Oakland doesn’t get much publicity as a sports town, but the capital of the East Bay is one of the few cities in America to house a team in each of the three major sports (Take that, San Francisco! You too, hockey!). But faced with the prospect of losing two-thirds of its teams, Oakland is now in the middle of a sporting crisis.
A BRIEF HISTORY LESSON FIRST:
It has become very fashionable for people to turn down the Raiders coach since Jon Gruden and former GM Bruce Allen left. Since owner Al Davis usually doesn’t give good recommendations, so once Bruce Allen landed with friend Jon Gruden he promptly returned volley on Al Davis and slammed the Oakland Raiders whenever he got the chance.
Al Davis in his own Oakland Raiders dimension, thought that it didn’t matter what the current GM of the Tampa Bay Bucs said about him and didn’t return volley.
In the meantime, Bruce Allen went on slamming the organization every chance he gets. It doesn’t help that the Raiders continued to lose and Jon Gruden won the Super Bowl the next time. So all the GM brethren (led by Bruce Allen) aren’t afraid to tell their assistants, current coaches, and media that the Raiders job is the worst job in sports and TSN isn’t afraid to print a story in their magazine that the Raiders Job is the worst in sports.
It didn’t help that Al Davis turned to Art Shell or Tom Walsh (icons from before I was born which is sad). That perpetuated the myth that Al Davis is an old stick in the mud.
Please bear with me all you baseball fans in full time spring training mode. Take your eyes off of those brackets for just a second you college hoop nuts. NBA and NHL fans that can’t wait for some springtime playoff action give me your undivided attention. I’m a member of all the above groups, except for the baseball thing, but one sport always supersedes the others in my humble opinion. I live in an NFL world and there is always something to get excited about, even this deep into the off-season. What’s got my football heart pumping a bit faster this year you might ask…or might not? From this little spiel’s title you don’t need a six on the Wonderlic test to figure it out; Vince Young starring as an Oakland Raider is what consumes my slightly insane mind.
When Oakland Raider’s owner Al Davis tabbed Art Shell, the same Art Shell Davis fired eleven years ago, his new head coach, I could only muster a roll of the eyes. This hiring reeked of a desperate old man reaching back into his past to try and save the future. Then I watched the venerable Mr. Davis speak at his press conference and once again I found myself drinking the Silver & Black kool-aid.
I feel for the fans of the Carolina Panthers. They watched their team lose on the greatest stage in all of sports. Hopefully they can cope with their teams loss much better than I have. I am still coming to grips with my Oakland Raiders losing Super Bowl XXXVII. Maybe putting my experience on paper will help me finally overcome my grief…maybe not. What follows is my personal reflection on losing the big game.
While any Raiders fan should be pleased with Oakland’s house cleaning this offseason, they should also be plenty worried about coaching, age, quality and defensive scheme.