Why Your Team Sucks 2018: Oakland Raiders

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Some people are fans of the Oakland Raiders. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Oakland Raiders. This 2018 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: Oakland Raiders, for like one more year? I do believe they’re contractually obligated to play all of next season’s home games in an abandoned Dick’s Sporting Goods outside Reno. Here are some idiots fighting:

Your 2017 record: 6-10. Remember when Amari Cooper was good? God, that feels like it was decades ago. Anyway, this was an incredibly promising outfit until they all agreed as a group to play the entire 2017 drunk on grape Dimetapp.


Your coach: Jon Gruden.


Between these two men, America’s chain restaurants never need to fear bankruptcy. The one good thing the Raiders have done this century is take Gruden out of the broadcasting booth. I’m overjoyed. My Monday nights just got 75 percent quieter, and I live with three children.

Ten years, $100 million. For that guy. I’m still aghast. Here is a man whose greatest accomplishment was winning a title using Tony Dungy’s players and Bill Callahan’s play sheet. That was 16 years ago. He went 45-51 after that title and spent his remaining years in Tampa fondling quarterbacks and then tossing them aside like an old lady picking out cantaloupes at the supermarket. The game passed this man by a fucking decade ago. Hiring Jon Gruden now is like thawing out a caveman and making him a calculus teacher.

I am already sick to death of the media hordes gathering around this freckled moron and hanging on his every word like he’s some kind of charming sage when, in reality, he’s a complete shit-for-brains. And I am so, so sick of the Gruden BRAND, where he spends all day blabbing about how much he loves FOOTBAW so much that he forgot to take his hand off the stove. He’s an insufferable idiot, and he was hired strictly as a limp marketing scheme for the Vegas move. The Raiders’ fanbase will soon consist entirely of people who wear flip flops to steakhouses, and Jon Gruden is the ideal ambassador to that demographic. That’s why he got $100 million. It sure as shit isn’t because he’s a master motivator:


Or because he relates to players:


Or because he’s a brilliant strategist:


Or because he’s adopted modern philosophies:


I can’t believe the Raiders are voluntarily clinging to outdated people and methods, all for the sake of their tough-guy image! SO UNLIKE THEM. Anyway, you’re going 4-12 forever. Gruden definitely isn’t giving that money back.

Your quarterback: Derek Carr. Remember when Miko Grimes suggested that Derek Carr was feuding with his offensive line because of the national anthem, and that the line let the Skins break Carr’s back because they hated him so much? I TOTALLY believe that. Miko is a total loon, but I believe everything I read on the internet, and I believe that rumor the most. I watched that game. The Raiders played very much like a bunch of men who hated one another. They made the Skins looks like the goddamn Patriots.


I am the QAnon shitposter of Raiders locker room feuds, and I’m confident in my truthering because I know that Derek Carr is dollar store Philip Rivers. He is Philip Rivers with a lower sperm count. Three years from now, Gruden will have cycled through a dozen other quarterbacks and Carr will be conducting bible studies from home in a full body cast. They already let Christian Hackenberg stop by for a lettuce wrap before sending him on his way. There’ll be plenty more failed passers where that came from.

What’s new that sucks: Hey, do you guys like retreads? Of course you do. You’re the Raiders. It wasn’t enough to drag Gruden out of the St. Petersburg Hooters and hand him $100 million. The team also brought in Doug Martin, Martavis Bryant, and walking concussion Jordy Nelson. Why not bring Ronnie Lott back for one last rodeo too? All three of these players have their best years behind them, but such hang-ups have never stopped the Raiders in the past, and it’s not stopping them now. Remember when they brought Beast Mode out of retirement last year and everyone got all excited? Yeah no, he sucked balls.


The funny thing about the Raiders is that they’ll treat any has-been like a king, and yet when it comes to their own home-grown players, Mark Davis suddenly remembers that he’s the poorest owner in football. Khalil Mack is still holding out. What is this team waiting for? Have you SEEN the rest of this defense? Everyone else on this defense either has a rap sheet or a life-threatening illness. Oh, and look! MORE FUCKING RETREADS. They signed Leon Hall, and Frostee Rucker, and Derrick Johnson. 4-12. 4-12 4-12 4-12 4-12 4-12 4-12 4-12 4-12 4-12 4-12. Tattoo the numbers on your ass so you don’t forget them. I bet you got ample room for it.


What has always sucked: Again, this was a promising team just a little over a year ago. They had a recognizable core of young talent and they had apparently moved on, at long last, from being the Al Davis Raiders: a cheap anachronism of a ballclub willing to sign anyone who could win a footrace held outside the Coliseum. The Raiders were finally going to be a modern, functional NFL franchise. All it took was one lousy season for them to completely abandon that plan and go back to being a bunch of glory day­­­–humping imbeciles.

And you know what? It makes sense, at least from a marketing perspective. After all, what is a Raiders fan but a human retread? Every Raiders fan is on their second marriage, and defaulting on their second mortgage, and in court AGAIN for back payments on child support. If your future is impossibly bleak, this is the team for YOU. When they finally fuck off to Vegas, they’ll be the perfect nostalgia act: taking up permanent residency at some tacky casino and offering locals a cheap facsimile of NFL action. “Remember football? This looks almost just like it!” This team is moving to Vegas because they couldn’t figure out how to get a scam going in the most overheated real estate metro in the hemisphere. Any other NFL team would have bilked Oakland years ago, but the Raiders fucked up and now they’re going to the Land Of Failures. They deserve it.


I’m already so much more excited for the Vegas Raiders pregame show than the team itself. They’re gonna bring out a bunch of Disneyland actors to re-enact one of the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, and they’ll fire off real cannons and shit and it’ll be AWESOME. Then the games will start and Gruden will call Spider 2 Y Banana 60 times and they’ll lose by 48.

Seabass left, which is a shame because he’s the only man left on Earth who was alive when Gruden was a decent coach.


What might not suck: Against my better judgment, I truly believe that last season was an aberration and that Amari Cooper will return to form. I will be proven wrong by the second half of the first game, when Amari drops an easy touchdown pass and then blows out both his knees on the infield dirt.

Let’s remember a guy who sucked: To this day, JaMarcus Russell remains the Raiders ideal: a remarkable physical talent who has NO EARTHLY IDEA how to play the sport of football. He was Al Davis’s wettest dream. And you know what? There are more JaMarcuses in your future. I can feel it. Gruden is gonna watch some pud college QB throw the ball 80 yards on one knee and he’s gonna tell everyone THIS YOUNG MAN IS A FOOTBALL PLAYER. I can’t wait. Your failures have only just begun.



Megan Greenwell:

Remember that one time they were actually good and then Derek Carr broke his leg on Christmas goddamn Eve like some sort of reverse Christmas miracle? I do.



Fuck me running.


Because Mark Davis lives like the poor man’s Donald Trump.


Their defense is terrible but the only signing they made was 400-year-old Derrick Johnson who has more torn Achilles than Derek Carr has broken legs.



I’m shocked Madden wasn’t rehired.


Our quarterback once picked up a hitchhiker probably because he thought it might be Jesus and once scolded fans for being unhappy their team was moving out of state.



Every home game the cameras will cut to the idiots in the black hole and try and show as many stupid fucking Chucky dolls as possible.



My friend who lives in Vegas told me that it was 117 degrees with a 128 heat index on Saturday.



The Warriors may have ruined the NBA, but the Raiders ruined my life a long time ago.



Damn this annual misery. Go to Vegas already.


Due to how often players are traded away, I always considered it a waste to buy the jersey of a current player. But when I realized that Khalil Mack was a generational talent, one of the best defensive players in the NFL who can single-handedly win games, I knew that it was a safe purchase, because only the dumbest team imaginable wouldn’t keep him locked up until he can’t walk anymore.

I am now remembering that the Raiders are the dumbest team imaginable. I want a refund.



Jon Gruden wants to “throw the game back to 1998.”

The Raiders’ record in 1998: 8-8

We are so fucked.


There’s so much wrong I almost don’t know where to start:

With the success of the Golden Knights, we’ll be second fiddle in Vegas.

The team of Tom Flores and Art Shell blatantly flouting the Rooney Rule, then handing Jon Gruden £100 million to star in his own Life on Mars reboot, despite years of evidence he can’t evaluate players worth shit and heroically abstaining on the anthem rule vote.

All the rebuilding work by Reggie’s gone up in smoke: Crabtree and King are out, in their place: a 2012 fantasy team and Kolton Freaking Miller. Our offense is so old and slow we’re not even good on Madden now. Derek Carr got paid and turned back into a pumpkin with Matt Stafford’s arm and Alex Smith’s balls.

Gareon Conley’s still on the team, and at best, a total scumbag.

The coaching staff’s even worse: Our OC coached Derek’s dire rookie year and then Blake Bortles, who’s nearly competent without him. Our DC got here by plagiarising Mike Zimmer and playing the Browns twice a year. We still can’t cover tight ends.

Tom Cable’s running our O-Line after six years of ‘protecting’ Russell Wilson. Four separate reports of domestic violence got Cable sacked from his old job – coaching the Oakland Raiders.

Here’s to going 6-10.

Nick :

We fired Coach Shooter McGavin so that Mark Davis can take his new buddy to go get matching haircuts and sit at P.F. Chang’s talking about how much the next shit-sack defensive back we sign really “just lives and breathes FOOTBALL, man I tellya.” Fuck this team with a 40 oz of Jamarcus Russell’s sizzurp.



They drafted this guy in the first round over Minkah Fitzpatrick, Tremaine Edmunds and Derwin James.



The greatest irony here is that many a fool wearing silver and black have waltzed into a San Leandro tattoo parlor and paid for an image and/or quote of Al Davis...the man who traded their beloved Jon Gruden to the Bucs which inadvertently lost us a Super Bowl and cursed us for over a decade. Al Davis was not your dad, uncle, grandpa or distant cousin! He was evil vince lombardi.

Derek Carr can only throw accurately if he’s sure that his wide receivers will drop it. But have no fear! Jordy Nelson and Ryan Switzer are here! MAGA RaiderNation is already jizzing their pants over the grit and work ethic. The defense looks great on paper but then you remember that Reggie Nelson can’t tackle or run. Every defensive back is terribly inconsistent or perpetually injured. Khalil Mack is the only proven star on this team and I feel bad for him. Bruce Irvin is awesome too. BUT THAT’S IT. Fuck the Chiefs.



I’ve never been afraid of God or concepts like divine wrath, but there was something deeply, spiritually concerning about seeing our star QB shatter his leg on Christmas Eve. Watching the hopes and dreams of so many lurid, sinful Raider fans snuffed out like they were an affront to Jesus Christ himself made me think about the Sodomites, and what they must have felt as they received their terrible judgment. One some level I knew we deserved it.



Mark Davis’ entire existence is built upon a foundation of daddy issues.

“The old man traded Gruden and immediately lost to him in the next Super Bowl? I’ll do what he couldn’t and bring back Chucky with $10 million and a blank check for all of his assistant coach buddies to frolic around and relive the glory days!”

“Pops moved the team to LA that one time? I’ll one-up him by sending the team to Vegas. On sale now: a package deal of raiders tickets and passes to the ZZ Top residency.”

“Our acclaimed radio play-by-play man offers a fair criticism of me trying to mend bridges with Mike Shanahan? Fuck that dude. I’m not talking to him for the next two years until we find someone else to replace him. Ooh, there’s Brent Musburger, gambling enthusiast and apologist for violence toward women. PERFECT!”

Bringing in Gruden is akin to going all-in on BitCoin. Also, can’t wait for them to get cold feet on Khalil Mack and let him walk. There goes the one elite defensive player you’ve had in the last five years, doofuses.





Dr. Death, and all the Mafia wannabes in the East Bay/Pleasant Hill, and all the suburb-livin’ tough guys/insane conspiracy theorists are “DONE” with the Raiders. I guess being “DONE” means you have to cry about Mark Davis and The Raiders all the goddamn time on Twitter.

I’m from Oakland. If you’re done with the Raiders, I get it! If you’re following them to Vegas, I get it! Life exists beyond football, you goons. Do what you want and shut the fuck up.



I fucking cringe at the thought of Wayne Newton bringing them out of the tunnel on a hoveround.

Want to humor yourself? Go to any Raiders website - bypass he bullshit rah rah article and hit the comments. I swear to God there cannot be a more illiterate fucking group of fans anywhere in the world. It’s mind-boggling. What’s even better is when one illiterate gets into it with another illiterate over who is a bigger fan, misspelling every other word and then getting into it over “where they’re repping from!” Seriously? Riverside and Compton are both shitholes…who cares!



October 19, 2017. The 2-4 Raiders upset the 4-1 Chiefs on Thursday Night Football in an insane, stomach-churning ending that featured 4 plays with no seconds on the clock. One of the games of the year! To salvage the season! And if we can beat the dominant Chiefs, we can beat anyone! In the postgame interview, Derek Carr looks directly into the camera and, with that very specific “Jesus is on my side” confidence that uber-religious QBs have, says “we talked about going 2 and 5, and that just didn’t sound right to us.”

Oh yeah? How does 6 and fucking 10 sound??? Geno Smith nearly came back to beat us once he realized Khalil Mack can’t defend 30-yard passes. Then with our season on the line yet again, we lost to a bent index card.

But it’ll be better this year, cause we fired a talented and fun player for Punting While Black and hired an exaggerated TV personality to be our leader. That always works out great, right America?



The worst are the jackasses who add “Raider” to their name, believing they’ve earned a spot on the team because they made a stupid costume and an alter-ego. “mY nAmE is KING 420 RAIDER go chEcK oUt mY iNsTa aNd mY SOuNdCLouD #RAIDERNATION #FUCKYOTEAM”

Fuck those idiots. But also fuck the Chiefs, fuck the Broncos, and superfuck Todd Downing with a playbook consisting of nothing but screen passes.



What the fuck happened to his nose?



Because when you read all their draft analyses, the words “reach” “project” “surprise” and “character issues” will pop up quite often. They’ve also drafted two players with potentially life threatening heart conditions within the past six years.

Because all unrealistic optimism of making the playoffs will die after the Rams obliterate them week one on national TV.

Because you can guarantee that there will be at least 3 games on the schedule that they should win but won’t and will look bad losing in the process.We play the Browns this year and that’s all I’m gonna say.

Because in my fantasy draft with Julio Jones Aaron Rodgers Le’veon Bell and Drew Brees available, I took Derek Carr with my first pick. I finished dead last and I totally deserved to.

Because that bowlcut manchild acts like his cryptkeeper dad and brings back a retread who hasn’t coached in any form of football in a decade and gives him the dumbest contract in the history of professional sports. Gruden’s great at making stupid faces and telling us how excited he is about how ”That Carr has a work ethic in him boy I’m pumped up!”

Because the fans will turn on one another in the drop of a hat. Just read Twitter or some other Raider message board and find the topic of “Las Vegas” or most recently “Greg Papa”. Raider nation (which is another stupid thing they get pissed at when other teams refer to themselves as nation as if the Raider fans own the fucking copyright) is ready to kill one another. They’re really stupid people, and you will NEVER meet a doctor or lawyer whose a Raider fa. They’re all truck drivers, work in construction or “between jobs”.. And if they’re such a great fanbase why are 10,000 seats tarped off ?

Fuck Mark Davis Fuck Gruden and his stupid visor. And fuck me for putting a $100 deposit down for tickets for the new Vegas abomination that will have about 15 spots available for parking.



In 2013 I, like many other fans, simply used the Raiders as an excuse to get black out drunk, angry, and watch segments that would be on other team’s highlight reels. But the main reason I stuck with the team was much more simple: it kept me safe.

While I hardly cared about actually paying attention to the games, I still had a Raiders sweatshirt and beanie that I wore regularly. I did this because I was attending UC Berkeley, and spent nearly every night enjoying liquor and then walking about a mile to get back home. My inebriation coupled with the fact that I looked like an anorexic Billy Squier made me assume I would be easy pickings for one of the many muggers that were in the area. So I wore my full Raiders gear most nights as insurance, with the assumption that anyone who saw a white guy in a Raiders hoodie would think I was tough, or at least broke and insane.

Considering I was never mugged, despite walking half-conscious through sparsely populated areas hundreds of times, I would chalk that up as the biggest win the Raiders ever gave me. Instead, the only incident I ever had came from one night where I was walking through one of the swankier, gentrified Berkeley neighborhoods. As I was walking with my hood up, I noticed a cop car pass me going the other way. The police then proceeded to turn around, drive up to me real slow, and then stop next to me a full twenty feet before the next stop sign. I took off the hood to present myself in my full Robin Gibb glory and gave a cheery “Good evening, officers!” They laughed and drove away immediately. I’ve thought about this moment a lot as public perception of has police changed.

Now, right after the Raiders gave me actual reason to support the team again, Mark Davis went and pulled the rug right out from under me. Instead they’re going to a place where their tickets will be sold in the same kiosk where you can buy half off tickets to see Wayne Newton, David Copperfield, Coyote Ugly, and other icons that were last relevant before the Iraq War started. It’s a fitting place for the Raiders, and now that I no longer need them I think ready to wave goodbye and move on. I won’t, probably, but it’s a good thought to soothe my anger.



Screw these guys. I’m watching Bayern Munich play VfB Stuttgart.

Submissions for the 2018 Deadspin NFL previews are now closed. Next up: Miami Dolphins.