Compiled by RaiderBeat.com Staff
SHOOT THE MESSENGER
Six years of futility. Won-loss records of: 4-12, 5-11, 4-12, 2-14, 4-12, 5-11, and yet Raider fans have excuses for almost everything.
It is time for everyone to look in the mirror and take responsibility for the person on the other side.
Instead of trying to scream down anyone that questions anything about the team, ask first, “Is this why we are losing?”
Why should cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha get slack for missing the OTA? Sure, he is a great player and a great humanitarian. So what?
That has nothing to do with why the team isn’t improving. He is the highest-paid player in the league, which makes him a leader by default. He sets an example.
If he just takes the money and doesn’t show up except when required, then that sends a strong message to everyone else on the team.
This is just a microcosm of why the Raiders have lost an astonishing 72 games in six years. He needs to be called out. He has all the time in the world to pass out food and scholarships. His team needs him now, and he is not there for them.
Just like quarterback JaMarcus Russell getting called out for the party photos. In one photo, it appeared as if he has an enormous gut. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, you can’t get that out of shape and expect to play at a high level during the season.
Again, it is a total disregard for your team when you act and dress like a clown. If the Raiders are going to stage a turnaround this season, they need to pull up their bootstraps and start doing the little things that lead to winning.
No more shortcuts. No more “personal issues.” They need to get out on the field and fight for positions. Stop handing out spots based on contracts.
Coach Tom Cable is trying to change the culture, but he needs 100 percent commitment from his key players to make this work.
Asomugha and punter Shane Lechler received their huge contracts. Now it’s time to show that the money was well spent. With more money comes more responsibility and more expectations.
Derrick Burgess’ games are getting old, too. Enough already. His moodiness isn’t worth the possibility of him getting eight to 10 sacks this season.
Let Trevor Scott and Matt Shaughnessy play. Tell Burgess to come back when he feels like contributing to the team.
The fans don’t want to hear any of this, we know. They lash out at anyone who dares to call things the way they are for being so tired of all the losing or plain angry about carrying the fight for so long.
The Raiders very well may have the players necessary to be an improved team but nothing will change until the leaders step up and take charge instead of just showing up and picking up a check.
CAN YOU IMAGINE?
NASCAR is only sport in America that would change the rules in the middle of the season.
NASCAR president Mike Helton and his staff are so in tune to the TV ratings, sponsors cries and fans’ grumblings that it almost seems as if they make up the rules as they go.
This week, NASCAR changed the rules on re-starts, moving the cars one lap down to the back of the pack instead of the inside lane on re-starts.
The details are not as important as the change itself. Can you imagine if the NFL made rule changes in the middle of the season to appease fans?
Last year alone would have brought about a couple of new rules, especially in Week 1 when New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady went down with a knee injury, striking terror into both league executives and fantasy football players alike.
A quick call to end all touching of quarterbacks could have protected against any other franchise players from going down.
If that were the case, we would have missed the exciting story of Brady’s replacement, Matt Cassel, who after not starting a game since high school came in and led the Patriots to an 11-5 record and almost a playoff berth.
Or, what about when official Ed Hochuli made a bad call during the San Diego Chargers game against the Denver Broncos early in the season?
The league could have mandated instant replay of the instant replay. Five- and six-hour games, where every call is perfect and 245 holding calls a game become the norm.
Of course, the following week, they could just change the rules about blocking.
Raider fans have a few changes they would like to make, we’re sure.
No more fourth quarters. Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson no longer can play against the Raiders. The Patriots are required to come up with fair value for the Randy Moss trade.
Of course, the NFL does not react like NASCAR. For the most part, the NFL remembers its roots and does not always try bend to the prevailing breeze.
That’s why it’s alarming to see some teams adding logos to their practice jerseys in an effort to capitalize on more marketing dollars.
No one knows if by allowing small ads on practice jerseys the league is opening Pandora’s Box in regard to having advertising on regular-game jerseys.
In Europe, jerseys are covered in ads, but it is a different culture. Europeans spend differently, respond to advertising differently and have a different expectation level for what their favorite teams should look like.
In Europe, it offends no one to have 15 ads upon a Manchester United jersey, while traditionalists in the United States would gasp in horror if the Chicago Cubs or Raiders uniforms began to look like a NASCAR drivers suit covered in sponsors logos.
It is foolish to think that the owners won’t take the money and place the ads on the jerseys.
Barring rules from the league, it is only a matter of time before the licensing rights to game-day jerseys are sold to the highest bidder. Maybe the fans will be loud enough to prevent this from becoming a reality, but most likely it will come down to dollars and cents and not common sense.