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