you down toward his spaceship. That is until the hallucination fades and the pain begins to settle in along with reality.

No, it isn’t a shark that's bitten or torn away a piece of flesh leaving enough of the lucky survivor alive to tell a great story to friends and media. Oh no, instead its an alligator, the animal that resembles Godzilla on all fours and unlike the shark, can attack on land or water and eats not in bites but in one bodily chomp-down. You think pit bulls have vice-like jaw strength? Wait’ll you see an alligator chomp down on an arm or leg and not wanna let loose. Marvel as it thrashes about shaking and twisting its prey into submission. Then, if you have the stomach for it, ogle away as the hungry alligator walks backward toward the swamp dragging its screaming victim down to the depths of its lair. The victim’s only chance of survival is usually to cut-off or tear away from his captured bodily limb and let the alligator have his just reward. Hopefully it’s only a limb and not the upper trunk, shudder the thought.

Well here’s a story that may just outdo what you just read above. I just can’t wait to hear the survivor’s story in his own words. And they thought people were crazy in California! Actually, when I first saw the story and heard "crack cocaine" was likely involved, I figured the alligator had swallowed the man's drug stash hidden near the swamp and the self-proclaimed crack addict foolishly tried to get his sh!t back. Maybe we should be more concerned about crack addicts in Florida than alligators, you decide.

Deputies: Man on crack when alligator attacked
Deputies rescue Polk man from jaws of alligator.

Amy L. Edwards
Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted November 30 2006, 2:52 PM EST

LAKELAND -- A man who was attacked by an alligator this morning was naked and smoking crack at the time, Polk County deputies who rescued him said today.

The alligator had the man in his jaws when deputies arrived at Lake Parker in Lakeland about 4 a.m. today. They were called by nearby residents who reported hearing a man yelling for help
The first deputy on the scene was unable to free the man, Adrian J. Apgar, from the alligator's mouth. It wasn't until 3 or 4 of them were in chest-deep water that they were able to pull him free after the tug-of-war.

Apgar, 45, of Polk City, suffered a broken arm, partially amputated left arm and trauma to his left leg. Doctors are trying to reattach the arm at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where was listed in critical condition.

"We don't know whether he'll make it or not," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

According to a news release from the Polk Sheriff's Office, "The very dark conditions and risk of injuring the victim made shooting the alligator impossible, leaving deputies to contend with their own safety after becoming exhausted in waist deep mud. All deputies made it out of the water without injury."

State fish and wildlife officials captured an 11-foot alligator that they think was the biter.

Deputy Billy Osborne first heard the man's cries for help but couldn't see him through the thick brush and dark sky.

"'I have two broken arms and an alligator's got me pinned. I can't move. Please help me,'" the Polk County deputy sheriff related at a news conference today.

As Osborne listened, he followed the voice through more than 20 yards of brush in Lake Parker's murky, chest-deep water about 4 a.m.

Then he saw them: a naked man crouched down in the jaws of an alligator amidst thick cattails in bloodied water.

Other deputies pursued, following the man's cries, Osborne's voice and the sounds of the alligator thrashing around in the water.

Osborne grabbed onto the man's arm and tried to pull him free.

"We were pretty much playing tug-of-war," Osborne, 26, said.

After about 30 seconds, the alligator released the man.

Judd said Apgar told deputies he was smoking crack-cocaine at the adjacent park, but it was unclear why he was naked or why he was attacked by the alligator.

No one answered the door of Apgar's home in rural community and neighbors knew little about him.

Link to audio of 911 alligator attack call!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

Dan Brown writes well and with ease, however, this story seemed to make itself up as it went along. A terrible and unbelievable story that had so much potential in the beginning. I'm kinda hesitant to pickup his other book "The Da Vinci Code." Maybe I'll just rent the movie.

My review on this book - submitted to on 11/29/06

Thank Goodness it was a Fast Read

I really wanted to like this book. At first I cherished carrying around the thick 569 page hardcover enjoying the ease of which Dan Brown's writing can be read. But something happened midway through the story. The story that began with so much scientific intelligence and religious tradition suddenly took on a MacGyver-like air. The book started to truly test my intelligence and patience. As I pushed toward the story's conclusion I realized the best of it had already come and gone some time ago. Anti-climatic might be a word to describe this story. Or maybe I'm just out of touch with the new Video Game style of story plots in books and movies.

I did however learn what an Ambigram is:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Oh SHoop, A New Offensive Coordinator

The Raiders sure work in mysterious ways. Three-quarters through this dismal season of offensive ineptitude they decide on a "New" offensive coordinator. John Shoop, tight-ends coach, has been named the OC for the remainder of the 2006 season replacing Tom Walsh. Most fans will probably give a prayer of thanks tonight. We true fans of the silver and black endure. Hopefully Shoop will bring some creativity and spark to our offense. Maybe Shoop is our early xmas gift from uncle Al. We'll see.

Thanks Tom Walsh for giving it the ole college try and damn near sinking the ship. Welcome aboard John Shoop and may the remainder of this season prove you capable of the task at hand.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Chargers 21 Raiders 14

What helped the Chargers defeat the Raiders?

Rule 3, Section 21, Article 2

“It is a Forward Pass if: (a) the ball initially moves forward (to a point nearer the opponent's goal line) after leaving the passer's hands; or

(b) the ball first strikes the ground, a player, an official, or anything else at a point that is nearer the opponent's goal line than the point at which the ball leaves the passer's hand ...

Note 4: A fumble or muff going forward is disregarded as to its direction, unless the act is ruled intentional. In such cases, the fumble is a forward pass.

Rule 8, Section 1, Article 1, Supplemental Note 5

“An intentional fumble is a forward pass.”
From 2006 Official Playing Rules of the NFL

Here's an article straight from a San Diego newspaper (Union Tribune)that pretty much flaunts the fact that the Chargers got away with one. "Jackson's Action Ends In Satisfaction."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Raiders Defense Delays Denver Victory

The Oakland Raiders Defense gave us fans plenty to cheer about today at the Coliseum. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the Offense as the Denver Broncos squeaked by with a 17-13 win.

Thanks to the Oakland Defense, which is playing in-synch with one another, the Broncos trailed most of the game and were outplayed the entire first half by sparks of Raiders offense and a barrage of Raiders defensive plays.

The Raiders Defense plays both the pass and run with a cohesive agressive team effort. From the D-Line to the Line-Backing core to the D-Backs, all are on the same page in executing Buddy Ryan's, I mean Rob Ryan's defensive schemes. For years we've been asking Santa for a Defense by Christmas and damned if our pleas haven't finally been answered this season.

So I guess prayers should begin going out for an offense. If Tampa Bay and Baltimore can win superbowls with little offense then why not the Oakland Raiders? With each game our Defense improves. They're still going through growing pangs but other NFL teams realize they're a force to be reckoned with on Sunday.

So on a Autumn Sunday full of disappointment for the Raider Nation, there's a ray of hope shining through that makes waiting for Christmas a joy again.

So come on Santa, get off your fat funky azz and deliver those Offensive gifts to Oakland soon. Or you may find your sley and reindeer stripped and left shivering on the corner of E14th and 66thStreet come December. brrrrr!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What It Means to be a Football Fan

"The essence of tradition lies in the hearts of the people who protect and perpetuate that storied history that was handed down to them. And they carefully pass that legacy down to generations yet to come." —From the Foreword by Bo Schembechler

The book is titled "What It Means To Be A Wolverine". This quote from former coach Bo Schembechler pretty much sums up why any fan remains loyal to his team. If you are a true fan of any team, you must honor, respect and pass on the traditions of that team.

Because I'm sporting a gift Michigan Wolverine Jersey this season I figured I'd better brush up on their history. Wow, they've got a history that makes a Raiders fan jealous. Their stadium "The Big House" seats 111,000 fans and has been sold out since 1975. Not only that but this season they're currently ranked No. 2 in the country and have a good shot at playing for the National Championship.

Wearing my Michigan jersey I'm constantly hearing "Go Blue" shouts from obvious Michigan fans. I found the UMGOBLUE.COM site and will continue to follow the team through the rest of the season.

But check out some incredible writeups about the Michigan Wolverine Football Tradition:

Michigan football is all about tradition. Michigan has not has a losing season since 1967, the longest streak in college football. In fact, they have had only had 14 losing seasons in their 126 year history. They will be playing in their 31st consecutive bowl game. Also the longest streak in college football which would also be about 8 years longer were it not for the Big Ten conferences ridiculous rule that only one team could go to a bowl game up until 1975. Michigan lost only three regular season games from 1970 to 1974 yet only went to one bowl game.

The University of Michigan began playing football in 1879 and hasn’t slowed up yet. The Michigan Wolverines have an All-time record of 849-280-36. The Wolverines’ 849 victories is the most in NCAA history and their .744 winning percentage is also the best of all-time. The Michigan Wolverines have won more Big Ten Championships, forty-two, than anyone, won 18 bowl games, captured three National Championships and have had four Heisman Trophy winners.

". . . how can anyone come close to the tradition in Ann Arbor where games have been played since 1879? "More victories than any school anywhere in the country . . . around 111,000 fans for each game at the Big House . . . the most distinct helmet in the country . . . the greatest fight song in the history of college sports . . . with Ohio State, the most celebrated rivalry in all of sports . . . New Year’s Day bowl games . . . Big Ten championships . . . the tunnel . . . the Little Brown Jug . . . the marching band . . . the tailgate parties. ". . . The history is alive and endless.

Go Blue!

Friday, November 03, 2006

What The "Hell" is up with the Evangelical Church?

Thought you heard it all didn't you. 5 year olds selling drugs, grandmothers running credit card scams, Mayors smoking crack cocaine. But this one, if completely true just rubs my hide.

Evangelist Admits Meth, Massage, No Sex

The "President" of the National Association of Evangelicals, a 30-million member association, resigned his holy post after "ADMITTING" he bought methamphetamine and received a massage from a gay prostitute. However, he denies having sex with said prostitute. The 49-year old male prostitute, that's right, a road with lots of wear, claims their relationship was much more than a one-time fling and..............has the Holy Ghost on tape to prove it. Oh My!

Here's one excerpt from the voicemail recording of his excellence:

"Hi Mike, this is Art," one call began, according to the station. "Hey, I was just calling to see if we could get any more. Either $100 or $200 supply."

Here's a second excerpt:

A second message, left a few hours later, began: "Hi Mike, this is Art, I am here in Denver and sorry that I missed you. But as I said, if you want to go ahead and get the stuff, then that would be great. And I'll get it sometime next week or the week after or whenever."

The shame of it all is that this Evangelical Leader has been leading the way on a state amendment bill to ban same-sex marriage which is on Tuesday’s voting ballot in Colorado.

Imagine any member of any religious group wearing the cloth stating the words; "Yes I purchased methamphetamine and a massage from a 49-year old male prostitute, but I didn't have sex."

Why that's right up there with Bill Clinton's, "I tried marijuana once, but I didn't inhale" and "I did not have sexual relations with THAT WOMAN." Had Monica not opened her mouth after the dirty deed was done and allowed the "spunk" to leak out all over her dress, Bill's claim might still ring true. But as the old saying goes, "loose lips sink ships."

Of course most of the Evangelical leaders 14,000 church members are crying political assassination since the news hit right before the elections. But the fact is that he ADMITS to some of the accusations and heard on tape making arrangements.

So will somebody, anybody please tell me............did the horns of Armageddon blow signifying the end of the world and I was just too damn busy watching sports?

And I thought I would be sent to "Hell" in a gasoline suit. Hell is when you do something bad and everything about you, along with your picture, is posted on Wikipedia, the new world sourcebook. Welcome to Hell Ted Haggard.

See: Ted Haggard

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Passing of Legends

When Buck O'neil, the baseball ambassador who helped uncover the glory of Negro League Baseball, passed away in early October at the age of 86, I was saddened. I felt that baseball had lost a part of its history they'd only recently rediscovered.

Then I was saddened this week when Red Auerbach, coach of eight consecutive Boston Celtic NBA Championship teams, passed away at 89. The game of Basketball had lost a man considered the Greatest Coach in the History of the game.

Today I'm saddened yet again by the loss of a sports figure. I'm saddened because I and the rest of the sporting world only recently discovered the man considered the oldest living professional baseball player of today. His name was Silas Simmons and he died yesterday at the ripe old age of 111.

The St. Petersberg Times discovered Silas "Si" Simmons off a tip from Genealogist David Lambert the other year and have written him up a few times in their daily paper. Here's a link to one of the recent write-ups by staff writer Dave Scheiber: Baseball Legend Turns 111

I think of the history this man has lived through and the stories he could tell if only we'd known. Imagine watching a baseball game with someone who saw Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and many great baseball players both black and white play. Imagine, if you're as much a history buff as I am, asking someone to compare Barry Bonds to other great sluggers of the post WWII era. Heck, "Si" was alive when the Chicago Cubs last won a World Series back in 1910. He was around when the 1917 Boston Red Sox won it and I'm sure he remembered the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal and Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Though "Si" was not allowed to play against the white professional teams of his day due to the MLB segregation rules, it didn't stop him from going to the games and seeing the white players play baseball. His memories of the great black professional baseball players actually predates the negro leagues of Buck Oneil's time.

One article stated that he was born just 30 years after the assination of Abraham Lincoln. That alone makes the historian in me curious about this man. You figure he grew up around folks talking about the "War between the States." He was a young boy growing up in Philadelphia when the Philadelphia A's (now Oakland A's) team was first organized in 1900. And again, he probably remembers the days when the Chicago Cubs were a MLB powerhouse with the infamous infield of Tinker, Evers and Chance.

Silas "Si" Simmons may not have been one of the greats who played the game of baseball, but he's been a great fan of the game longer than anyone I've ever known. And that is something I'll miss having the chance to hear about; the fans view of games and players past.

Silas "Si" Simmons, a lover of baseball and life.

Early Picture of Homestead Grays (Silas was a pitcher and outfielder)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

DE Derrick Burgess - The Autumn Wind Indeed

October 29, 2006

McAfee Coliseum

Oakland, California

Attendance: 62K+

By now the entire Football World has heard about the Oakland Raiders upsetting victory over the defending superbowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Everyone is wondering if the Raiders Defense is as good as it looked in stopping the Steelers offense time after time when it mattered most.

Time became a huge factor at the end of the game with the Raiders leading by seven and Pittsburgh marching down-field on quick offensive gains. But the NFL's 5th ranked defense going into this weekend's contest proved true to their ranking by denying Pittsburgh a taste of the endzone on four downs beginning at the 10-yard line. The Raider Defense's game clinching goal-line-stand helped beat the clock and the Steelers 20-13.

On a day that began with setting clocks back an hour, the Oakland Raiders treated a sellout crowd to throwback Raiders Football by imposing their Defensive Will on an opponent's offense. I wasn't there to be a part of those Raiders of Old games but I've heard many stories from oldtimers who did witness the magic. Everthing these diehard fans have talked about and passed down over the years was witnessed by us new generation fans in the Oakland Coliseum (McAfee Coliseum) on Sunday. From the fan noise to the dominating defense scoring touchdowns on the field to the opposing Pittsburh Steelers fans waving "Terrible Towels" throughout the stadium, it all seemed like one big throwback gameday. And of course the Autumn Winds of late October were rollicking and sweeping along the stands, sending chills through those unprepared or too sober to fend off the late cool afternoon breezes.

Except in this game there was no Immaculate Reception to thwart the Raiders Victory. No Franco or Fuqua to cause a frustrating and controversial outcome. A Pittsburgh Hail Mary completion at the three yard line as time expired was close, but the Raiders defense had played too great a game to allow any breakdowns at this stage. They stuffed the desperation play and swaggered boisterously off the field as Victors.

Play of the Game: Chris Carr's 100-yd interception return put the exclaimation point on the Defensive Unit's dominating day.

The Home Crowd Noise without question wins the 12th man award. It felt so good to see, hear and feel the rumble of the fans shaking the Coliseum once again, and not with fist-fights but actual screams, chants and whistles in support of our team. As a matter of fact, though I'm sure there were some incidents of disruptive fan behavior Sunday, I did not witness any encounters of fan disturbance. The many many Pittsburgh fans that showed up wearing their colors were treated with much respect and football brotherhood. I guess the action on the field kept us all too focused on the football action to consider any attacks in the stands. The fan rivalry was as good if not better than what I saw at candlestick park a few weeks ago against the Niners. Well, maybe not, but when you win all seems right and wonderful in the world.

To sum up the day of Victory for the Oakland Raiders fans who couldn't be at the Coliseum Sunday, I give you this word: PRIDE!

Our team, though not perfect as a team yet, made us PROUD to be Oakland Raiders Fans. The Autumn Wind is a Raider!

Final Score
Raiders 20
Steelers 13

Thursday, October 19, 2006

X Marks The Spot

I've commented on past stories about corpses being harvested for bone and tissue parts for sale to biomedical supply companies. I knew then that funeral home directors and morticians were involved in this grisly scheme which profited them greatly. What I didn't know about at the time was oral surgeon Michael Mastromarino's alleged involvement in such cases.

It is alleged that THE DOCKTOR not only removed skin, bone and other parts from up to 1,000 bodies in funeral homes and made millions of dollars selling the stolen tissue to bio medical companies, but x-rays of victims show plastic pvc pipe fittings where leg and hip bones should have been.

reprint from associated press:
Someone had inserted white plastic pipes - the kind used for home plumbing projects, available at any hardware store. all without the permission of the deceased family of course. The pipes were crudely reconnected to hip and ankle bones with screws before the legs were sown back up.

Today's news reports that seven funeral directors linked to a scheme to plunder corpses and sell the body parts for transplants pled guilty to undisclosed charges and have agreed to cooperate with investigators.

The X-rays shown in the SF Chronicle today are simply unbelievable, clearly showing the pipes and fittings attached to skeltal remains as part of a coverup. It proves to me that the men who did this give Mary Shelly's Dr. Frankenstein a bad name. At least herr Frankenstein was scientifically trying to create life, not profit from death.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Raiders Need Leader Who Can Get Things Done By Any Means Necessary

The Media has labeled him a criminal with the nickname "Casino Jack," a name synonymous with bribery and scandal. His past actions still trickle down into today's headlines exposing guilty politicians throughout the country. And no one political group is exempt from his influence which reaches as high up as the White House.

Who is this man and why do I think he'd be a good fit to lead the Raiders out of the darkness they find themselves in at 0-4?

He's Jack Abramoff that's who, an opportunist who obviously thinks outside the box and gets the job done. Casino Jack has been successful at lobbying for many causes and it seems he has a knack for getting people to buy into his ideas. He's what you'd call a natural born leader with just the right charisma to make people unselfishly give of their time, money, professional skills and committment. Casino Jack is a top level negotiator who can bargain with the best.

I believe if we had Casino Jack running things for Raider Nation, we'd have coaches, trainers, players and even marketing personnel lining up to be a part of his team. You think John Gruden was a mover and a shaker, wait til' Casino Jack strolls onto the turf, fedora hat cocked at a slight forward-downward angle. He's already acquired the Raiders Mystique, the villain everyone wants to blame and hate. Sure he robbed them politicians of their gold, they offered and he gladly took it. And as of today he still laughs as he's conquered and won.

So for all you old Raider Faithfuls who've stuck with the decisions of Big Al throughout the years, take a minute to read about the man I think would be a perfect fit for running the Oakland Raiders. A man who knows how to acquire the resources needed to get the job done, by any means necessary. Pillaging just for fun.

Read about the colorful history of: Casino Jack Abramoff

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Raiders Tailgate New Feature

Raider Fans, do whatever you gotta do to have Monday afternoon off at work. Because the pre-game tailgating activities are gonna kickoff five hours before game time, and it's gonna be a Party. You know how we do it out there.

There's a new feature to tailgating this season, the Oakland Raiders Organization has setup a "Tailgate Zone" in the Coliseum parking lot. This might be worth checking out. The Tailgate Zone pic alone got my passion bubbling. Great artwork Raiders. Seems to be another improvement by the organization in attempting to bond with us fans. A good tailgating event for the kids too.

Remember to be responsible and Tailgate Safely. The eyes of the NFL will most likely pay a visit to our tailgating neighborhood come Monday and we don't want the cameras misrepresentin our passion for the Raiders. We may bleed silver and black but there's no honor in spilling blood while tailgating. It's a Party!

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Autumn Winds are Calling

I arrive home Friday after putting in a good days work. One new message is flashing on the answering machine. I press play and hear a pre-recorded message from Oakland Raiders Hall of Fame Center Jim Otto. When you think of Jim Otto you think of a tough, durable and loyal Raider who still bleeds silver and black. He's the only player I remember wearing number 00 other than 1970's Oilers WR Kenny Burroughs. Simply put, Jim Otto is a Legend.

So when the message started with "Hi, this is Jim Otto of the Oakland Raiders Organization" I stopped opening my mail and froze with mouth open and ears tuned in. Its not often I've gotten a call from a Raider Legend thanking me for purchasing season tickets and encouraging me to bring my passion to the coliseum on Monday night against the Chargers. Jim f*cking Otto, the silver and black John Wayne.

I know it was just a pre-recorded phone call that could have been a marketing pitch except for one noticeable thing. Jim wasn't selling anything, he wasn't taking a survey or asking for donations. The call was a sincere attempt from the Oakland Raiders Organization to reach out and show their appreciation to every season ticket purchaser. I don't think the OFMA of years past even sent a hint of appreciation much less a phone call of thanks from a Raider Legend.

For those of us who received the call, we appreciate being acknowledged for supporting our team. It's things like this that make our Raiders family that much closer. You know how a parent feels when receiving a call from their child just because they appreciate you. Well, we of the Raider Nation see our team as our baby. We support it as best we can through all the trials and tribulations of growing. Through the good times and bad we're there cheering or comforting our team. And when our child proves itself superior we'll be there crying tears of joy as our Raiders hoist the Lomabardi Trophy into the air claiming victory for our family.

We Are The Raider Nation. We Support One Another. We Welcome the 2006 Season.

Let's Play Some Football!

Win Lose or Tie
Raider T'il I Die

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Word On Domestic Violence

A blog reprint from a year ago. Why? Because I visited a Battered Women's Crisis Center today and was reminded of the help many of us Men still need in learning how to treat our women. It ain't cool Man. Matter of fact, it's down right Criminal.

Domestic Violence

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

Turns out the body in the trunk was the suspect’s 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 disappeared.

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. I suppose it’s like the edge an athlete gets from taking steroids, but with no dosage control. That powerful feeling can make a man feel indestructible. When that happens anything is possible. Because once a man feels he's indestructible then there's no need for him to respect anything or anyone. At that point he’s out of control of himself.

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 under physical or emotional strain don't realize the impact their words may carry. Most likely we share in the cause of her emotional strain as relationships can be emotionally draining at times. But words hurtful to a man’s ego or dignity do not justify a violent response, especially when spoken by a woman.

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 Raiders season ticket holder. We eventually divorced, but she's alive and well and I'm still free to go to the coliseum, cover my face in silver and black war paint, eat, drink and scream my frustrations out at the opposing team.

Bottom line; find some way to gain control of that inner monster that we're all capable of becoming. Know the inner workings of your own emotions and the things that trigger good and bad actions in you. As the wise old saying goes ‘Know Thy Self’. And when all else fails remember to just walk away. You can always try to love her another day. Love should never become as dysfunctional as to warrant a violent act. Once a man’s violence replaces his love and respect for a woman, the only thing he can become tomorrow is the monster in her worse nightmare. Don’t become a monster!

Just Walk Away!

W. Powell

Monday, September 04, 2006

Land From Down-Under Loses An Ambassador

As Australia mourns the loss of a native son, we who love learning about animals share in their loss.

Steve Irwin, who died today from a stingray barb during a diving expedition, not only introduced us to animals but showed us how to (or not to) mingle with animals in their habitat.

I remember as a kid watching Lorne Green's "Wild Kingdom" show. Lorne would narrate while his assistant Bob would get close to wild animals in their habitat. It was a great show but the close calls they had with the animals seem staged compared to today's standards. But it was the 70's and who knew? Lorne was the man.

It wasn't until Steve Irwin's show "Crocodile Hunter" aired years later that Lorne's Wild Kingdom lost a bit of its bite. What Crocodile Hunter did was put you the viewer on the edge of danger with Steve while he approached a wild animal, caught it and pried open its jowls to show you its carniverous set of choppers. All done while explaining to us what would happen if we ever got caught by such an animal. I don't ever recall Lorne or Bob showing such courage. Maybe a zoom in on a pack of lions roaming the Serengeti Plains, but Lorne didn't take any chances when it came to getting out on foot and approaching a wild animal.

The Crocodile Hunter was just the opposite. He had to get a close up view of the animals and their habitat and instead of showing fear he displayed a kid-like curiousity that brought out the curious george kid in all of us watching.

We Americans loved the movie character "Crocodile Dundee" when it hit the screens here in the United States. But we knew the character was just a Hollywood re-creation of a tarzan-like hero. That was until the Crocodile Hunter landed on the screen. Crocodile Hunter was the real Dundee. He really had a way with animals that very few humans have. What made him so enjoyable to watch was that he loved doing what he did and he made you love watching him do it.

Personally, I'm not much of an animal lover. I'm ashamed to say that I did all the bad things Little boys dream of doing to animals. Cats, Frogs, Turtles and Insects all were just torture victims throughout my childhood. I wasn't curious to see how animals lived but how they died. That bit of sadistic treatment probably is what molded me into the horror movie and rabid contact sports fanatic that I am today. I'm not proud of it but as Popeye would say, "I am what I am."

Had I had a Steve Irwin on the tube during my childhood teaching me how to meet and mingle with animals maybe I'd be a pet owner today, who knows? But I'm glad to have had a chance to watch Steve in action and he's taught me lessons I continue to learn everyday, lessons like you're never to old to learn and instead of being fearful of things unknown, be curious and adventurous learning about them. And Careful!

I don't know all the details of Steve Irwin's death, but it sounds like he died doing what he loved, exploring the animal kingdom.

Steve Irwin, aka "Crocodile Hunter", dead at age 44

Saturday, September 02, 2006

#85 Doug Gabriel Traded to New England

I was shocked to hear the Raiders traded Doug Gabriel. I thought Gabriel was the best possession receiver we had and always seemed to come up with spetacular catches. If the reason for trading Gabriel is because we have depth at wide receiver then I sure hope Ronald Curry can stay healthy and Jerry Porter stays. If defenses continue to double Moss, then that all important possession receiver becomes very important for us.

Gabriel was also good for returning punts. If we're trying to get to and win a superbowl "NOW," I don't understand giving up so much for a #1 pick next season.

I don't believe Art Shell could have had a say in the decision. Art has to know the importance of Gabriel in the offense. I'd almost say that Gabriel is, I mean was the closest thing to a Cliff Branch that we had. So much for returning to the glory days. I'm pissed at the Raiders for making a decision that may just come back to bite'em in the azz.

Congratulations New England Patriots on acquiring a quality young receiver that will pay dividends for years to come.

Thanks for the memories Doug, and good luck over there in the east.

Oakland Raiders 2006 Roster

Here are the Raiders players that coach Art Shell will lead into battle this season:

# Name POS Ht Wt Age Exp College
47 Adkisson, James TE 6-5 230 26 1 South Carolina
83 Anderson, Courtney TE 6-6 270 25 3 San Jose State
21 Asomugha, Nnamdi CB 6-2 210 25 4 California
70 Badger, Brad G 6-4 320 31 10 Stanford
67 Boothe, Kevin G 6-5 315 23 R Cornell
91 Brayton, Tyler DE 6-6 280 26 4 Colorado
2 Brooks, Aaron QB 6-4 220 30 8 Virginia
56 Burgess, Derrick DE 6-2 260 28 6 Mississippi
23 Carr, Chris CB 5-10 180 23 2 Boise State
40 Cooper, Jarrod S 6-1 215 28 6 Kansas State
32 Crockett, Zack RB 6-2 240 33 12 Florida State
89 Curry, Ronald WR 6-2 210 27 5 North Carolina
50 Ekejiuba , Isaiah LB 6-4 240 24 2 Virginia
31 Eugene, Hiram DB 6-2 200 25 1 Louisiana Tech
25 Fargas, Justin RB 6-1 220 26 4 USC
49 Foschi, John Paul RB 6-4 270 24 2 Georgia Tech
76 Gallery, Robert T 6-7 325 26 3 Iowa
36 Gibson, Derrick SS 6-2 215 27 6 Florida State
64 Grove, Jake C 6-4 300 26 3 Virginia Tech
77 Hawthorne, Anttaj DT 6-3 310 24 2 Wisconsin
53 Howard, Thomas LB 6-3 240 23 R UTEP
24 Huff, Michael S 6-1 205 23 R Texas
71 Hulsey, Corey G 6-4 325 29 5 Clemson
94 Huntley, Kevin DE 6-7 270 24 1 Kansas State
96 Irons, Grant LB 6-6 285 27 5 Notre Dame
11 Janikowski, Sebastian K 6-2 250 28 7 Florida State
51 Johnstone, Lance DE 6-5 250 33 11 Temple
34 Jordan, LaMont RB 5-10 230 27 6 Maryland
93 Kelly, Tommy DT 6-6 300 25 3 Mississippi State
9 Lechler, Shane P 6-2 225 30 7 Texas A&M
42 Lee, ReShard RB 5-10 220 25 3 Middle Tennessee State
10 Madsen, John WR 6-5 220 23 R Utah
79 McQuistan, Paul T 6-6 315 23 R Weber State
19 Morant, Johnnie WR 6-4 220 24 3 Syracuse
52 Morrison, Kirk LB 6-2 240 24 2 San Diego State
18 Moss, Randy WR 6-4 210 29 9 Marshall
38 Poole, Tyrone DB 5-8 190 34 12 Fort Valley State
84 Porter, Jerry WR 6-2 220 28 7 West Virginia
26 Routt, Stanford CB 6-1 195 23 2 Houston
90 Sands, Terdell DT 6-7 335 26 4 Tenn.-Chattanooga
99 Sapp, Warren DT 6-2 300 33 12 Miami (Fla.)
30 Schweigert, Stuart S 6-1 210 25 3 Purdue
65 Sims, Barry T 6-5 300 31 8 Utah
78 Slaughter, Chad T 6-8 340 28 6 Alcorn State
58 Thomas, Robert LB 6-0 235 26 5 UCLA
62 Treu, Adam C 6-5 300 32 10 Nebraska
8 Tuiasosopo, Marques QB 6-1 220 27 6 Washington
66 Walker, Langston T 6-8 345 26 5 California
16 Walter, Andrew QB 6-6 230 24 2 Arizona State
27 Washington, Fabian CB 5-11 185 23 2 Nebraska
87 Whitted, Alvis WR 6-0 185 31 9 North Carolina State
86 Williams, Randal TE 6-3 235 28 6 New Hampshire
54 Williams, Sam LB 6-5 260 26 4 Fresno State
Injured Reserve
59 Bing, Darnell LB 6-2 230 21 R USC
82 Francis, Carlos WR 5-10 190 25 3 Texas Tech
28 Green, DeJuan RB 5-11 205 26 1 South Florida
73 Quarshie, Michael DT 6-2 295 26 1 Columbia
43 Santiago, O.J. TE 6-7 265 32 7 Kent State
43 Wusu, Timi LB 6-3 210 23 R Stanford

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Death Race 2006

Call me a sick puppy for this one. Front page headline in SF reads "Driver's Rampage." Its worth the read, trust me. If you were around in 1975 you may remember the movie "Death Race 2000," where hit and run driving is no longer a felony, it's Thee National Sport.

Here's the plot:
In 2000 America has been rebuilt by one man, the President has become an emperor. With this power he created the Race. Every year violent role-playing psychopaths are placed behind the wheels of high performance killing machines and sent across the country. Their goal? Finish alive with the most points from running down as many pedestrians as possible and it's all perfectly legal. See a line of doctors and nurses on the sidewalk? Thump, thump, thump: 110 points.

points are scored for every person killed, with different point values depending on the age, gender and importance of the person killed. According to the movie, the point system appears to be as follows:

* Male adult: 20
* Male teenager: 40
* Male infant/toddler: 70
* Female (any age): +10 point bonus
* Senior citizen (regardless of gender): 100

Back to the future in San Francisco, a seemingly normal young man got behind the wheel of an SUV and began a driving rampage that would leave one dead and fourteen injured. He started by collecting his one casualty in Fremont then must of figured the pickings were better in the big city. In San Francisco, with all the jaywalking homeless, outdoor cafe sitters and window shopping tourist available, our deranged driver suffered ecstasy overload and blew a fuse. He began his game of picking off people with his SUV and didn't stop until police rammed his car and pulled him out unfazed by the carnage he'd caused.

If points were being given for victims he wouldn't have scored in the top ten of a death race. But from the looks of it he was driving for bonus points when he hit an FBI agent out on a lunchtime stroll. It was said that there were many near misses of pedistrians, maybe our driver needs an eye exam.

In one case he hit two persons, then when the ambulance arrived and medics were attending to the injured, he returned to finish the job. Like a predator taunting his prey. Witnesses, and there's always witnesses after the crime, say when he rode past the second time he looked them in the eye with a hateful stare. He was probably mad that they'd taken points away from him by helping the injured.

One witness describes what he saw:

"I was in my car coming south on Filmore and the light turned green. Two seconds after my car was in the intersection I saw the SUV coming 35 or 40 mph and hit the main in the crosswalk. His body was thrown 25 feet. His body stuck to the grille of the car and was tossed off as the car turned right. If the guy had not turned right I believe this guy would have been run over completely."

Now, with the driver in custody, I wonder if pedestrians in San Francsico will pay more attention when crossing the streets? Mind you our death race driver scored points by driving on sidewalks as well. Suprisingly, he didn't score points by hitting any bicyclists although he did demolish a parked bicycle on the sidewalk. Boy, I bet he'll be pissed when he learns "Critical Mass" was just last Friday.

For the full story of this deathrace fiasco go to San Francisco Chronicle's "Driver's Rampage-Chaso In The Streets."

I seriously see a Hollywood Production coming out of this horror. Where is David Carradine these days?

Welcome Home 2006 Little League World Champions

Ryan Lane, left and Cody Walker look at the front page of the Atlanta Journal Constitution featuring the headline "World Champs" and a picture of them taken Monday moments after their team won the Little League World Series title, as they arrive at Hartsfield-Jackson International on their way home to Columbus, Ga., Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2006, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Imagine watching your kid on television hit the game winning home run in the little league world championship being played in Japan? You have to wait for his return to hug him and tell him how proud you are of him. Imagine the emotions taking over you as he steps off the plane with the rest of his championship team?

Well, that did happen to a lucky parent the other day and I'm sure she and her son are still on a high.

For those who missed it, Cody Walker slugged his team to victory with a two run homer off Japan pitcher Go Matsumoto. Cody may be the game MVP with that one swing of the bat, but the entire Columbus,Ga. team deserves the credit for a Championship Season fulfilled.

As a matter of fact, I'm sure all the proud parents of the Columbus,Ga. Little League Team are flying high as their kids settle in back at home as Little League World Champions.

Congratulations Kids, Well Done!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Raider Nation Celebration Day

I won't let the news of QB Jeff George being signed ruin my post celebration day today. the Raider Nation came out in full force to meet, greet and be treated to a fun-filled Raider Nation Celebration at McAfee Coliseum yesterday afternoon. Though there wasn't as much used team merchandise on sale as last year, many fans left with the looks of having participated in a shopping spree.

This being the second annual Raider Nation Celebration held at the Coliseum, the Raiders Organization knows how to make us fans feel an important part of the family. I only wish the national media could have been there to see the pride and passion of true Raiders fans minus the alcohol and tailgating fool who always seems to get tv coverage with his unsportsmanlike outbursts.

The Raider Nation Celebration is a day of true sharing and caring. Its what we as Raiders fans look forward to as much as seeing our team win. Its a day of sharing the pride of being home with the Silver & Black family both on the field and in the stands.

Many priceless moments, believe me. Watching a seven year old girl with eyeblack on and wearing a #18 Moss Jersey begging her mom for a new Warren Sapp #99 jersey in Black? Priceless!

A Blind thirteen year old with his walking stick and dark glasses walking unguided away from the front row of section 117 with an autographed football held tightly under his arm, his father trailing behind with a smile bright enough to clear their path? Priceless!

Randy Moss playing catch with fans in the stands opposite the main celebration area? And the fans continued throwing the ball back instead of keeping it? Priceless!

Seeing Raider Legend and Hall of Famer Jim Otto "JOG" from the tunnel when introduced wearing a big John Wayne smile and looking good in a black suit? Priceless.

Hearing the fans cheer just as loud for Run Run Jones, the leagues oldest and longest tenured equipment coordinator, as for Randy Moss during introductions?

And finally, seeing and hearing John Madden's introduction into the Hall of Fame as it played on the jumbotrons throughout the day, Priceless!

John Madden said it best during his introduction speech. "Stand and remain standing, this is our day of recognition, enjoy it."

Well John, if ever the Raider Nation Fans felt recognized and respected as part of the Raiders Organization, yesterday was that day for us.

Thank You Oakland Raiders Organization for giving us our day of Celebration once again.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

How To Reply To A Chain Prayer Email

I received a chain prayer email that suggested I forward it to 8 persons in order to receive a miracle from God tomorrow. Now I'm not the most religious guy on the net but I do know the difference between God's words and those of an IT addict with fundamentalist religious beliefs and a Jimmy Swaggert collection plate offering.

So I replied with the following humble yet questioning message to all thirty or so blessed souls who'd been sent this email of holy promise. Feel free to use it the next time you receive such a email blessing.

I truly appreciate these chain emails of shared blessings and prayers. What I fail to understand is the misunderstanding or superstitious belief of passing emails on to 8 people in order to receive a miracle from God.

Those of us who put God first in our lives count the numerous miracles God has granted us every moment of the day:

A respectful child
A proud parent
A wise grandparent
A loving brother or sister
A soulful church member
A humble stranger
A understanding friend
A helpful co-worker
A soothing pet
A new day
A meal
A home
A breath

If you havent looked upon one of the above as a miracle from God, then perhaps passing this email on to 8 persons will enlighten you to the miracles in your life tomorrow. But remember, God's been performing miracles way before he granted us email. Its our awareness that is sometimes lacking or distracted.

God Bless All of You!

note: We often take God's gifts for granted. Its when we find ourselves deprived of those basic needs in life that we become aware of God's blessings upon us.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Raiders Slay Lions 21-3

Simply Beautiful!
Moss 63 yard TD Catch

TD Randy Moss, 63 Yd pass from Aaron Brooks (Sebastian Janikowski kick is good), 14:00. Drive: 3 plays, 64 yards in 1:00.
TD Randy Moss, 25 Yd pass from Aaron Brooks (Sebastian Janikowski kick is good), 13:39. Drive: 9 plays, 59 yards in 4:29.
TD LaMont Jordan, 14 Yd run (Sebastian Janikowski kick is good), 8:51. Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards in 3:15.
FG Jason Hanson 38 Yd, 2:07. Drive: 8 plays, 62 yards in 4:03.

Friday night at the Coliseum was party time for the Raider Nation. With the team jelling and taking care of business on the field the fans were rollicking in the stands with preseason giddiness. Why? Because Our Oakland Raiders have heeded to the teachings of coach Art Shell. They've returned to their winning ways and are doing it in ol'skool Raiders style.

Offensive line play was brilliant. QB Aaron Brooks looks comfortable and is clicking with Randy Moss. Running game setup a clicking passing game. Defense shutdown pass and run. Special teams is giving opponents irregular cardiac palpatations while with the ball and causing cardiac arrest with their relentless pursuit of the ball. Penalties weren't much of a factor and no known injuries. A very productive night and quality victory for the Raiders.

Just to throw out some players who made outstanding plays tonight:

LB KirkMorrison, KR Chris Carr, RB Lamont Jordan, DE Derrick Burgess, DT Terdell Sands, C Corey Hulsey, T Langston Walker, TE Randall Williams, DB Tyrone Poole, SS Derrick Gibson, CB Stanford Routt, P Shane Lechler, RB Justin Fargas

The Oakland Raiders have been revitalized with strength, leadership and speed. Look out NFL, We're Back and Nastier Than Ever.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Raiders Center Jake Grove Shoulder Injury

Oakland Raiders starting center Jake Grove injured his shoulder in practice Tuesday and will miss this Friday's exhibition game against the Seattle Seahawks. A huge blow to an offensive line that allowed no sacks and great protection in the win over the 49ers.

This news comes a day after charges for assaulting a police officer were dropped against former Raiders center Barrett Robbins, an integral part on the team's 2002 road to the superbowl. Barrett unfortunately suffers from Bi-polar and we wish him well on his road to recovery.

In the meantime, little experienced OG, Corey Hulsey, will takeover center duties and coach Art Shell feels confident that Hulsey can get the job done.

Grove is scheduled for a second MRI on his left shoulder and I suppose he could be back soon, but from the sound of it the news ain't good. I like the fact that coach Shell is taking this bitter pill of news and using it as way to show confidence in backup position players with less experience. The message to backup players is "Be Prepared to Play."

Tainted Body Parts?

Somebody tell me just what the hell is going on in the medical field. We're paying high prices for what is supposed to be the best medical insurance money can buy and now this? And this isn't the first time either.

Oh, for those who didn't know let me bring you up to speed. Human Cadaver tissue is used regularly in routine operations these days. If you've had any knee or back surgery lately, chances are someone's uncle vinny from Hoboken,New Jersey, who died recently, played a small part in your surgical plan.

Wait a minute! Maybe I'm not the one to give you this news. I only came across it by chance myself. Here's a link to the story I found at of all places, Healthwatch:

"Body Parts Harvested in N.C. Recalled"

For us horror movie fans who pride ourselves on being able to sit through some of the most gory scenes and heartpumping suspense, real life stories like this are making Hollywood scare movies boring and unreal. Let's face it, we've reached a point where the real events happening in the world are scarier than fiction.

Monday, August 21, 2006

An American Tragedy

I watched the first part of a two part documentary called "When the Levees Broke", showing events that occurred before during and after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. HBO, along with Spike Lee has documented a tragic event in current American history that makes you take notice.

I watched hypnotized as I did almost a year ago when seeing CNN news reports on the effects of Hurricane Katrina in the gulf coast. I also wondered as before why? Why wasn't there help sent sooner?

After watching part one of "When the Levees Broke" I'm still wondering just what the hell has happened to America that a tragedy like this could occur in a modern city of ours?

The documentary isn't so much a finger pointing blame game, but a documenting reflection on what happens when tragedy strikes, help doesn't come and hope is fading fast. Individuals step up and help where American politics and whatever else prevents federal emergency assistance from immediate deployment.

One smack in the face to America was when Venzuela and other small countries offered assistance while FEMA promised but delivered very late. New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin talked about having the Canadiaan Mounties show up offering assistance before the American military showed up.

But again, it's not a documentary that judges or blames but one that puts you there with the people who lived it and watched loved ones die from it.

The filming and the music which accompanied it are a sort of homage to the courage of the survivors much like the many 9/11 documentaries except for the human aftermath. In 9/11 we related to the tragedy visually through the deadly impact of airplanes and the structural demolition of two buildings, no bodies and few survivors. In the Hurricane Katrina tragedy we saw the hurricane, saw the dead and watched in horror the hopeless aftermath where thousands of suffering survivors were stranded with little help. A Natural Disaster may have started this tragedy, but its obvious from the documentary that the breakdown in human response attributed to the disaster.

If I were a political science professor I'd assign the viewing of this documentary to all students. Be a student and watch this HBO show. Its smart to educate yourself about the country you thought you knew and the heroic potential of people like those you may know.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Witnessing Tiger

Tiger Woods won another PGA Tournament (the 88th annual PGA tournament) and we sports fans are fortunate to be alive to witness the coming of such a player.

I myself did not watch Tiger's latest championship tour but as you know, the media is hyping Tiger as the coming messiah of sports. They say there's never been one like him and most likely another won't come for some time. Sounds kind of christ-like to me.

I give Tiger credit for his hard work and dedication to the game of golf. Whether or not golfers are true athletes or deserve comparison to spiritual teachers is a debate I'll resurrect on another day. For now, Tiger Woods is yet again dominating his sport and the fans fully embrace him with their hearts and souls.

Here's a link to an interesting article by espn columnist Gene Wojciechowski: Woods is greatest individual athlete ever

The Battle That Wasn't

We came to the Oakland Coliseum expecting a Bay Area Football Battle. We left after witnessing two Oakland Raiders merciful kneeldowns to end the game in convincing victory.

The Raiders dominated the 49ers in all phases of a 23-7 win. Quarterback Aaron Brooks looked much better in his leadership performance today. He threw to his tight ends and running backs finally and he scrambled more. Quarterback Andrew Walter looked sharper as well. Watching the youngster play makes you want to just fast forward the deveolpment clock and see what he'll accomplish with experience.

Pass protection was improved, however I'm not sold on Lamont Jordan. To me he seems to dance to often when running, which is fine if you can shake defenders, but Lamont tends to get baked more than he shakes. He seems to always run toward defenders instead of around or away from them. He looks like a power runner trying to be a finesse runner. On the other hand I was very very impressed with the second string runners. RB Justin Fargas looked healthy and ran well, but the one that really impressed me was #42 ReShard Lee. Lee ran just the opposite of how Jordan ran. Lee followed his blockers, always moving forward, showed power, speed and finesse and looked like a tackler away from breaking a run wide open. The Raiders would be foolish not to give this newcomer a shot at running with the starting lineup. He might be the one to take over Zack Crockett's position. Sorry Zack, but I'd like seeing Lee and Jordan in the backfield with you relieving one or the other.

Wide Receiver Alvis Whitted and Doug Gabriel were active and looked good. Again, tight ends were effective. Randy Moss and Aaron Brooks haven't quite jelled yet but are getting closer. I saw Jerry Porter sneak onto the field, run a sprint route downfield to runoff his defender, then return back to the sideline. If he did more in the game I was not aware.

The Raider Defense is still playing better than last season. However, they didn't pressure the quarterback as much as I'd like to have seen. Rookie cornerback Michael Huff showed his first round pick skillz with an interception and return that should have gone for a touchdown but for his cleats getting tangled in the arms of a 49er quarterback. Huff will learn how to let his blockers annihilate an opposing quarterback's attempt at tackling during an interception return. Huff will have more chances this season I'm sure.

And so the Oakland Raiders are 3-0 in this 2006 preseason so far. Nothing to get all excited about, but the fact that the team is tasting what victory feels like is "soup for the soul" as they say.

If you missed it, there was a nostalgic video short that spliced in the old Autumn Wind highlight with current players quoting parts of the poem throughout. Good Job Raiders Marketing or whoever's responsible. Mixing the old with the new seems to be this season's theme. Just Win Baby....Now!

Oakland Raiders,

Friday, August 18, 2006

Battle of the Bay I

This Sunday will be the first of two meeting between Northern California's two NFL teams. This first battle counts for bragging rights up until the second battle which is scheduled for October 8, 2006, and counts as a regular season game.

I'll be there at the Coliseum cheering the Raiders on to victory. Looking forward to this, the first of two exhibition games at home. Who knows, maybe even Jerry Porter will play.

Not In Our House whiners!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Craigslist Collectibles

A visit to Craigslist revealed that I'm not old, I'm "Collectible." In craiglist's collectibles section I found a few items from my childhood listed along with some very interesting do dads. Actually not a bad place to search for sports collectibles. Only on the interent.

Mahogany round marble table----Nice - $170 (sunnyvale) pic

Capcom Rival Schools Arcade Game - $350 (hercules, pinole, san pablo, el sob) pic

American Girl (willow glen, cambrian)


Soul Caliber 2 Arcade Game - $500 (hercules, pinole, san pablo, el sob) pic

Capcom 1944 arcade game - $350 (hercules, pinole, san pablo, el sob) pic

Vintage table -------- Solid wood ---->> >Nice - $61 (sunnyvale) pic

Ohio State vs Notre Dame Fiesta Bowl Programs - $30 (vallejo / benicia / fairfield) pic





Museum piece, gold frame - $30 (berkeley) pic

LITE NEON - like new and many beer mirrors - $60 (san rafael) pic



Doctor Who pinball - $1100 (santa clara) pic

New Guinea Art - $2050 (concord / pleasant hill / martinez) pic

Late 1800's Domestic Sewing Machine - $125 (petaluma)

Original 1942 Coca Cola Tray - 2 Girls with a Car - $125 (petaluma)

Official Barry Bonds Bobblehead - $6 (oakland piedmont / montclair) pic

Vietnamese Laquer Wall Hanging - $125 (brentwood / oakley) pic

7,500 D/C&D/C VERTIGO COMICS! a 100! to a 150! titles! maybe more? (berkeley west) pic

antique large hanging french olive oil container." - $100 pic

Hooka pipe - $60 (santa cruz)


Thomas Kinkade~Golden Gate Bridge~S/N Canvas - $2300 (dublin / pleasanton / livermore) pic

Tonka fire truck transformer - $20 pic

Old Stationary - $30 (Sacramento, CA) pic

Sentry Fire Safe - $200 (san jose)

Unpublished Manuscript (san jose)

Lafayette Legacy Collection, Limoges ,France Plate 1 - $20 (san jose south) pic

Princess House Crystal, Avon (corte madera)

BEANIE BABIES (san leandro)

Clouds-Pottery from Folsom CA - $75 (Sacramento, CA) pic

victor - $1150 (hayward / castro valley) pic

light - $500 (hayward / castro valley) pic

record player - $400 (hayward / castro valley) pic

Beveled glass mirror---solid wood---Nice - $99 (sunnyvale) pic

Poo Bear Collectables (lower nob hill) pic

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Offensiveless Raiders defeat Vikings 16-13

Alright coach Shell, maybe its time to open that can of whuppazz you got stored away.

Asked if the Raiders are improving on offense, Randy Moss said, "I don't see it, Hell no, I don't see it."

Well you're not alone Randy, our offense looks lost and completely out of touch with any form of gameplan. While the defense and special teams are playing football, the offense is playing poker. They appear to be betting on big plays and bluffing their way toward running the ball.

Though they've won two exhibition games in like fashion, there's nothing for us fans to cheer about and plenty that concerns us. The Minnesota Vikings starting defense pressured Aaron Brooks and the entire offensive unit into an early submission, that is not Raiders Football. That familiar penalty flag made its seasonal debut for the Raiders showing that the more things change the more they remain the same.

But Hell, I ain't ready to throw out the new coach yet. Come on Raiders, get on the same page and make it work. I do not want to sit in the Coliseum this coming weekend and see our opponent (red & gold) claim Bay Area bragging rights for a day.

Don't make coach Shell have to open his can of whuppazz. You don't want him getting ugly.