Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Sunday Of Reckoning For Raider Rivals

"Every Dog Has His Day"
meaning: Even the lowest of us enjoys a moment of glory

Today was a day for Oakland Raider Fans to rejoice and be glad in the misery of rivalries past. For on this day the regular season ends and teams once thought destined for the promised land (aka
NFL playoffs) found their hopes and dreams dashed in the blink of a Sunday afternoon touchdown.

It just so happens that many of the teams leaking agony-of-defeat tears from their eyes this marvelous Sunday night are Raider hating rivals who finally got what they deserved. Someone give me a drum roll please while I list the "Crying Game" losers who choked on their early season success:

Topping our list of course is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7). The team who stole Christmas by luring a young Raiders coach to Tampa, then returned the following season to upset the Raiders in "Gruden Bowl 2002." " Who's The Bi@tch Now?

Then there's the dynastic New England Patriots (11-5). The team who's playoff success and Brady lovefest began with referee Walt Coleman's "Tuck Rule" call in the infamous "Snow Bowl 2001" against the Raiders. Their unlucky end to another magical season is almost as good as seeing them lose to the NY G-men in SBXLII. Who's the Bi@tch Now?

Next up to Cry are the division rival Denver Broncos (8-8). The team whose coach has a personal vendetta against Raiders owner Al Davis for default of payment as Raiders head coach (1988-89). He enjoys nothing more than embarassing the Raiders any chance he gets. A Mile-High Meltdown sends them back to that mile high wintry wonderland of hell called Denver. Who's The Bi@tch Now?

We can't forget the New York Jets (9-7), who've been hating the Raiders since we beat them in the AFC Championship game of 67', then returned in 68' to defeat them in the infamous "Heidi Bowl" game before letting Broadway Joe off the hook to advance to SBIII. The Raiders shoulda been in back-to-back Super Bowls in the 60's. Who's The Bi@tch Now?

And shouldn't we include the Dallas Cowboys (9-7) on this crying list? The team who labeled themselves "America's Team" back in the 70's when the Raiders were the winningest team in the league. Many experts predicted Dallas would represent the NFC in this season's super bowl. Tonight the only thing the crying cowboys represent is "How To Marry A Millionaire" and lose. Who's The Bi@tch Now?

And just because a Chicago fan boisterously criticized my wearing of silver and black gear this year, and my continued commitment to the Raiders, I add Lovey Smith and a disappointing "Da Bears" (9-7) team to the Crying Game list. Da Bears were knocked out of Da Playoffs by the Houston Texans today. Just so happens the Raiders convincingly beat the Texans last weekend. Who's The Bi@tch Now?

So as the clock strikes twelve on NBC Sunday Night's game finale, where the Chargers just finished stomping the crying Broncos 52-21, let's recognize those teams who finished the season admirably and find themselves heading into the 2008 NFL Playoffs:

Tennessee Titans / Pittsburgh Steelers / Miami Dolphins San Diego Chargers
Indianapolis Colts / Baltimore Ravens

New York Giants / Carolina Panthers / Minnesota Vikings Arizona Cardinals
Atlanta Falcons / Philadelphia Eagles


Take that Jon "Chucky" Gruden!

Take that Monte "Lane's Pa" Kiffin!

The Oakland Raiders just defeated your 13-point favored Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the the last game of the regular season, knocking their pewter & red rumps out of the NFL playoff picture. And the Raiders have running back Michael Bush to thank for it.

Granted, Tom Cable had the Raiders offensive line working on all cylinders in pass protection and run blocking. And JaMarcus Russell quarterbacked his butt off. But it was #29 Michael Bush who stepped up and delivered the much needed ball control power running. With running backs Justin Fargas and Darren McFadden sidelined with injuries, Bush welcomed the load put on his shoulders and punished the Buccaneers defense for 177 yds and two touchdowns. A huge chunk of those yards came on a 67-yard burst in the fourth quarter that ended with Bush trundling into the end zone and stunning the Bucs and their fans.

The game most definitely turned on that play. Johnnie Lee Higgins, Chad Schilens and Zack Miller gave the Raiders a credible receiving corps for a change and JaMarcus delivered with two passing touchdowns.

The defense played well enough. They let Cadillac Williams slip away for more yards than they'd have liked, but contained the Bucs running game when it counted. The final sack on Bucs QB Jeff Garcia put the game to rest and gave Raiders coach Tom Cable his fourth win of the season as head coach.

Yes Raiders fans, we have much to look forward to come next season. And though Al Davis missed only his second Raiders road game since the 70's, I'm sure he liked what he saw on television as his Oakland Raiders triumphed over the Jon Gruden led Buccaneers.

It may not have been a super bowl win, but it was a glorious display of what the Silver and Black can accomplish with strong leadership and execution on the field.

Any Given Sunday!

Final Score
Raiders 31
Buccaneers 24

note: with the loss Tampa Bay was eliminated from playoff contention. With Dallas and Chicago losing, the Bucs would have secured the final playoff spot had they won. Oh well, see you next season Chucky!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Raiders Boot Texans Back To Houston

The Oakland Raiders. That proud franchise that once intimidated opponents with their rough and tumble style of play. Their fans have suffered through many a season of late with little to look forward to come each new season. If today's final home game for 2008 is any indication, maybe the dark cloud of seasons past is moving on and we're about to embark on those winning days of old.

In today's game against the streaking hot Houston Texans, the boys in Black returned to glory, showing pride and poise on their way to a 27-16 win. The Texans were on a four game winning streak which included wins over AFC top seeded Tennessee Titans, the tough hitting Jacksonville Jags and at Lambeau Field over the the Packers. The Raiders outplayed the Texans in all phases of the game today. The offense, with JaMarcus Russell courageously leading the way, consistently executed well. They had two long drives that ended in touchdowns and were 7 of 14 on 3rd down conversions. The defense looked terrible on the first Texans drive that went the length of the field for a touchdown. After that adjustments were made and the Defense stood tall the rest of the day, limiting Houston to three field-goals. The Coaching staff deserves a game ball.

Meanwhile, special teams did their part with a successfully executed on-side kick, some hard hits on Texans return men that kept them in check and an 86 yard punt return by the man of the day Johnnie-Lee Higgins. Johnnie-Lee also scored on a long pass from JaMarcus where he jumped high over the Texan defender in the end-zone and came down with the ball secured for a touchdown. I believe it was called the "Carlton Dance" which Johnnie-Lee executed to perfection in his end-zone celebration. His punt return ignited the Coliseum fans to a celebratory scream so high you'd thought it was a sell-out crowd. The silver and black clad fans were experiencing flashbacks to a time when the Raiders dominated opponents. A time not too long ago when legends were making plays for the Raiders.

Talk about poise. Two penalties for fourteen yards, one being a questionable call. Poise.

I'm not sure what the future holds for the Oakland Raiders Football Team, but if today's final home game was any indication, I foresee a team able to compete and win against some of the best teams in the league. A youth movement is underfoot in Oakland and it might only cost Al Davis some pride to allow it to grow into a winning franchise again.

Win, Lose or Tie

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Pacquiao Punches De La hoya Into Golden Years

The Golden Years Have Come At Last! When Manny Pacquiao Kicked My Azz!

This little refrain probably comes nearest to the truth as to why boxer Oscar De la Hoya should and will retire for good.

The Pride of the Philipines, Manny "Pac man" Pacquiao, completely annihilated former superstar Oscar De la Hoya at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas tonight with an 8th round TKO of the Olden Boy. I almost felt embarrassed for De la Hoya, who looked slow, old and overwhelmed by the tsunami of punches landing on his face and body at blazing speed.

Manny, WBC light-weight champion, said the plan from trainer Freddie Roach was to keep De la Hoya in the middle of the ring where he could limit the bigger man's power and take advantage with his own lightening quick speed. The game plan worked to perfection. Manny was landing punches to Oscar's face early and often in a display of boxing domination that made one wonder how the heck Oscar was favored to win this match.

I've never been an Oscar De la Hoya fan, he's always been too much of a poster boy for me. But I've cheered Pacquiao throughout his career from fly-weight to welter-weight and was never more proud of him than tonight. For once I agree with ring announcer Larry Merchant who stated that it wasn't just that Pacquiao beat De la Hoya, but it was how he beat him; using his footwork, speed, power punches and intelligence. Manny Pacquiao showed tonight why he is considered the best "Pound-For-Pound" boxer in the business today. Undisputed!

The only credit I give Oscar tonight is for his craftiness to avoid a knockout punch. That and his admittance that he lost to a better man in Manny Pacquaio tonight. Not many former champions will admit to such a thing in defeat.

Meanwhile, the announcers were busy comparing Manny to the great and legendary Henry Armstrong, who held titles in 3 different weight divisions back in the 30's. We should expect to see more history being made by Pacquiao since he's in his prime and can now write his own ticket in boxing. Pacman is truly a working man's champion who restores Boxing back to a day when a fighter went toe to toe regardless of the strength and size of his opponent. Courage and Honor is what champions were made of then, not glitter and gold.

Congratulations Manny Pacquiao, a new style of Legendary Boxing Champion!

Friday, November 28, 2008

SF Turkey Bowl: Lincoln Defeats Washington

A Dynastic day for Lincoln High School's football team as they win their Fourth San Francisco Turkey Bowl in a row, historic.

I arrived at the game a few minutes into the first quarter and found that Washington had already scored and was leading 7-0. The long ticket and hotdog lines had worn me out and I mistakenly sat on the Lincoln side thinking it was Washington for some reason. I could've sworn Lincoln uniforms were white with red helmets and lettering.

It was half-time before I realized I was rooting for the Lincoln Mustangs and not the Washington Eagles as I'd planned. With my losing record at Turkey Bowl games I felt either I'd jinx the favored Mustangs into a loss or I'd enjoy my first win ever. I decided to stay the course with Lincoln.

And so it was that with 1:33 remaining in the first half and the Washington Eagles taking a 14-12 lead, that a little guy from Lincoln High would pull out the play of the game. Devon Marman, little brother to senior standout Deshon Marman with two touchdowns on the day, returned a kickoff 92-yards for a touchdown and the Mustangs would leave the Eagles gasping in their dust. The kick return was a momentum changer if ever there was one, and both teams sensed it.

The Washington Eagles would not give up the fight though and played a very aggressive second half, but so did the Mustangs. Lincoln caused at least two turnovers in the second half, one interception returned for a touchdown, and last years Champions had pulled off a Four-Peat in their championship victory.

Congrats Lincoln Mustangs for committing to achieving a SF Section Championship again

Lincoln players toss their principal, Ronald Pang, in celebration. Lincoln High defeated Washington High in the annual Academic Athletic Association SF championship game 36-14 at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. (Lance Iversen / The Chronicle)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How Sweet It Is!

The Oakland Raiders get a taste of sweet revenge on the Denver Broncos with a 31-10 drumming of Shanihan and his donkeys in Denver. The Oakland upset was so unexpected, even I, a disgruntled Raider fan who'd chosen to spend my Sunday at an outing with my Grand kids, assumed Denver would triumph with ease.

I think Ashlie Lelie, former Bronco, christened the victory best when he compared this payback win to the feeling of "getting back at your cheating girlfriend." I believe the Broncos and Lelie parted company after contract re-negotiations turned ugly two seasons ago resulting in his release.

In this victory, all aspects of the Raiders team shined with Lelie possibly being the brightest star. Lelie , who had a momentum changing 51-yard catch, caught four catches for ninety-two yards and a touchdown.

One could say that the Raiders paid back the Broncos in full for the opening Monday Night game in Oakland, a 41-14 embarrassment. I believe this Broncos loss is a bigger blow to them than ours was that opening season game. The Broncos came into this game as western division leaders with a chance to possibly go up three games with five remaining. Instead, they remain two ahead of San Diego (Colts 23 Chargers 20) and only three ahead of the Raiders .

I caught the final minutes of the game on the radio, then listened to every morsel of post-game coverage while driving back to the bay area. It was the sweetest two hour drive I've had in a long, long time. Just me, my radio and my Silver and Black pride shining and blowing in the breeze. Oh, did I mention I'd pulled over to take out my Raiders AFC Champions flag and attach it to the car for the victory ride home? Nostalgia? Yes, it was a joyous Sunday that almost made up for these past weekends of gloom. Almost.

Coach Tom Cable is the one who really surprised me with his after game talk. He said all the right things and sounded sincere about his belief in the team. Maybe big Al has finally found a coach who the players can and will respond to.

Hats off to cornerback Chris Johnson for playing like a pro and stepping up to the challenge of a Bronco passing game aimed squarely at him. C. Johnson defended valiantly and didn't give up anything worth much.

We all prayed for JaMarcus Russell and the Godmother he lost to cancer this past week. After seeing the young quarterback complete 10 of 11 for 152 yds. and 1-touchdown, I know he's going to be okay in this league. Yeah, we've got us a true leader at quarterback here in Oakland ya'll.

Let's not forget special teams. Punt returner Johnnie Lee Higgins does it again with an 89-yd return for a touchdown.Hey , whatever happened to that free agent returner that was brought in two weeks ago to compete for Johnnie Lee's returning duties?

We Raider fans should simply savor this win, a win that ranks right up there with the past few wins in Denver. More importantly though, this win should give us all a glimpse of what lies down the road for this team when its healthy with strong decisive leadership and executing like the machine it was built to be. Awesome!

Final Score
Oakland Raiders 31
Denver Broncos 10

A Glorious Win!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bay Area Basketball Legend Passes

There hasn't been much of late that the bay area can boast about when it comes to basketball. But there was a time..........

And Pete Newell is the man of that time. A coach and teacher, Pete is to west coast basketball what Kobiyashi is to competitive eating, a pioneer and innovator. He brought respectability to west coast college basketball programs.

Personally, I know little about the basketball era of 1959 when Pete led the Cal Bears to the NCAA Title. But after reading today's newspaper and internet articles about him I understand just how important a role he played in developing not only players, but coaches and basketball schemes. I think the SF Chronicle said it best:

"A Man Who Was A Legend To Other Legends."

It seems that more than anything, Pete was a great teacher of basketball. A Legendary Teacher!

Basketball Accomplishments as coach:

1949 NIT Championship (USF)
1959 NCAA Championship (CAL)
1960 Summer Olympics Gold
4 consecutive Pac-8 Titles (former Pac-10)
8 straight wins over John Wooden's early UCLA teams

Off the court Pete has a colorful history. He was a child actor who played in a number of Hal Roach's "Our Gang" movies. Imagine that, I've seen almost every little rascals still in print and never would've guessed that Pete Newell was one of the gang. He was also a steamship deck cadet, a WWII Navy seaman, author of numerous basketball instructional books, Husband and Father.

Peter Francis "Pete" Newell
(August 3, 1915 - November 17, 2008)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Golden State Warriors Rookie Yeah!

Anthony Morrow showcased his rookie skillz on Saturday with 37 points and 11 rebounds. This from a kid who after going undrafted planned to play in the Ukraine. Glad you decided to visit the Oakraine Anthony, we need you.

With Anthony's hot hand the Warriors defeated Baron Davis and the L.A. Clippers 121-103 Saturday. I missed seeing the game but hope to catch it on some type of cable/comcast replay. Coach Don Nelson and teamates all say they've never seen anyone with the hot hand that Anthony displayed. Let's hope the kid isn't a one-hit-wonder and can become a consistent contributor.

Just imagine when Monta Ellis returns. "Monta-To-Morrow", sounds like a winning combination don't you think?

Link to his interview on KNBR (6/25/08), Here.

Rest Well My Friend!

Alex De Castro, 18-years old, a true sports fan and friend passed away recently. My prayers will continue to go out to him and his family. It is when compassionate, young persons such as Alex depart this life that I find cause to pause and question everything about it. I suppose we question God as a reminder of our faith in him. God grant us Peace!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Crown em' In Cash

World Championship Poker Champion Peter Eastgate says about winning, "It's not about the money." Okay Peter, sure it's not about the money, it's about how you plan to spend that money. The 22-year old Champion is the second youngest to win it all.

Though I still don't consider Poker a sport, I truly admire any champion who can bask in the glory of his earnings upon victory. Give me one other sport where the Victor is given his winning purse on the playing field. Even Thoroughbred Horses have to return to the stables to chomp down on their winning bales of hay. Only game shows come to mind, and they usually give you a fake colossal check that's made out of cardboard.

Congratulations Peter!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide

The #1 ranked Crimson Tide defeated the #16 LSU Tigers yesterday in overtime 27-21. It's the first time since 1980 that an Alabama team has won a game while ranked #1.

The Crimson Tide now have a smash mouth new anthem courtesy of the "63 Boyz" to go along with that #1 ranking. So if your team is going down to Alabama to do battle with the Tide, they'd better bring they're bibles and a few choice prayers.

Give em' Hell Alabama!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Reasons Why Raiders Waive CB DeAngelo Hall

In his 8-game tenure with the Raiders, Hall was beaten 40 times for 552 yards on 66 passes thrown his way, according to data compiled by STATS LLC. He's given up more yards than any defender this season and is tied for third worst in catches allowed.

Hall does not have a skills guarantee for 2009, so the Raiders will not owe him a $9.05 million option bonus for the final six years of the deal. Hall also won't receive the $7.5 million base salary he was scheduled to make in 2009.

"When you're losing there's a lot of finger pointing," Asomugha said. "I don't think he's the one scapegoat. There's fingers pointed everywhere. I don't think it's just him. He was kind of singled out in regards of let's cut someone."

I agree with Asomugha, the Raiders needed a scapegoat and there was none better than D. Hall. I don't expect the team to win another game this season. Why? Chaos Theory!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Game Refund Request!

I went to the Raiders game this Sunday. I should've gone to church instead and prayed like a Saturday Night Sinner. There's no way to explain the humiliating play of the Oakland Raiders against the visiting Atlanta Falcons. I don't think God is a Falcons fan, especially after Mr. Vick's conviction of abuse to man's best friend. But there were no blessings being laid on the heads of the Raiders today. Not one hint of divine intervention to stop the bleeding on the field.

How bad was the game for the Raiders you may ask? The game was so bad that we fans were unable to stand up and cheer a play until many minutes into the third quarter. It just so happened to be a play that gave us our FIRST first-down of the game. Did I mention that the Raiders had -2 total offensive yards in the first half?

How bad was it? It was so bad that they not only booed the team, but booed the
Raiderette chearleaders also. Imagine that, football's most fabulous females being booed at the Coliseum. I Guess when the girls came out in the second half with jackets covering those enhanced mounds of milk and honey, the fans felt they'd been deprived of the one stimulating silver and black uniform on the field. One guy was heard yelling "Hey, What's With The Jackets?"

Seriously, I considered asking for a full ticket refund. I've been around long enough these past few years to see the Oakland Raiders play bad football, lousy football. But today they took poor performance to a new level. It wasn't the usual shoot themselves in the foot on third down kind of stuff, nor was it a blame it on the refs day. Oh no, this
debacle was a plain and simple case of hopelessness. The team all around just seemed as if they had no game plan, no incentive, no interest what so ever in playing the game at a professional level.

The Oakland Raiders have simply quit playing football as a team. Maybe there are some players trying their hearts out to make a play, but as a team they looked as if it were the last game of another losing season and they couldn't wait for the off-season to begin.

I believe what I saw is a direct result of losing a head coach early in a season. Lane
Kiffin at times had the team playing as a cohesive unit whether they were winning or losing. While Kiffin was coach, the team seemed as if they had something or someone to play for. Now, after two straight losses, the team appears lost without leadership. If leadership starts at the top, then the blame for what I saw today is at the top.

Our team has a serious problem, and the disease that was once lingering beneath the skin has
erupted and is leaking puss all over the playing field in front of the paying customers.

Is There A Doctor In The House!

final score
Falcons 24
Raiders 0

Synonyms for debacle:

Philly Celebrates Winning World Series

As much as I wanted to see the Cinderella Rays win it all, I have to take my hat off and applaud the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans.

After twenty-eight years, and only the second time in their 120-plus year existence, the Phillies are Major League Baseball's Champions once again. Known as the losing-est team in professional sports, no team from as desperate a city deserved it more. The celebration in Philadelphia the other day was definitely one for the ages. Mild mannered Chase Utley dropped an "f" bomb while addressing the fans at the celebration. The networks covering the event live were initially unable to beep out Utley's "World Fuckin' Champions" boast on-stage. It was awesome!

Congratulations Philadelphia Phillies for bringing home to your city and fans the 2008 Major League World Series Championship Trophy. You've come a long way from booing Santa Claus! Merry Fuckin' X-mas.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday Win Makes Monday Morning Blissful

So I'm here in New York wearing Raiders gear on the morning after a Raiders defeat of the New York Jets.

I Love The Smell of Victory in The Morning!

Yes, the Oakland Raiders overcame fatigue, penalties and plain old buzzards luck (can't kill nothing and nobody's dying) to win in overtime 16-13 over the Brett favre led Jets.

I was there on that Monday Night when Brett, playing a day after his father died, lit up the Raiders defense in a game that would become the classic Brett Favre moment. I won't call this weekend's Raiders win vindication, but I do feel it'll go down as a Raiders classic and possibly a season changing game.

The fact that I'm here in New York visiting just adds to the joyous outcome. I watched the game while surrounded by Raider-Haters in the person of family and old friends. I'd forgotten that we'd ended the Jets Super Bowl aspirations two years in a row in the playoffs this decade. I overheard someone mention after Feely's 52-yard field goal that it was finally pay back time for the "Heidi Bowl" game. Yeah, I suppose the Raiders have been a thorn in the Jets side for many years. Even my young pop warner aged nephew called to tell me that the "Raiders got lucky." They train'em young here too.

So it is with pride and joy that I wear my Raiders colors and strut around New York this morning to see the long faces of Jets fans in pain. A pain as old as the Heidi Bowl and as hard to swallow as a SeaBass 57-yd field goal splitting the uprights in over-time. Trust me when I say the Jets fans felt they'd win the game from the opening kick-off.

The Oakland Raiders record may only be 2-4 as of today, but with few AFC teams dominating, it gives a glimpse of hope to a Silver and Black organization that's seen a season of controversial shake-up. Rumor has it that the win was so uplifting to the Raiders that owner Al Davis immediately wrote a check to fired coach Lane Kiffin to cover the balance of his contract along with a letter of apology.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Coach Lane Kiffin Fired

I have 3 words to describe today's events:

Al Was Wrong!

Al Davis held a press conference today not only to tell the sporting world that he'd fired Lane Kiffin, but to convince all that the reason was "cause." Cause being actions detrimental to the team. I say Al was wrong because his press conference comments sounded contrived, calculated and too much like someone who was using the media for his own gains. It wasn't a press conference to inform as much as it was a smear campaign. I wanted to believe that Al was bigger than that, it seemed so petty. Al Was Wrong.

I really couldn't bare to listen to it all, the press conference. Big Al, leader/Majority Partner of the Oakland Raiders, announcing the firing of coach Lane Kiffin. Media speculation has for weeks been reporting to everyone in sports that it was coming. But nobody expected to hear what came out of Al's puss this afternoon.

Al Davis, The Man, The Myth, The Legend, took center stage in sports news this afternoon and made a complete fool of himself. He didn't do it in a Sarah Palin (Republican VP Nominee) way by stumbling over and avoiding simple questions in front of the media. Nor did he use the semantic wizardry of President Bill Clinton ( I did not have sexual relations with that woman). What Al did was more like a mafioso/organized crime way of explaining his own actions or in-actions. He blamed it on the dead guy, or at least he blamed the absent fired guy and discredited him so, that any rebuttal would appear untrustworthy.

Funny thing is it almost worked. It probably would've worked if not for one thing. The dead guy ain't dead. He's alive, angry and loading up with attorneys. The corpse has scheduled his own press conference for tomorrow, same time, same stations.

Meanwhile the new coach, former Raiders offensive line coach Tom Cable, spoke today and appears to be capable enough to keep the team on its improving course. I like it that Tom said we have a good team and his job is to teach it how to finish games. That will be the measuring stick by which Tom is judged; will they learn to finish games? Tom cable believes they can and big Al has bought into it.

So for one more day the Oakland Raiders coaching saga will continue. Thanks in part to Al Davis, a man who calculates his every move. Actually, because we all know just how calculating Al can be, is what makes his statements today so unbelievable. Nothing goes down in Raider-land without big Al's stamp of approval. So to hear him espouse how coach Lane Kiffin acted on his own in making so many team decisions is hard to swallow. Or as a radio host said today, "I ain't drinking Al's kool-aid."

Today Al lost a few points with me. He tried dirty dancing in public today and his slip was showing. It was embarrassing to watch and seemed petty, childish and motivated by a foreseeable contract dispute. To the sports world I say "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." To true Raider fans you know the drill. We don't always agree with Al Davis, but we know he's as loyal to the Oakland Raiders as any one of us. And he don't like losing. He may run the organization like a mad scientist, but dammit he's one of us. And we still believe that we're one of the best organizations in professional sports. Keep Believing!

Win, Lose or Tie!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Raiders Collapse Again

After giving a dominating performance in the first half, the Oakland Raiders stumble, fumble and fall to the San Diego Charges in the second and lose 28-18.

While the Raiders defense played inspired football on a hot Sunday afternoon, the offense just wasn't able to put up enough points and/or give the defense enough rest to finish strong with a win.

The Coliseum was loud and proud with a sellout crowd of Raider Nation faithful on hand. When the Raiders came out in their road-warrior white uniforms followed up by team group introductions, you felt we were in for a special afternoon. Lane Kiffin would later comment that the decision to wear white was made before the season, following the league trend of wearing white during hot weather home games.

The game itself was a high-tension well played football game. Unfortunately for the Raiders it came down to a tale of two halves. One a dominating performance and the other a turnover filled egg. With key players out or suffering from injuries the Raiders still looked as if they could play with the best. I suppose that's what makes this loss so painful. To go out and prove that you can dominate a well-balanced team like the Chargers, then not finish them off is simply mind-boggling. Is it player conditioning? Play calling? Second half adjustments? Something happens to the Raiders in the third and fourth quarters that is costing them games. Until they can fix that something, they'll continue to struggle finishing games.

I will say this, if we had our three-headed running game of Fargas, McFaddin and Bush all healthy and playing, the Chargers would've never come back and won the game. That I can guarantee you. But, what should've, could've, would've been, just wasn't to be.

A tough loss that showed promise and hope for our young team.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Stain On The Accomplishments of "Women In Politics"

Does living in and governing Alaska qualify a governor for Foreign Policy experience? Sarah Palin believes so.

"Palin Talks Russia With Katie Couric"


Posted by bbduc60_yea at 11:18 PM : Sep 26, 2008
Hey Sarah,

Just because I live next to a hospital doesn''t make me an expert on open-heart surgery.

Give me a break with this broad. At least McCain picked someone like him: an idiot and amateur orator.

I watched the Sarah Palin Interview with CBS News Anchor Katie Couric. Ms. Palin embarassed herself, the American Government (not just Republicans), and most of all Women in politics. The scary part is that she doesn't see that she's doing anything wrong or hurtful.

This comment sums up most feelings about the interview:

Posted by tigerrram9 at 07:41 PM : Sep 26, 2008

I actually started to cry while watching this. I don''t cry easy either. I''m not going to
say I would do much better while being interview by Katie Couric, but I''m not on one
of the tickets for the White House, expecting all of my fellow Americans to vote for me.

What has happened to our country? Who is this person? Is she so delusional that she believes she knows what is best for all of us? Not only us, but what is best for the rest
of the world? Do we think the rest of the world will watch this and line up to back us on our future foreign policies?

We used to have great men and women run for presidency. We would hold them to such high esteem, that if they were anything outside of almost super human we wouldn''t
allow them access to most powerful seat in the world. We expected them to at least
gain if not the support, of the other patisans, the respect. WHO respects this bumbling idiot????? Not once did she actually answer a question with intelligence, insight or conviction. She just spun the talking points over and over like a republican parrot. My God!!!!

I do not hate this woman. But, I am sad. Extremely sad that this may be the first woman to be in such an influential position in the world. We women have worked and fought so hard to get here, Why, Why, Why are we sending such a feeble example in our stead.

God be with us all.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Too Much Beaver For Trojans

Oregon State tailback Jacquizz Rodgers, left, looks to avoid Southern California's Vidal Hazelton, right, after losing his helmet during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Corvallis on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008, in Corvallis, Ore.

I just couldn't help myself!

They're probably still storming the field in Corvallis, Oregon after what was the biggest upset of this young college football season.

The unranked Oregon State Beavers, 25-point underdogs, defeated the #1 ranked USC Trojans 27-21. They did it by using aggressive defense, solid blocking and spectacular play by the Rodgers brothers James and Jacquizz.

WR James Rodgers had 2 receptions for 36-yards and 2-touchdowns. But it was his younger brother "Quizz" who kept the Trojans on their heels with his inside running game. Quizz is all of 5 feet 6 inches tall, in cleats, which caused the USC defenders to tackle too high or just lose him altogether in the blocking beavers sea of orange jerseys. Quizz finished the game with 186-yards on 37 carries and 2 touchdowns.

The Trojans tried desperately to stop the little guy, horse collaring him a few times and wrenching his helmet off during a tackle or two. He needed help hopping off the field where a Trojan had rolled onto his ankle during his last touchdown run. But Quizz proved that football is more about heart than size with his lionhearted never-give-up style of play. The night definitely showcased the toughness of Jacquizz Rodgers aka "Quizz."

The game had it all; suspense, drama, excitement, tension, all being played out in a carnival like atmosphere of orange-clad Beaver fans of the northwest. And with the final Beavers kneel down, that same sea of orange poured out onto the field as if a Beaver Dam had burst. It was celebration time! ESPN did a splendid job of staying out of their own way and letting the game market itself. You just gotta love college football. Its march madness for four whole months. Wow!

Top 10 AP Ranking prior to game:

1. USC (62) 2-0 1,621
2. Oklahoma 3-0 1,484
3. Georgia (2) 4-0 1,475
4. Florida (1) 3-0 1,442
5. LSU 3-0 1,363
6. Missouri 4-0 1,360
7. Texas 3-0 1,174
8. Alabama 4-0 1,132
9. Wisconsin 3-0 1,091
10. Texas Tech 4-0 962

Monday, September 15, 2008

Satanic Worshipers Eat Teens

A VILE gang of devil worshippers has killed and eaten four Russian teenagers in a sickening ritual.
The Satanists stabbed each of their victims a terrifying 666 times before dismembering their bodies and cooking them on a bonfire.

Story Here: Sun Times

Raiders Scalp Chiefs At ArrowHead

"The Raiders defense held the Chiefs' running backs to 2 yards per carry, broke up 12 passes and intercepted two, and recorded five sacks. On offense, Oakland rushed for 300 yards and dominated from the outset."

The Oakland Raiders are 1-1 going into the 3rd week of the season. They'll face a Buffalo Bills team this coming Sunday that is 2-0 and looking like a team with something to prove. After scalping the Chiefs 23-8 this past Sunday, the Raiders are confident they can win on the road against any adversary. Sure, the Chiefs are a rebuilding team, but so are the Raiders. And going into Arrowhead Stadium shutting them down is a huge lift for our team.

As for all the Al, Kiffin and Rob Ryan controversy, leave it to the media. We're in second place in our division and we're playing good ball. Let's keep it going.

Oh, I almost forgot. Congratulations D-Mac ( #20 Darren McFadden) on your breakout game in leading league running backs with 164 rushing yards this past weekend.

Win Lose or Tie!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Monday Nite Embarassment

I'm sure coach Lane Kiffin is investigating where the Denver Broncos purchased Whoop Ass from. There's simply no other way to explain the 41-14 thumping they put on the Raiders the other night.
Maybe I should buy a T-shirt that reads "I Was There When The Broncos M-Barassed The Raiders."

We Raider fans can only pray that our teams' performance was a fluke, a first game falter, a freak accident.

Whatever it was that cursed us on Monday Nite, I hope it got its fill and has moved on to some other professional team. Maybe it flew south to spoil the Dodgers playoff dreams.

There's plenty of web comments and analysis floating around about the game. Much blame with few if any excuses. Many fans blame Al Davis for the state of the team and one suggested we make Al walk the plank, Arrgh-Arrgh.

I say Its done, Its over, let's move on. Its too early in the season to totally give up on our team. One blow-out does not a season make. However, should the problems that plagued us throughout Monday's game become habitual, I say we Mutiny, and To Hell with staying aboard a doomed vessel. But we'll cross that bridge if and should the time come.

Next Up: Kansas City Chiefs

Quote from Ray Aspuria/Times Standard

No Raider looked more foolish than Oakland cornerback DeAngelo Hall.

The $70-million corner was torched repeatedly by Denver rookie wide receiver Eddie Royal. The match-up was so one-sided it appeared Royal was the crafty veteran taking the rookie DB Hall to school.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

World's Fastest Man

Sounds like a new Nike line of sneakers doesn't it? But its his name, and he just swept the Olympic Mens Track competition.

Usain Bolt of Jamaica has run faster than any human being who's been timed running. Ever. So we should expect to see him soon racing a cheetah in a commercial, or something like that.

I wonder what a track star does after the Olympics. I also wonder if Usain has ever caught a football pass. I'm sure Al Davis is drooling just thinking about having the fastest man in the world as a Raider. I am. We already have one of the strongest arms in JaMarcus Russell. Wow, what a dream I just had. Bolt Deep!

So come on over and visit the Black Hole when you're through in Beijing Usain. We'll sign you to the silver and black and make you a huge Star! And all we'll ask of you is that you run like a cheetah and catch the damn ball. The world can be yours. Just stay away from Las Vegas.

Track Stars and the NFL

It only lasted three years. Nehemiah was fast, but he had trouble catching the ball. (Catching a speeding football is harder than it looks.) Also, his body had difficulty adjusting to getting walloped by cornerbacks and safeties.

Plus, as football coaches were learning, there's a difference between "track speed" and "football speed." The former is running in a straight line, and though sprints are very short, there's a strategy for the beginning, middle and end of the race. In football, however, the focus is on proper route-running and breakaway speed -- the ability to quickly accelerate now. Nehemiah didn't have it. His replacement, a man drafted in the spring of 1985 from a small college in Mississippi who wasn't particularly fast on the track, did have "football speed." His name was Jerry Rice, and most think he's the greatest wide receiver ever.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Trouble of the World - Mahalia Jackson

In Memory of A Friend: Whitney Henderson
Miss You Whit. Rest Well!

Rabid Vampire Bats

See the map above? See that red circle with a birdlike shadow inside? (it was red in the newspaper) Well that ain't no prayer dove and its definitely not the Gotham City batman beam. You should know that the color red in symbols usually means a warning. So if your as smart as a fifth-grader you should be able to put the characteristics of this symbol together to come of with its meaning; Warning Bats.

That's right, bats with sharp, long incisor teeth that prowl the South American countryside in search of fresh blood. Sounds like a cheesy horror novel or movie, but this is real. Its happening in the continent just south of these United States and could just be a matter of time before they venture north for fresh pickings. Wait, didn't the killer bees take the same route? Another story.

Thanks to the weekly newspaper column, Earthweek: A diary of the planet by Steve Newman, you can read about such natural phenomena as Vampire bat deaths. The scary part isn't the view of these flying mammals swooping down and sinking their incisors into unsuspecting sleeping victims. Oh no, the scary part is when the victim experiences the symptoms of rabies (fever, paralysis and extreme fear of water) and their convulsing bodies become rigid just before death.

Dozens of tribespeople in Venezuela's Orinoco River delta have died over the past year and sixteen of them, mostly children, have been afflicted over the past month by rabid vampire bat bites. Rabies is curable if treated in time but in some of these small villages, who knew that waking up with puncture wounds on the body could mean a one-way ticket to "The Upper Room."

I really need to thank Earthweek for their almost biblical revelations of life on this planet in the 21st century. Personally, I don't think Moses could've come up with such catastrophic earthly occurrences as these. For instance, I've never heard of "Bovine terror," have you? The thought of 150 ornery cows invading villages in search of food just isn't in my bank of reality. But its happening in a small village in southern Spain as I speak. Talk about mad cow disease, this hungry marauding pack of cows are foraging what they want, when they want it and wherever they find it. The villagers seem helpless in driving the beasts away. Gee, sounds like the Oakland Raiders defense of glory days past.

So if you find yourself surfing the web for some revelatory information about this big world of ours, look no further than Earthweek: A diary of the planet. Its information like this found at Earthweek that make my problems here in the United States seem puny.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Raiders Look Sharp in Loss

Maybe its too soon after the game for me to be writing about it. The Raiders fumbled away a sure win and it brings back that empty gut feeling of past seasons. However, I shouldn't be so tough on myself and my team. They showed they can be physical and dominate away from home. Our running backs were making titans defenders pay when tackling them. We dominated the time of possession and had some young guys step up.

Actually, if it weren't for the two fumbles the game would've been mostly all Raiders. Our defense was good and our passing game gave hints of success. That JaMarcus pass to Zack Miller for the first touchdown was a threaded bullet that oozed pass defenders by a hair. JaMarcus is the Real Deal.

Special team penalties were up this week. This problem should be correctable. Our defense stopped the Titans most of the night. RELIABLE is the word I felt best described our starting defense. A good word in sports.

The pain from the loss is still kicking at my gut, so I must continue to remind myself of the overall good play of the Raiders tonight. It is still exhibition season and they've proven that they can go on the road and compete with dominating efficiency. That'll bring back a swagger to the team. Can't wait for the Arizona Cardinal game next week at the Coliseum.

The Oakland Raiders will be competitive this season. Its an improved team with a strong will to win.

Raiders 16
Titans 17

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why I Can't Watch Gymnastics

This story is NOT for the weak hearted. Actually, its not for the mild hearted either. While attempting to lift 248kilograms, using a lifting technique called the "Snatch,"Hungarian Olympian Janos Baranyai suffered a dislocated elbow, and that's putting it mildly.

Injuries occur in sports competition and athletes know it. But they can never prepare for the agony and pain of such injuries. The agony of defeat is probably as painful as physical injury to the body. Then again, one look at the dislocated elbow of Janos makes that old theory sound like hogwash. Warning, some of the pics at this link are horrific, but not bloody. Click Here

I once heard Oakland Raiders wide-receiver Tim Brown describe a medical procedure involving a torn leg ligament. After informing the radio listeners of how the inner thigh ligament tore away from the femur bone, he described how the surgeon cut down to the bone then stapled the ligament back onto the bone before closing the incision with more staples. Doctor Brown then calmly assessed that the stapled ligament would take blank amount of weeks to adhere back to the bone sufficiently.

I mention this snippet from "Mornings with Doctor Tim Brown" because It was one of the few times I recall wincing at someone's description of an injury and the surgical procedure to fix it.

We've all seen horrific injuries in sports; Joe Theisman's leg break, A boxer's swollen eyelid, a basketball player's knee cap turned sideways after a collision. But seeing this Gymnast's elbow popping out and witnessing the expression of agony on his face might just top all others. The fact that it happened on a world-wide stage makes it a memorable moment in sports. I personally can't watch young girls vaulting, uneven bars or rings. I feel every miss of theres too painfully. I think the last one I watched was Nadia Comaneci, 1976. She nailed them all.

My heart and prayers go out to Janos Baranyai. May his competitive psyche mend along with his physical rehabilitation so that he may compete in future Olympic games.

In the meantime, may the 2008 Summer Olympics resume safely and may the Americans Win it All!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Raider Nation Celebration 2008


The Raiders Organization definitely has mastered the Fan Appreciation Day activities. It was a bright, warm day for Oakland Raiders fans to come out and relish in the glory of being a part of the Raider Nation.

The best part is watching the kids faces light up with joy as they take in all the Raiders festivities available to them. It may be the one time in a kid's young life that he or she will find themselves in total agreement with their parents. The Raider Nation crosses generational, ethnic and social lines with a creed of malice toward none and equality and acceptance for all.

To see a father with a proud smile while raising his JaMarcus Russell jersey wearing little girl (eyepatch donned over one eye) onto his shoulder is a sight to behold. Yes, the Raiders Kids bring out that childish glee in all of us Raiders fans. Many adult fans have been passed the torch by their parent(s) and therefore its a no-brainer to indoctrinate their kids into the Raider Nation. I swear I saw yesterday a newborn infant with a Children's Hospital I.D. bracelet still around its tiny wrist. The infant was wearing a Raiders bib and already had that chucky scowl, I swear!

If America wants to end the divide that separates its citizens they should consider taking a page from the fans of the Oakland Raiders.

One Nation, One Goal and All Inclusive

I'm Proud to be a member of the Raider Nation!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Raiders Run Over Red&Gold 49ERS

Oakland Raiders
248 yds Rushing
2 Fumble Recoveries
2 Interceptions
1-53yd Punt Return For TD

2 FG's

Final Score
Raiders 18
49ers 6

The San Francisco Chronicle called the game "Sloppy Play" and commented that both teams should keep this opening preseason skirmish in proper perspective. Obviously, the SF media is in denial about the domination of the Oakland Raiders over their pampered media darling 49ers. But that's okay, we of the Silver and Black world didn't expect the crowning of the Battle of the Bay Champion Oakland Raiders to get print copy in San Francisco, its too soon and much too painful for them. Our crowning was actually done on the field last night in front of a hungry bay area football fan base of Raiders fans peppered with some brave 49er souls wearing their Red and Gold. Or as I heard it said after the game, Gold and Pink!

The three outstanding performances as a team were the Running Game, Defense and Special Teams. How is that for a three-headed monster. Speaking of which, it was the running game that electrified the Raiders fans and gives promise to a much improved team. Seems we have the blocking schemes to open up running lanes for all five of our featured backs. Johnnie Lee Higgins punt return for a touchdown highlighted the solid special teams play. With kicker Janokowski out, the fill in free agent Aaron Elling did a heck of a job kicking. Shane Lechler is still doing his Ray Guy impersonation and looks to be ready for the season.

I will try to keep in perspective this game as being an opening exhibition game, but I can't deny to myself what my eyes witnessed last night at McAfee Coliseum; the Oakland Raiders football organization fielded a disciplined team with a game plan that dominated their cross bay rival San Francisco 49ers.

Battle Of The Bay 08

Oakland Raiders


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Summer of #4

For those of us old enough to remember the movie "Summer of '42" the Brett Favre/Green Bay Packers fiasco isn't much off the mark.

In the movie a 15-year old boy (Hermie) falls in love for the first time. His love interest is a 22-year old housewife who's soldier husband is off fighting in WWII. So you have a lonely woman and a horny young boy on an island with a summer full of time and dreams. There's also the tearjerker theme song that pulls at your heartstrings and begs you to shed a tear for Hermie.

Well in this summer of '08 love story the soldier (Brett Favre) has come home to find his wife (Greenbay Packers) has moved on with life and is committed to the young man (Aaron Rodgers) a quarterback who's been courting the older woman and given the green light.

In the movie, "Summer of '42," the husband, after a short visit home, is killed in the war and the young boy learns about love and loss of love all in one summer. When the summer is over the girl leaves and the boy is left to ponder what he had, how it was lost and will he ever have it again, Love.

Today our story has a bit of a twist. The focus isn't on the young man who finally gets his chance to love, but on the old war worn soldier who's return was met with contempt. As with all good soldiers, duty and honor are what makes him a respectful man. When that respect is no longer felt, its time to move on to your next battleground. As the soldier walks off into the sunset you can hear the theme song playing in the background.

For the old soldier Brett Favre, that battleground will be in the Meadowlands where he'll wear the green and white of the New York Jets. Many are asking if Brett will ever get over the dishonor the Green Bay Packers have shown him this summer. Ask any man who's had his true love taken away from him, I don't think you ever get over it. As with the young man Hermie in "Summer of '42", only time will heal that wound.

But this summer's biggest NFL story has something that the hit movie never had, a sequel in the form of a football season. We football fans now have some drama to watch for this season. The emergence or downfall of a young Aaron Rodgers as he tries to fill the shoes of a legendary quarterback, and the emergence or downfall of a legendary quarterback as he tries soldiering his new team to respectability.

Whatever the outcome for these two quarterbacks come end of season, we fans have sure been given a "Summer of 08" that'll stay in our memories for tears.......I mean years to come.

correction: the movie "Summer of '42" did have a sequel, "Class of '44." It wasn't as good as the first one. It never is.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Horrific News Quote of the Day!

"They returned to the back of the bus to find that the person who was stabbing the person in the neck had now sawed off the head of (the victim)."
(CTV correspondent Murray Oliver in Winnipeg)

Please, someone pinch me and tell me the year is 2008A.D. and armed Barbarians are not gathering at the gates of civilization.

And I was just asking myself who in their right mind still travels Greyhound bus? Answer: Alfredo Garcia