Some people are fans of the Oakland Raiders. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Oakland Raiders. This 2017 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Oakland Raiders. For two or three more years.
And here I thought McCarran airport couldn’t get any more destitute. By now you know the story: owner and “first man you see in the nudist colony lobby” Mark Davis agreed to move the team to Las Vegas after using Vegas tycoon Sheldon Adelson to secure $750 million in local tax money (for a stadium complex that will cost nearly TWO BILLION DOLLARS), and then turning around and cutting Adelson out of the deal when he wanted a piece of the action. I’m sure that Adelson isn’t plotting ways to undermine the Raiders once they arrive at all! Join us in 2020 when the stadium water supply suddenly and mysteriously shuts off. Nice stadium, Mark. Be a shame if somethin’ happened to it. [Strokes baseball bat]
As with any NFL relocation, Davis is leaving one city he fucked over for a town he is ABOUT to fuck over. Despite Oakland’s efforts to keep the Raiders, they were left with a pile of stadium debt and the requisite FUCK YOU from Commissioner Goodell for the city’s gall to present a stadium plan that didn’t bankrupt every school, hospital, and church.
As for Vegas, it’s now on the hook for the largest stadium subsidy in American history, and Clark County voters didn’t even get to have a say in it. All of this stems from Davis’ childish need to look like a big shot and not be seen as the poorest and trashiest NFL owner. As virtually every other NFL city can tell you, there is no way for a town to reliably pay off a monstrous stadium debt over the course of 30 years without that debt compounding and eating away at nearly every public service. Vegas will get crushed on this deal. And what is Mark Davis gonna do with that all that money now that he’s in the big-debt game? I’ll tell you what he’s gonna do: Nothing. He’s gonna sit at his fucking PF Chang’s stool and be a complete waste of life. In some ways, he’s the perfect Raiders fan.
Who will the Vegas Raiders exist for? What tourist is gonna want to hang out in the only building in town with no gambling? I’ll tell you who: Raider fan trash, hungover bachelor parties, and old ladies who couldn’t get comped for Siegfried & Roy tickets. That stadium will be a tomb.
Your 2016 record: 12-4. Boy, remember when they were cruising along and it looked like they were a definite 1- or 2-seed in the AFC, and fans started daydreaming about meeting New England in the playoffs and finally exacting sweet revenge for the Tuck Rule game, and then OH SNAP!
Yep, I remember all that. This terrible Derek Carr injury and a subsequent injury to backup Matt “My Groin!” McGloin led to the Raiders starting Connor Cook in a Wild Card game against Brock Osweiler and the Texans. Let us never speak of that game again. Why do I even watch this fucking sport?
Your coach: Jack Del Rio, whose fabulous hair and risky two-point strategies aren’t quite enough to make up for the fact that he’s a Seth Rich truther.
He’s just asking questions, folks! Even Pete Carroll is like, “Jesus, man.”
Your quarterback: Derek Carr, who just got paid despite having his leg snap in two just a few months ago. I have a soft spot in my heart for Derek Carr, but man… sometimes he makes it hard.
“For the (fans that leave), I don’t really believe that they’re true Raider fans. I feel their hurt. I’m with you. I hurt, too. But at the same time, we’re all in this together and we’re just going to do it together.”
And then there was this:
I’m glad he’s pro-child labor, because that’s probably what’s helping to build the new stadium.
What’s new that sucks: BEAST MODE! Yes, Marshawn Lynch unretired and has come back home to Oakland, which would be cool except that the team is, you know, leaving. For the second time! This owner and this team don’t deserve a farewell tour. And they DEFINITELY don’t deserve to stumble bass-ackwards into one of football’s most beloved players to help make the coming move easier to digest.
Keep in mind that Lynch is 31 and was hurt for most of his final season in Seattle. It’s not a given that he’s gonna go out there and Beastquake his way through the season. It’s much more likely that he’ll tear both hamstrings, do a few clever press conferences, and leave a gaping hole at RB now that Latavius Murray left via free agency. The euphoria will die down and the realization that this team is never coming back will eventually sink in. But that’s not a problem because…
What has always sucked: You might think that sticking around Oakland is suicide for Mark Davis, right? After taking a dump on the city, falling into bed with a new town, and even ripping off his own cheerleaders, can this shitbag REALLY keep staging games here, much less show his face in public? They should uproot the seats and throw them into the owner’s box, am I right? People, let me introduce you to a remarkable strain of Raiders Nation: The Vegas Apologists.
I’ll say this for Raiders fans: They’re different, all right. Rather than act like normal fans and be outraged over desertion, Raiders fans have instead decided to display a kind of breathtakingly imbecilic tribalism and accuse anyone who ditches the team of not being True Raider Fanz. Like being loyal to Mark Davis is some kind of badge of honor. You’re not in a gang, dipshits. Some sad haircut is fucking you over in broad daylight and you want bonus Tough Guy Points for it. What a bunch of braindead rubes. I bet they’ll be first in line for tickets to Justice League. Meanwhile, I got more letters this year from Titans fans. Raiders fans are a big nothing.
Did you know? This team did some football things this offseason! It’s true. In the spirit of Al Davis, they signed Cordarrelle Patterson because he can run and do nothing else. They also brought in EJ Manuel (LOL), Gareon “consensual sexual event” Conley, and tight end Jared Cook. Make one fluky play in the postseason and you better believe the Eternal Al Flame will be ready with $15 million guaranteed.
Sean Smith was arrested for felony assault. A true Raider.
What might not suck: The punter! The punter is fun.
HEAR IT FROM RAIDERS FANS!
Fuck Mark Davis.
I have spent all of my teen years and a fair share of my twenties masochistically following this team, only to watch them bolt for a giftwrapped stadium in another state at the first sniff of success. The Raiders have two years to win a championship in Oakland before the karma clock hits zero and are doomed to play tourist attraction to road fanbases in Vegas for the rest of eternity.
Fuck Mark Davis, fuck the move and fuck the NFL. I’ve seen a ton of people saying shit like “Well, if any team can work in Vegas, it’s the Raiders!” as if Vegas is still in the Rat Pack era. Las Vegas fucking sucks. Everything arguably unique about this team is going to be stripped away because Mark Davis wanted a big boy stadium to impress his father, currently watching from hell.
I hope you’re ready for the camera to cut to “Progressive Insurance’s The Black Hole”! Or seeing shitty ads like “The Autumn Wynn”. Or listening to announcers point out that roulette has black in it and so do the Raiders! Christ. It’s going to be insufferable.
Jamarcus fucking Russell. Ahead of Megatron and AP. There is no god.
I think the fat kid from Little Giants who kept a sandwich in his helmet could cover TE’s better than any defensive player on the current roster.
My dad plans to retire to Vegas two years from now, so we’re actually excited about the Raiders moving. So that makes us pretty much the shittiest Raiders fans, I’m sorry. Fuck Trent Cole.
There’s a Black Hole in the stands and also at middle linebacker. We still play on a fucking baseball diamond. Las Vegas is a shit stain of a city and I’m sure it won’t be a distraction at all for anyone not named Derek “Jesus in Cleats” Carr. Derek Carr is Tim Tebow if Tebow learned how to throw a football as a kid instead of handling snakes. Our fanbase is delusional.
I want the Raiders to win a championship before they leave, not for the glory, not for the ring or trophy, and not even for that feeling of pride that washes over fans when they’ve done nothing but sit on their asses and watch people go to work and win some games. No, I want the Raiders to win a championship to watch the real debate that will happen with whether or not it will be safe for Mark Davis to actually show up at the parade in downtown Oakland.
I have a Raiders hat. I wore it out once, and, I shit you not, someone tried to sell me a gold chain.
We’re supposed to be a big, bad scary team of rebels and renegades but our QB is the biggest Jeebus freak this side of Tebow. The Snake is spinning in his grave and would kick his ass with a shot of tequila in his right hand and a bimbo groupie in the other.
I took a friend up on her offer of her preseason tickets for Seahawks at Raiders. My 11-year-old son loves the Seahawks, so against all common sense, I said, “great!”
We got there about 90 minutes early. Everything was pretty low-key – lots of pot smoke, people who seemed high and/or drunk, lots of full amber-colored alcohol bottles. Good times! We got some (stale) food and sat in some pretty great seats. Other people had on Seahawks gear, so I started to feel “better” that my son had on his sweatshirt and hat - like he wouldn’t get verbally taunted.
Then the kick-returner takes a knee in the end zone, only to be warmly cheered with “You have ONE job, you fucking pussy!!! Run it back!” This was yelled by almost everyone around us. From then on it was a constant barrage of the F-word, the C-word, etc. Just constant. I had told my son this would likely be the case, but it was still surprising for these fans to be so worked up for a lame-ass preseason game.
2nd quarter, I realize that the sound I keep hearing is the huge bong being used in the seat directly behind my son. I’m not sure how this was possible, since every person behind us had a beer in one hand, and hard alcohol in the other, but they were talented.
By halftime, it was about 8:45 PM on a Thursday, a meaningless pre-season game, and the score was 2-0 Raiders on a safety. Ugh. My son asked if we could walk around, and hey, maybe leave since he was kind of tired. Sure! There was a guy face down on the concrete, 10 feet from us. Then another guy drops on his back and handcuffs him – as if the first guy was putting up a fight – but he seemed passed out. We glance to the side (also about 10 feet away) and there are at least three more people being handcuffed – pretty forcefully – and other people looking disappointed that the excitement was ending. My son turned to me, gave me a Han Solo nod, and we walked out of the Coliseum.
As we were walking out - 9:00 PM on a Thursday night, others were just arriving from the parking lot – so stoned and drunk and aggressive and stumbling I couldn’t believe it.
We walked along the ramps back to Bart, with enough pot smoke I’m surprised my son didn’t get the munchies. He then stepped over a used condom – in the middle of the ramp, perhaps dropped from above? – his eyes wide, but also kind of bummed at how the whole thing sucked and his team was losing, said, “at least they were safe.”
Because their “superfans” are the biggest collection of self important jagoffs in the NFL. Guys like Dr .Death and that clown in the gorilla costume who honestly think the Raiders are impressed by their dedication to a team that’s been dogshit for 80 percent of its time back in Oakland. Guess what morons? Mark Davis wouldn’t piss on you if you were set ablaze and neither would most Raider fans.
When these superfans finally kick the bucket you can bet your ass that Mark Davis, Derek Carr or even that annoying punter won’t be attending the funeral. And there won’t be any remembrance patches on the uniforms.
With the Christmas season in full swing during Week 16, I was off the grid most of the 24th and 25th of December. When I got home at halftime of the Chiefs-Broncos on Christmas night, I had 47 texts/Facebook messages waiting for me. Five were “Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays.” Forty-two were some variation of “Your Raiders are fucked with Carr hurt.” Six of those 42 were not contacts.
OK, the Raiders right now actually act like a viable and intelligent NFL franchise with a plan. They’re going to be a fashionable pick to make the playoffs for the whopping 12th time since moving to Los Angeles in 1982. After so much time in the wilderness, they’ve given fans a reason to care again, and make those fans want their team to stick around in a stadium that has sewage in the dugouts.
And just like in 1980, it would be so typical Raiders to find a way to win it all just as all of the organization’s tchotchkes are packed in storage, ready to move away from Oakland. Why not? Kick fans in the teeth once more for posterity, except this time with really nice loafers.
My Dad grew up in Oakland. He is a huge Raider fan. Stabler, Branch, Tatum, Biletnikoff, Shell, Upshaw, Otto (their O-Line was so good, you remembered their names!!!) all those guys and so many more. So many great and unforgettable games. The Sea of Hands. The Ghost to the Post. The Holly Roller. The Immaculate Reception (we still HATE the Steelers!!!) Then when he was 22, they moved to Los Angeles. He remained a fan! To my whole family, this team represents home, even though my grandpa’s great-grandpa came here about 100 years before the Raiders did.
Even aside from the history and nostalgia, this move to Vegas is going to destroy the game-day atmosphere. Absolutely without a doubt, opposing fans and tourists alike will show up in busloads to the sparkly new Help Mark Davis Feel Like a Big Shot NFL Team Owner/Bank of America Palace in Vegas. Bandwagon Niner fans from 2013 looking to jump off that sinking tire fire in Santa Clara will join the hoards of white trust fund douche bros.
Every real Raider fan would rather stand in that concrete garbage prison complex and scream at the top of their lungs with all the hooligans, whackjobs and other random imbeciles. We did it for years when we were watching Fatass JaMarcus Russell during those 4-12 seasons. Now we’re gonna be the stadium nice enough for every rich asshole and their mother-in-law. Fuck them and fuck this new stadium. I already miss pissing in the troughs and yelling “RAAAAIDERRRS!” while the smell of that good Bay Area weed wafts past. I already miss the tailgating, where everyone is drunkenly dancing to Mac Dre and happily trading barbecue and booze. I already miss the baseball field and the pussies who scream on Twitter, “Our team shouldn’t have to play on dirt I am embarrassed and ashamed!!!” If you really want this Vegas stadium, you don’t understand how soul-crushing this move is. Or you’re just an LA Raider fan, and the distance you have to drive to a Raiders home for you has now been cut in.
Fuck the NFL. And superfuck the real commissioner, Emperor Jerrah Jones. This is mainly his undoing. This is Mark Davis and Roger Goodell and every other fucking owner shitting on the fans so they add millions and millions to their billions and billions. I hope Mark Davis loses all his fingers when he crashes his minivan into a Hooters and he can’t hold the Lombardi trophy in February because DAMMIT, WE’RE GONNA BE SUPER BOWL 52 CHAMPS! RAAAAIDERRRRRS!!!
I only really ask my sports teams for three things: don’t roster rapists/domestic abusers, don’t use public money to build stadiums, and don’t move away from me. The Raiders did all three in the same damn offseason. To top it all off, our central valley redneck QB pulled the typical “Real fans will stick with the team no matter what!” line as soon as the move was declared final. Yes, because Real Americans don’t run away from their problems. Real Americans keep getting punched in the gut by their problems, then alternate between bitching about their problems & loudly declaring how getting punched in the gut makes them better than you.
Am I mad about that? Actually, I’m not. I’m not mad at you for taking this team away from away when they finally got good after over a decade of misery. I’m not mad at you for that decade of misery. I’m thankful. Thankful that I can finally stop being a fan of this team & this franchise never to suffer that misery again.
So thank you Reggie McKenzie for using a first rounder on a player who was actively investigated for sexual assault. Thank you Mark Davis for up and moving when the city of Oakland wouldn’t hand you hundreds of millions of dollars. Thank you Las Vegas for actually ponying up those hundreds of millions like the suckers you are. And a special thank you to Derek Carr for burning the last bridge of my fandom on your way out. Thank you for freeing me from the prison that is NFL fandom.
P.S. - When it got announced that Gareon Conley won’t face sexual assault charges, damn near every Raiders fan celebrated & plenty immediately started lashing out at the accuser. I won’t miss this fanbase an ounce. Good fucking riddance.
It was Christmas Eve and I was flying home for the Holidays. I had a 3-hour layover at O’Hare, where I managed to find an airport bar that was playing the Raiders-Colts game. I didn’t even mind spending $8 a beer because the Silver and Black were dismantling the Colts and looking like a team that could actually make a real run for the Super Bowl.
We had the DPOY and a lethal offense led by a legit MVP candidate at QB. I was surrounded by Bears fans watching Matt Barkley, who had put a couple decent games together, completely implode and throw five interceptions. I remembered all the times in the last 15 years I had convinced myself that maybe we had a found a QB only to have reality smack me in the face. There was Duante Culpepper, Aaron Brooks, Bruce Gradkowski, Kerry Collins, Andrew Walter, Terrelle Pryor, Carson Palmer, Jason Campbell, and of course Jamarcus “Purp Drank” Russell. But no longer, for we had finally found our franchise QB. So what if it looks like he wears eyeliner and can’t go more than 5 minutes without mentioning Jesus, he still slings the ball around like a young Brett Favre. Life was good.
The game had already been decided by the time I was boarding my plane home. he Raiders were up big and in cruise control. I put my phone in airplane mode and spent my flight thinking of how all the suffering was finally going to be worth it and how we would get our Tuck Rule revenge by beating the Pats in the AFC championship.
Then we landed and I turned my phone off airplane mode. The first text rolled in and my heart sank. “Sorry about Carr”. My in-laws picked us up at the airport and I spent the ride home trying to hold back my tears. Merry Christmas!
So my beloved Raiders are in their first playoff game in 15 years and yet once again we are the laughing stock of the NFL as Connor Cook makes the Texans look like the ‘85 Bears. I started writing this by looking at the email I sent you last year, “I honestly don’t know how we are gonna fuck it up this time, but I do know it’s gonna hurt more than the past 15 years of incompetence combined have.” Well, fuck.
Just Win Baby.
Fifteen years. I waited for the Raiders to make it back to the playoffs for 15 years. January 7, 2017. 4:34 P.M., I’m sitting in my tattered Napoleon Kaufman jersey, genuinely trying to find a reason to actually turn on the TV. Because I know exactly what’s going to happen. Every man, woman and child on the planet knows what’s going to happen. The Texans are going to play like the slow, predictable, aggressively mediocre, perennial playoff jobbers that they are, and Osweiler is going to play like the unmitigated pile of dogshit that HE is, and the Raiders are STILL going to get blown out. It’s about to be an awful, awful football game that the Raiders are never, at any point, even close to winning. Everyone knows it, so why even watch?
But I did. I sat in silence and felt like I was watching a movie I’d already seen a hundred times. Honestly, if the clip of Connor Cook throwing a screen to Clowney gets played over and over for the next 15 years instead of the Tuck Rule clip, I’ll be ecstatic.
Like most Raider fans, I’m really just a miserable bastard who hates everyone and everything.
While attending Raider games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, I had my car stolen once (some thief was actually desperate enough to steal a 1983 Dodge Colt). My next car was broken into a couple weeks later. I was threatened with knife play twice (I was 13 at the time of both incidents and threatened by grown men). I had a hot dog thrown at me…by another Raider fan…for wearing a Clippers hat, and offered cocaine in the bathroom.
I’ve been to two games up in Oakland, both against the Chiefs. They lost both: 28-0 and 56-31. I’d long since come to terms with my bisexuality and so I decided I was going to take my boyfriend, at the time, to that 28-0 shit show. We were both called faggots at least five times. We weren’t even holding hands. Some guy behind us who reeked of weed and b.o. stole our bag of peanuts then called me a “fucking fag”. The last game I went to was that 56-31 beatdown (courtesy of Alex fucking Smith!). A pair of white, twenty-something woo girls dressed in Chiefs gear had to leave because people wouldn’t stop throwing shit at them.
Anyway, fuck this team. Fuck their Neanderthal fans. Fuck their creepy necromantic pre-game ceremony for dipshit Al Davis. Fuck Northern California and all the techno-libertarian cheesedicks that go to Oakland to slum it every now and then for (mostly) Warriors games, but also the occasional Raider and A’s games. Fuck the bowels of the Oakland Coliseum for smelling like actual rotten ass. Fuck Derek Carr for looking EXACTLY like every other white asshole that lives in Fresno. Fuck those morons who wear the “Welcome to Oakland, bitch” t-shirts. Fuck Las Vegas. Fuck Marchman for acting as though he’s superior to Las Vegas, as though the move to Vegas was ever in any way marketing to snobby East Coast fucks like him. “Oh, I’m Marchman and I won’t use a microwave, but I’ll chew tobacco harvested by Danish wood nymphs because it’s organic!” Fuck the L.A. Coliseum turf that nearly killed Bo Jackson via a hip injury. Fuck the Rams and Chargers for colluding to keep the Raiders from moving back to Southern California. Fuck the NFL for letting them get away with it, despite it being an obvious mistake. Fuck the Chargers for moving back to San Diego in ten years, which is so obviously inevitable. Fuck Al Davis in his grave. Fuck the Coliseum Commission and Richard Riordan. And especially fuck me for being a fan and wanting the Raiders to move back to Los Angeles in the first place.
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