Sunday, September 29, 2013
Missing A Spare - Raiders Find Themselves Stranded
Once in my youth, with my newly purchased used Dodge Dart car, I took a road trip that today I would call foolish and destined to fail. I'd just bought the Dart, a 1968 rust-bucket with a dependable slant-6 engine, and couldn't wait to hit the road.
The car wasn't much to look at, but it always started up regardless of weather or wear. The problem with it from the get go though was while the engine was un-killable, the rest of it had seen its best days and was heading to hell in a handbasket piece by piece.
But telling that to a teenager with his first set of wheels is like raining on his adventurous parade. He'll listen for a minute, then decide rain would make it that much more a challenge. He feels indestructible.
Well you've heard the horror story before. A four hour adventure turned into a ten hour tour of every mishap imaginable. From lost muffler and overheated radiator to broken windshield wipers and bald tires blowing out. But the kicker was opening up the trunk (for the first time ever) and finding not only that there was no jack or crowbar, but there was No Spare Tire.
At that moment, in the middle of hicksville with nothing but acres of cornfields and barns sparsely spread out, me and my boy realized we simply hadn't prepared properly for the journey. Reality set in and it was then that we heard echoes of the voices of older and wiser souls who tried desperately to warn us of the bumpy road that lay ahead of us.
We came close to kneeling down on the side of that country road and praying for mercy and forgiveness. But the optimism of youth does not bow so quickly, be it a higher being or proven master. Youth cannot accept the steering wheel of life being taken out of their clutches so quickly or easily.
So a desperate decision was made to salvage our broken down dreams of adventure. With A hopping jaunt through corn stalks that blocked out the sun, we found ourselves at the doorstep of a farming family who sounded as if they rescue foolish city boys full of adventure all the time. Farmer John took us under his wing, got us to someone's place who had all that we would need and left me with advice too wise for my young mind to fully appreciate at the time; travel with a toolbox and always with a spare. And more than anything, prepare for a journey as best you can.
Today my Oakland Raiders reminded me of that had-earned lesson of long ago. We all knew the team to be fragile; from RB Darren McFadden's durability to young starting QB Terelle Pryor's inexperience. From the patched up offensive line to the suspect defensive secondary. From a young unproven coach to questionable offensive game planning. Simply put, the Oakland Raiders 2013 are a football team that looks new on the surface, but has a lot of life lessons to learn when it comes to taking a serious journey along the road to the super bowl. They're high on enthusiasm and low on working parts.
Could it be they just couldn't afford the tools necessary to tune-up a vehicle and make it purr along the football freeway? Whatever happened to Next-Man-Up? The Raiders looked as flat as a busted bald tire on a used car with No spare. I only hope that from top to bottom the team man-up and take full responsibility for the dilemma they found themselves in today.
Today's loss to the Washington Redskins showed the Raiders to be Inept, Injury Prone and Ineffective. It was a frustrating day of questionable coaching, play calling and player execution. I'm feeling totally lost at sea. And the season my Nation, is only a quarter of the way through. Jeez Louise! What Next, Lane Kiffin Returns to Oaktown? Spare Us!