Tuesday, 29 July 2008


PRIDE, COMMITMENT, AND LOYALTY.Words that are all used in connection with the OAKLAND RAIDERS, whether it be the owner, the marketing department, or by the Raidernation.
These qualities have been hard to come by in recent years, there have been flashes of one or the other, but rarely do all three show up at once.
Last Wednesday all three did, at the Napa Valley Marriott in the shape of one Nnamdi Asomugha.
Aso, of course had been franchise tagged by the RAIDERS, and after the deadline for any long term contract signing had passed, it was understandable to fear the worst in terms of a disgruntled #21 making a point to his employers by prolonging his off-season, and not reporting for the start of training camp, or for pre-season for that matter.
Instead, Namdi arrived in Napa, put pen to paper and hit the field.The sight of arguably the RAIDERS best player in camp, ready to play, and declaring that winning games is more important than money, has surprised teammates, press and fans alike.
We have all seen what effect the franchise tag can have on a player, the difference between the present situation and that of Charles Woodson is obvious.Asomugha is hardly going to be feeling the pinch of the credit crunch this year, as he stands to make $9.765 million for this season, and if franchised again next year that will rise to $11.7.But the lack of pouting and posturing in the media, which is the usual way of making a point to the front office, is commendable and a breath of fresh air to me as a fan especially.Nnamdi's way is to show up, play hard and be an example to his teammates, an example that winning is what's important.
At the conclusion of the 2008 season, the RAIDERS should do the right thing by Asomugha, they need to reward him with a lucrative long term deal, after all there are players this off season that have been rewarded for less.If Mr Davis still believes in the mantra of Commitment To Excellence, and wants to see words like Pride and Loyalty associated with the RAIDERS, then a player that epitomises them all needs to be cherished and needs to remain in Silver And Black for a long long time.
I just wish I'd bought that Asomugha jersey last year...

Monday, 21 July 2008


As many of the RAIDERNATION do , or should do, I was listening to RaiderFanRadio this week and as I have been extremely busy with stuff, I was hit by the news that had been mailed to season ticket holders, with reference to the Oakland Municipal Code, stating that as well as changing parking rules, there will be a ban on amplified music around the stadium on gameday.

Brilliant move, absolutely inspired move!.As Raider Rob, Stonerdude, Steph and Mutt have pointed out , this is a direct assault on the very core of what sets the RAIDERNATION apart, one of the things that makes the OAKLAND RAIDERS gameday experience what it is.

The RAIDER fanbase is , and probably always will be, copied and envied in equal measure, whether fans around the NFL care to admit it or not.The way that RAIDER fans of all creeds, colours and nationalities come together on Sunday's, Monday's or whenever and celebrate just being RAIDER fans is a special feeling.

One way that this celebration manifests itself is in the variety of music and sounds of people having a good time that drift across the parking lots of the Coliseum throughout the day.It may be tailgaters playing their favourite music,someone blaring out The Autumn Wind or bands like RAIDERHED or SLACKENLOADER, or some local novices called METALLICA setting up and playing for the fans, whatever, this is what the vast majority of the NATION want to experience, and have come to expect.

As Stonerdude pointed out on RFR, the reason that people like us save our hard earned money all year, is to travel to Oakland for the full RAIDER gameday experience, in fact when a team is going through the lean times that we have had recently the saving grace has been the other stuff that surrounds the football.Even when the team is bad, the camaraderie and joy of belonging to the RAIDER extended family is what keeps you coming back.

This is a point that should be considered by the policy makers in the halls of the City Of Oakland.The RAIDERNATION and all that surrounds it is a tourist attraction, I know, I'm one of those people who make the trip and they should trust me when I tell them that a 4-12 team is not a good enough reason to make that commitment alone, but the knowledge of what happens around the Coliseum IS.

We do not want a sanitised, soul-less OAKLAND RAIDERS gameday, it's something that the city should champion, not neuter.Apparently safety concerns lend weight to the decision, which is just a smokescreen for me.The only time I have felt uneasy at the HOT is as I have opened the door to a portaloo in the south lot, and not without reason.Any time that thousands of homo-sapiens congregate at a sporting contest, and lubricate themselves with beer, problems will arise to a certain degree, European football is exhibit A on that point.But surely taking away performers like RAIDERHED et al is not the answer.

I am not an Oakland resident, but I have seen many comments from local RAIDER fans wondering why the authorities aren't more concerned with real issues relating to crime and anti-social behaviour, rather than stopping large amounts of perfectly law abiding people from enjoying themselves, as they have been doing since the teams return to Oakland.

What those that plan city ordinance do not grasp is that the people, the RAIDER fans that they are looking to penalise for the heinous crime of playing some music, are also the same fans that are active in the local community.These are people that put something back, that make a difference, that epitomise the spirit of the RAIDERNATION.

The views of the RAIDERNATION have been presented to the RAIDERS and they have acknowledged the contribution that is made to the image of the RAIDERS by the fans, but this is where the team surely must have the NATION'S back, just as the fans have had theirs over the years.The RAIDERS are not responsible for this killjoy legislation, but it affects the people who live and breathe Silver And Black, and that should matter enough to the RAIDERS to try to make an effort to come to an agreement over this.I may be guilty of over-simplifying local politics here, but in the great scheme of things, this really should be something that can be worked around to the satisfaction of everyone affected.

This matter still has some way to run it seems, and time will tell if sanity reigns.One thing that is sure is the determination of the RAIDER fans, especially those that have some level of organisation , who will remain united against this attack on THE NATION.The good fight shall be fought, and support from across the pond goes with all those that fight it.