Sunday, November 27, 2016

QB Derek Carr's Rescue Return

It was the Best of times, it was the Worst of times in Oakland as the Raiders temporarily lost quarterback Derek Carr, then allowed the Carolina Panthers to score 18 unanswered points to take the lead 25-24. The injury was a freak pinky finger dislocation that would result in a fumbled turnover and Carr running off the field to be attended to.

Up to this point the game was all Raiders as they'd built a 24-7 lead and were cruising toward a ninth victory. But when Carr went out the Panthers sniffed blood in the water and began scoring and scoring and scoring. Raiders backup quarterback Matt McGloin was in for a three and out series before Carr returned to the field with a glove on the injured pinky hand.  It took him a bit to get in the gloved groove as the Panthers and Cam Newton were chocking up points. 

Then in the fourth quarter with the Raiders trailing 32-24, Carr began connecting with receivers as he led the Raiders to a touchdown, a two-point conversion and a Janikowski field goal. It was as if the gloved one was being anointed an mvp caliber quarterback right before the eyes of the Coliseum home crowd. The way Carr uplifted the team and restored the confidence that had earlier led to a dominant performance was something else. Even the defense felt the infusion of energy and came storming back to put Cam down in the Panthers final drive, securing the victory.

Raider Nation has seen just about everything from their team this season. The ways the Raiders have won these nine games borders on miraculous and/or immaculate. Today's game added a new twist to the ways the Raiders are winning; toughing out injuries and leading the team back from the edge of defeat.  Raider Nation saw it, the NFL saw it and fans across the nation saw it.  QB Derek Carr is in the conversation of best quarterbacks in the league.

And lest we forget, the amazing Khalil Mack added some mvp points to his resume today with a freak  interception for a touchdown and a game sealing sack on Cam Newton. 

Mack is worthy of all the talk his play has generated.

The Oakland Raiders are 9-2!

Final Score
Panthers 32
Raiders 35

Monday, November 21, 2016

Raiders Comeback Win In Mexico City

The 2016 AFC West Oakland Raiders are now 8-2 after winning a game where they were outplayed by the Houston Texans for three quarters. As we football fans all know though, it's a four quarter game and how you finish is what defines a winning team. 

Both teams were sucking wind in the high altitude Mexican city. Both teams had to adjust to a sloppy, slippery field. Both teams were desperate for a win that would extend their leads in their divisions. The Raiders fought, battled and accomplished what they set out to do, just win baby.

Don't look at the box score if you wanna know the heart of this Raiders win. Like Oakland native Andre Ward, who overcame a bad start to win a unanimous championship boxing decision this weekend over Sergey Kovalev, they say he won it in the final round. The Raiders seemed on the ropes most of the game, but scored fourteen points in the final quarter to get the win.

It wasn't pretty, quarterback Derek Carr and his receivers weren't getting it done.  Roberts and Crabtree had a number of uncharacteristic drops. Had to be the high altitude combined with coming off a bye week. The running game, the pride of their last victory against the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos, was non-existent. To make up for the running game they threw passes to the running backs and that was key to this win. Defense bent all night and looked tragically broken at times. 

But that fourth quarter was Raiders Time; the moment of truth for a champion. And the Silver & Black delivered. Raiders fullback Jamize Olawale's 75 yard touchdown catch to tie the game in the fourth quarter should've been accompanied by the conga beating chant from Ali;  
The Champ is Here!
The Champ is Here!
The Champ is Here!
The Champ is Here! 

On the Raiders next possession Amari Cooper's 35 yard touchdown, with fellow receiver Seth Roberts throwing a key block that freed up Coop, let you know the boys in black weren't going to be denied; altitude be damned. 

The team overall had blown a bunch of opportunities and some might say they got a few breaks thanks to the referees; I say it's about darn time! Thank goodness for the teams' never quit attitude. Without it the fourth quarter might of been a Houston Texans rout. Instead coach Jack Del Rio, gamble boat Jack, was grinning like a Cheshire cat at the sound of the gun ending the game as the Oakland Raiders booted the Texans back to Houston with a loss tagged onto their sombreros.

Congratulations Oakland Raiders and Andre Ward
Pride & Poise

Final Score
Texans 20
Raiders 27

Friday, November 18, 2016

Raiders Mexico City Tribute

John Carlos to light Raiders Torch in Mexico City game

Firstly, I gotta salute Raiders owner Mark Davis for not only returning Olympic Medalist and human rights icon John Carlos to the city where he made history, but also how and why he's doing it. Mark is simply honoring a place and time that is in much need of remembrance. 

At 13 years old during that historic fist-raised moment in 1968, Mark remembers well the significance of what John Carlos and Tommie Smith had done. In a great article by staff writer Paul Guiterrez, it talks about how Al Davis and his AFL power house Oakland Raiders team of that era were paving the way for racial diversity and equality in football.   Al's son Mark, today's team owner, is keeping the family and organization legacy going with his decision to invite John Carlos to the game. And his commitment to the players was evident in how he conveyed his support of John Carlos and his decision. Mark definitely manned up on this decision. Go get'em bro.

Given the current controversial issue over athletes protesting the national anthem, it almost seems fitting to have John Carlos, one of the men who began it all with his infamous boycott of the national anthem at the 1968 summer Olympics, lighting the torch for Al Davis and the Raiders organization at Monday Night's NFL game in Mexico City. It takes a courageous owner and organization to honor a man and event that were once considered by many to be dishonorable; the Colin Kaepernick of 1968 will stand, most likely, with fist raised at the next Raiders game. You won't wanna miss it, much less the game.
I'm proud to be a fan of an organization that has stood and continues to stand for equality, civil and human rights.

The (7-2) Oakland Raiders are designated the home team and will host the (6-3) Houston Texans this Monday in Mexico; wall or no wall.

Win, Lose or Tie  

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Embarrassed Liberty Mourns

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"

America Awaits Change

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Senator Pacquiao Returns to Office In Victory

Manny Pacquiao came out of retirement last night to out box WBO welter-weight champion Jessie Vargas. The Philippine Senator ended the night in triumph, walking away with the WBO championship belt. 

Manny was just about flawless in his comeback. His punches were quick and powerful while his stamina was as enduring as ever. Vargas, ten years Manny's junior at 27, came into the fight like most champions, unafraid and confident in his abilities.  By the end of the second round, after being knocked down by a lightening quick Pacquiao straight left, Vargas' body language exhibited signs of a tight, guarded, cautious boxer who'd underestimated the speed and agility of his opponent. 

That mask of cockiness Jessie displayed before the fight was all but melted away. Great veteran competitors can do that to young opponents.

Vargas wouldn't go down again in the fight but would sustain damage to the face from Manny's punches. Vargas actually might've won a few rounds on points after the knockdown round, but it was Manny's great footwork and relentless bobbing attack that stole the show and title. 

I think ringside announcer and boxer Timothy Bradley said it best about the energy and endurance of Pacquiao. In answer to whether Pacquiao's senatorial duties and other civic activities outside the ring are dulling his skills inside the ring, Bradley said when he saw Manny a few days before their fight, Manny looked tired and weak. But when Manny got into the ring to fight him he seemed  puffed up, energized and excited to get the fight started. Bradley then said that's why they call him Pacman.

Congratulations and Welcome Back Senator Pacquiao!

"How Manny Pacquiao Beat Jessie Vargas Round By Round"

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Fox News Apologizes For False Hillary Clinton Report

Won't we all be glad when this election is finally over. The indecency and lack of integrity of those we citizens of the United States once held in high esteem for their professionalism and intelligence has shattered our perceptions of democracy.

Those who we trust to inform us with truths can no longer be trusted. The price in dollars and favors for information, true or false, has created a journalism market that reports first, then asks questions about the authenticity and accuracy of what it reports later. This makes for a suspect news media and a failed attempt at journalism.

If I can say anything about anyone and then apologize for my inaccuracy or mistake without any repercussions I could be a wealthy news figure. I could make up new words that define what I did as not being dishonest and/or  disingenuous. Heck, my apology can be made to sound as if it was my highly investigative journalism skills that exposed the falsehood I myself inartfully reported.

Bottom line is once words are said about someone they can't be taken back. All journalists know this. All children are taught this. And still we see media apologies such as this latest to a U.S. Presidential candidate. Must we become as children again in order to rediscover the life lessons passed down to us?

I read recently that power and authority are two completely different things; "power implies that we can accomplish what we plan. Authority signifies only that we may order it to be accomplished." This quote I came across in a novel by Morris West titled The Clowns of God.

It's a story that deals with politics, power, faith and Armageddon. It was written in 1981, but could easily apply to today's world of politics and power. I'd like to think our future political climate can be one where going low is seen as an illness in character and disqualifies one from serving the people of this country. Maybe it should apply to journalism as well, because news affects lives.

With the 2016 Presidential election only days away, I'm trusting that where power and politics have failed us, Divine guidance will light a path for us to tred through our darkest hours. Here's another quote from the book.

"The language of politics is contrived for the concealment of truth."


Fox News apologizes for False Baltimore shooting report

Fox News apologizes for False claims of Muslim-Only areas

Fox News apologizes for Fake Obama story

Fox Affiliate apologizes for Fake Kill-A-Cop protest chant

397 examples of Fox News malaise and counting

Friday, November 04, 2016

(6-2) Teams Battle For AFC West

Thought the Chicago Cubs had something to prove? They at least had one thing going for them nationally that the Raiders lack; Lovableness.  The Raiders are the Tony Montana of the NFL; the bad guy. Be it due to a former feisty owner in Al Davis, intimidating silver and black uniforms or their historic ruggedness of play on the field; the Raiders are the team that everyone loves to hate and many have feared. That is, everyone with the exception of the Raider Nation.

Raider Nation won't cower and hide from the bad guy label, we welcome it, we love it. It's what separates us and our team from the pack. We eat penalties and concussions for breakfast to nourish our will to win. And we can't wait to break bad on the Denver Broncos this weekend in our house. Go ahead, point and stare. We know you need teams and fans like us to make you feel good. But you're not good. So until Sunday night arrives, say goodnight to the bad guy!

"There's a bad guy comin' through! Better get outta his way!"

Tony Montana: What you lookin' at? You all a bunch of fuckin' assholes. You know why? You don't have the guts to be what you wanna be? You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fuckin' fingers and say, "That's the bad guy." So... what that make you? Good? You're not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie. Me, I don't have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth. Even when I lie. So say good night to the bad guy! Come on. The last time you gonna see a bad guy like this again, let me tell you. Come on. Make way for the bad guy. There's a bad guy comin' through! Better get outta his way!

Drawing by Chad Bovey

Warriors Silence Thunder In Oakland

The Oklahoma City Thunder awakened a giant last night in Oakland. The Golden State Warriors had their most lopsided win in a game that was more a statement to the undefeated Thunder and any others who thought the Warriors had lost too many parts in free agency to be dominant this season. 

New Warriors sensation #35 Kevin Durant was sensational with 39pts as he dismantled and dominated his former teammates. Klay Thompson awoke out of his early season slump going 4 of 8 on 3pt. shots and scoring a total of 18pts. Stephen Curry of course broke down the Thunder defense and got his both inside and outside the paint. Draymond Green, Andre Igoudala and new edition Zaza Pachulia raised the defensive effort and looked like the Warriors of today.  

Livingston, Clark and McGee were outstanding off the bench once again. Sure the Warriors will miss Moe Money Speights and others from past seasons, but this years' bench players are showing us that they can keep the winning momentum going in games by both defending and knocking down shots. Shaun Livingston might've of gotten better as that smooth, floating jump shot of his just seems to go down with consistency. And the youngster Ian Clark has definitely returned as a seasoned player with more trust and confidence in his game. Clark could be a difference maker down the road.

It's very early in the season. The Warriors are (4-1) as they take on the L.A. Lakers in Oakland tonight. The Lakers, led by former Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton, have a talented young group of players mixed in with veteran experience. It'll be fun to see how the Warriors attack Luke's team being that he knows everything about them with the exception of their new sensation K.D.. And that Kevin Durant exception is exactly why Luke probably didn't get much sleep last night. Good Luck Luke. Go Warriors!

Thunder 96
Warriors 122

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Hell Freezes Over, Cubs Win World Series

Chicago Cubs won game 7 of the World Series to clinch their first MLB Championship in over a century. The game was one that will go down in "Sports" history for its clutch moments and thrilling drama, which included an immaculately conceived rain delay at the start of the 10th inning with the Indians pumped and the game tie 6-6. 

The Cubs would return to the field after the delay and put up two runs against the Indians. The Indians scored a run in the bottom of the 10th but needed another run to tie; that tying run never materialized and the rest is history.

In my opinion the Cleveland Indians were done the moment the rain dampened the playing field and cooled off their charged momentum. It was a great World Series game 7, almost as great as the 2014 SF Giants game 7 with Madison Bumgarner taking the mound in Kansas City. Almost!

Congratulations Chicago Cubs on cheating the devil with a historic World Series win that'll rank right up there with some of the best baseball ever played.