Tuesday, 15 April 2008


I couldn't bring myself to write anything for the last month.Aside from the signing of a new center, the only other thing that was going on was the continual discussion of who the RAIDERS want/need/will get/should get in the draft.And to be quite frank I'm all draft decision ed-out.

I mean let's face it, there is only one man that can placate the whole of the Nation when it comes to our No.4 pick, and that is Chris Long.Ok, there may be some RAIDERS fans out there who don't want Chris Long (if available), but they can't be numerous, it's a win win.It's a position of need, he could conceivably play some OLB as well, and he has the blood of a TRUE RAIDER LEGEND in his veins.

I had got to the point where I had given up on the possibility of Long Jnr falling to us at #4, but in recent days the news of Miami talking contracts, however significant this actually is, with the other Long has got me hoping again, although the Rams and Falcons could both throw a spanner in the works too.See there I was saying I was all drafted-out and I'm going round more scenario's in my head again.Suffice to say, I want to see Chris Long in Silver and Black or the toys are going well and truly out of the pram. I like what I've seen of Dorsey, Ellis and McFadden but their dad's weren't RAIDERS where they?Look at how much Kirk Morrison brings to the team and his dad is a RAIDERS fan, never mind Hall Of Famer!

Seriously though, I have given up on the will they, won't they stuff for now, we only have eleven days to wait and then the talking will be over and someone will be the number four pick, unless we trade down, NO STOP IT.The main news of the week of course is the release of the 2008 schedule.

There are two angles to look at from this side of the pond when it comes to the release of a schedule.

1. Are there two home games together? and if so can you get those dates off work?

2. How does the schedule look for the team in general?

Sorry that's the way it is for those of us looking at the never ending grey skies of the north of England for the rest of the year , and once again this year the NFL schedulers have done us proud with two back to back home games in November, and whilst Atlanta and Carolina wouldn't be the opponents of choice ( two divisional games is possibly too much to ask ), it is two games at a good time of year regardless.

It is then that my thoughts turn to how the make-up of the schedule looks for the team.

Well it has to be said that three divisional games out of the first four looks immediately like a season defining run already.We have that tantalising MNF opener at home vs the Donkeys, and its straight off to KC and the Bills before returning to Oakland to face the rotating uniformed Chargers.Right there is a case for the RAIDERS to be up for it from the off.

If all is good in the world, and let's face it alot of that will fall onto the shoulders of JaMarcus Russell, we could conceivably lie 3-1 going into our bye week and jigs will be jigged all over the nation.On the other hand, divisional games are tough, and if it went badly during September then the wind would certainly be taken out of the sails of the RAIDERS season early.

Last year we split wins with the Chiefs and Donkeys, and at least competed in one of the two losses to the Chargers.IF, and yes it may be a big if, we show improvement on those records from last term then September could well hold the key to a much improved season for the Silver and Black.

The post bye schedule has a trip to never easy ( but winnable ) New Orleans, followed by games against the Jets, Ravens and Falcons, so without a doubt games 1 - 7 for the 2008 RAIDERS are an opportunity to finally turn this teams fortunes around.The need to hit the ground running is emphasised by the run-in towards the post season that the RAIDERS face, with trips to Denver, San Diego, and Tampa Bay and the Patriots at home.

From where I am sitting, which is a rather natty whicker number, the RAIDERS have an opportunity early this year to define their season, and did I mention that the addition of Chris Long might help that?

Oh yeah sorry of course I did.


Eusebio said...

Good to know there is support and hope throughout the entire Raider Nation.

Which brings me to a point I don't know if you are familiar with. Have you heard of the nonsense going on in American sports? Other teams are now calling their fanbase the "Nation" such as the "Patiriot Nation", the "Donkey/Bronco Nation", the "Red Sox Nation" and so on. What do you guys think about this crap over there on the other side of the pond?
I don't know of any good message boards from over there but a good one here is on the CBS website, here is the link/address: http://www.sportsline.com/mcc/messages/board/68. We have some loyal contributors from other continents and would love some more so come join in! I am sure that everyone on the boards would love to hear from our brothers and sisters from across the pond!

Leighraider said...

Thanks eusebio.The whole Bronco/Patriot/Niner nation thing is annoying, but I suppose that immitation is a compliment really.The fans of these teams would obviously like to re-create the Raidernation for themselves but as we know there's a lot more to it than just the name.
Thanks too for the message board address I will stop by and have a look.

kigleigh said...

I have a dream,the dream is that this year we WILL see the RAIDERS win a game Martin.Oh yes,the gods of NFL scheduling have smiled upon us and sent us a double-header of games against the Falcons and then the Panthers.Not thrilling encounters against division rivals like the Donks/Chefs it is true..BUT,two teams who could be described in the common mans verbiage of OUR native tongue as 'pretty shite'....
The dream is to end our run of futility,and at last i believe it is now close at hand.
C.Long or Dorsey,then get back to kicking some ass..GO RAIDERS

Calico Jack said...

The schedule is quite favorable on many counts but clearly the first quarter of the season is more important than usual.

I'm 100% with you on SOH. It is the destiny of the Raider Nation to be reborn with Chris Long donning the Silver & Black.

Keep up the good work Martin. Your tongue in cheek British humor is always enjoyable to read. CJ