Thursday, 4 September 2008


This for me has been a weird pre-season, it has ebbed and flowed from a high one minute to a low the next.A chink of light here, a moment of true optimism there, followed by misfortune and the thud of my expectations hitting Terra firma once again.

There had been the early signs that JaMarcus had done his homework this summer and was ready to go, a QB that knew that he was expected to lead and had come to the camps looking sharp.We had a new star RB in McFadden and another in the wings in Bush, all ready to form a three headed rushing steam train with the Hugster.

The receiving corps had seen an upgrade, with what was really Miller, Curry, Porter and some bit parts becoming Javon Walker, Curry, Drew Carter and Miller, and a second chance for JLH backed by a couple of young guys in Schilens and Shields.

The defense had added DeAngelo Hall, and possibly as importantly brought in Gibril Wilson which allowed Mike Huff to move to FS where he could use the skills he had shown in college.

Some seemingly good signings on the D-line to add competition.

All that stuff was great as it seemed.

Then we got:

Walker auditioning for UFC in Vegas.

Coach Kiffin having a bigger than usual sulk in training camp.

The same coach Kiff throwing around thinly veiled acidic comments meant for certain ears in a certain office.

Russel looking less than a world beater in pre-season, although hampered by some safe almost reticent play calling.

Which was not helped by pass blocking of the bad kind.

Drew Carter being lost for the year.

Losing Oren O' Neal to another bad injury.

DeAngelo Hall seemingly not impressed by the RAIDERS prognosis of a hand injury ( although it must be said, he could just be a big girls' blouse ).

Nnamdi and his forced absence from most of pre-season.

The loss of Gene Upshaw.

More grumbling from Kiffin and the lack of talent he had at his disposure.

You see where I am going with this.......

As a RAIDER fan who usually has a Silver and Black optimism cloaking the glaringly obvious going into most of the past few seasons, even the one where we had an offensive co-ordinator that would have been handed his own you know what by me on any Madden version he cared to choose, this pre-season that had seemed to offer so much had suddenly gone as we say in jolly old blighty - " tits up ".

I don't remember being this worried this time last year.I was so sure that things would get better, despite the fall-out from , well, lets call it resignationletter-gate - snappy I know.

In some ways though it feels good to be a pessimist.There is not a great deal that could get me suicidal at this point, well, apart from a humiliating defeat by old crispy face and his orange brethren next Monday.Maybe , just maybe, Lance has been playing a blinder so far, keeping the rest of the AFC West believing that the RAIDERS are indeed a long way from challenging yet again.

We as the RAIDER faithfull can but only hope that something has changed, whether it be in the collective mindset of the players ( and who knows a rookie like Run DMC could give the whole team a belief ), or whether it be in the faith that a young head coach puts in his team, really puts in his team.And by that I mean come third and long at the whatever next Monday, lets put it into the hands of the black Elvis (Is it only me that thinks that Russell sounds just like the KING?) AND PLAY SOME RAIDER FOOTBALL, it's about time don't you think?

We are standing on the edge of a new season once again and I would love for my pre-season blues to be just that, I am a miserable tart after all.

After all is said and done I still can't wait for the new season, and look forward to seeing all of you over there on TV on Monday Night Football, only (ONLY!!!! ) eight weeks till we see the East Bay once again.

Keep the Guinness pump lubricated at Ricky's, keep Al at the Hilton Gardens Inn in a job ( God bless him ), and the eggs and soldiers are on us Southshield - see you soon.


kigleigh said...

Eight weeks and counting indeed Martin....Can't wait to be back.
I too have got a little bit down about how things are going,especially with the injuries and negativity around the pre-season.BUT...
We must banish this doubt and try to focus on the positives that we all have in our Silver & Black Hearts.
Please God(and i'm not a religious man)let us beat,nay THRASH,those Donkeys and their wonky faced HC on MNF.I'm sure we are capable of this deed and i'm also sure that it would go some way to settling our nerves about the season to come.Make a good start and anything is possible.
Personally am contributing to this end by focussing all my spare time on meditation aimed at healing Javon's hamstring and alleviating Tommy Kelly's flu symptoms.
If we will it hard enough NATION...It WILL happen.

RaY said...

Another season.....different results? Another high draft selection coming up?? Start speculating on position-needs for next draft!!

Joaquin said...

I agree with you that this season has a 'funny' feel to it.
I see that we have the horses, but I'm apprehensive when I see the youth, both on the field and in the coaching.

Calico Jack said...

I feel really good about staking our improvement and future success on the backs of Russell & Run DMc.

Both players have the potential to become elite players. Of course it won't happen overnight and will require some patience (and gnashing of the teeth) but the future looks bright especially if Kiffin earns a trip back in 09.

This has been an odd preseason of ups and downs but once the real season starts on Monday, all of that is washed clean. From Sept 8th on is an opportunity for our beloved Raiders to perform between the white lines.