Some people are fans of the Oakland Raiders. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Oakland Raiders. This 2009 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
1. Say hello to the most laughable franchise in all of sports. There are bad franchises littered across all the major sports. Your Lions. Your Clippers. Your Grizzlies. And such and such. But few franchises are as hilariously inept as the Raiders. What separates the Raiders from the merely shitty is the belief of Al Davis (and, in turn, the team's fans) that the Raider brand still has a mystique to it. Fans of that team still think the Raiders exude some kind of badass aura that makes them both cooler and tougher than other franchises. Ooooh, look at you! You're such outlaws! You must ride a motorcycle of some sort! I wonder if you killed any hippies at Altamont!
No other team in team in the universe is as painfully out-of-touch with reality as the Raiders and their fans are. At least Detroit fans KNOW how lame their team is. As for Oakland, you're talking about an owner who still wears sunglasses and slicks his hair back because it makes him look intimidating. This despite the fact that Al Davis is nothing more than a frail, demented old sack of shit who hides, like a total gash, behind a lawyer the second he feels threatened. You're talking about fans who still think their team is somehow more formidable because they wear silver and black. Oh no! Colors! JaMarcus Russell is in black! It's so slimming! How will we ever beat him? Oh, and I like how they play dress up for every game, too. Raider fans, nothing makes me shiver like knowing you spent half your welfare check over at Spencer Gifts.
Worse still, fans of that team have embraced the outlaw image and taken it wayyyy too far. It's gotten to the point where the fanbase is comprised solely of people who think they're societal rebels but are, in reality, annoying dickheads and outright criminals. RAIDER MILT SAY YOU A FAGGOT! Any Raider fan worth his salt should be deeply embarrassed by this whole devolution. One day, in the far distance, someone will drive a wooden stake through Al Davis' heart, the Raiders will be freed from his grip, and someone out there will actually try and turn this franchise into something useful, with home games normal people would actually dare attend. But until that day, they stand as the biggest poseur franchise in the universe.
2. Did I mention they really, truly do suck? Normally, a 45-7 loss in the preseason would be ignored by most people. It's the preseason. You get the benefit of the doubt. But consider just how the Raiders lost to the Saints on Saturday night. They fell behind 31-0 by the half, when all the starters were in. They allowed over 500 yards of total offense. The Saints scored touchdowns on their first three possessions, despite not having Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas in the game. Drew Brees went 14 for 17, and pass defense was supposed to be one of the fairly decent things about the Raiders this year. This is a roster that has been destroyed by overloaded contracts handed out to people like JaMarcus Russell, Tommy Kelly, and Javon Walker. Apart from top pick Darius Heyward-Bey (who can't catch), the receivers are nonexistent. The o-line is a colander. Their backup QB, Gay Zorro, plays poorly in the red zone. The front seven is a wreck. The coaching staff may as well just stage halftime cage fights for my amusement. I've seen David Lynch movies more cohesive than this outfit. This is one god-awful squad. I completely retract my choice of them for sleeper status. I must be retarded.
3. It all comes back to hating Berman. THEEEEEERAAYYYYYDEZZZZZZZ… Shut your fucking porkhole.
4. They have three good running backs, and they somehow managed to ruin all of them. Oh, Michael Bush. Won't they ever set you free? How I'd love to see you in a competent offense without a randomly managed timeshare.
5. The readers have their say. From Clue H:
The Raiders have sucked ever since every kid at my middle school bought a gigantic Raiders Starter jacket to imitate Eazy-E. I lived in a lily-white town in Arizona. I guess the Raiders logo was supposed to lend toughness. But wearing a Starter jacket when it's 108 degrees outside only lends stupidity.
Which brings me to the Black Hole. Every time the Raiders are on television (so, only if you have Sunday Ticket), the announcers pimp the Black Hole, saying things like "don't get caught in there wearing a (insert visiting team name) jersey!" Does everyone somehow miss that the Black Hole consists of grown men who paint their faces and wear elaborate homemade costumes? The black hole is one step away from a KISS cover band. Or a local theater production of Cats. Is it supposed to be terrifying that a middle-aged man with a personal seat license looks like Papa Shango? Will I actually be murdered by a plumbing contractor if I jeer JaMarcus Russell throwing it behind another receiver? The answer is no. Fuck the Black Hole. The only thing scary about your team is that people still attend games. And Al Davis, because he's undead. And perhaps Tom Cable, but they haven't proved that yet.
I have a huge raiders fan that sits in front of me at work and he is actually from upstate NY. That's gay enough as it is. (Ed. Note: Agreed. The Raider tend to have a lot of carpetbagger fans.) He came into work the day after they beat the Cowboys 31-10, in the preseason opener, grinning from ear to ear like he just got away with killing a
hooker. We all know it was a preseason game but this wrinkled scrotal bag was jumping around the office like they just won the fuckin Super Bowl. It made me physically sick to listen to him rant about how "the Black Hole is back." He was ready to offer contract extensions to every player and coach on the team. I wonder what it's like to root for such a mediocre team that you celebrate a preseason win by practically making a fake Lombardi trophy out of tin foil. I know we are in a recession and all that shit but I was seriously contemplating giving up my job and just kneeing him in the cock........is it bad to wish cancer on someone?
Not on this site, it isn't.
Wanna be part of the Deadspin NFL previews? It's simple. Just email me here and give me some reasons why the team you hate most sucks. If it's because you dated a fan of the team and she turned out to be some crazy bitch who keyed your car, all the better. I'll throw any good material into the post and give you proper credit. We've got the AFC West, AFC North, and AFC East to go.