Last week at home to the NY Jets the present OAKLAND RAIDERS players were treated to both the company and the wisdom of some of the great RAIDERS of the past.Players that wore the Silver & Black with pride and understood what it took to be a RAIDER.The rallying cries from Stabler, Villapiano, Madden et al hit a nerve somewhere, with the players of today hanging in there to win a game in OT to down the Brets. A smile must have crossed the face of the great George Blanda as Seabass boomed that 57 yard FG.
The response to their performance, along with the appearance of the legends, which by all accounts produced a special atmosphere at the Coliseum, should have revealed a glimpse of the love and appreciation that could be there for the 2008 RAIDERS if they too played hard every week for the RAIDER NATION.Unfortunately it seems, much of that RAIDER mentality left town with those legends if the first half of the game in Baltimore is anything to go by.The team did step up in the second half in terms of giving up points, but the damage was done in those 1st and 2nd quarters when you would have hoped that the words of the RAIDER alumni would still be ringing in the players ears.
Particularly disappointing was the way that the Defence that had harassed Brett Favre the week before couldn't do the same to Joe Flacco.The RAIDER Offence weree always going to have their hands full with the Ravens D, but it wasn't beyond the realms of reality to expect our own D to make some plays.As equally annoying as the inability to stop the Flacco-led offence are the reports of RAIDERS players behaviour during the game, with over zealous celebrations following individual defensive plays.Maybe some of that RAIDER attitude that had rubbed off on them the week before had been applied in the wrong way.Don't do it when you're 19-10 or 22-10 down in a game where the opposing rookie QB is catching passes down the sideline.Walk before you can run, let's smack some people around properly before we start all that stuff.I like Thomas Howard, and the guy usually puts in a shift, but his comments about enjoying his football whether up 30 or down 30 were misguided on a 2-5 team that has has as many issues as the RAIDERS have lately.
I still think that there is more fight in this team than there was last year, that 19-0 H/T score would have got a lot uglier then I'm sure.These players need to make a decision to want to be the difference in this team getting better, they have to want more of the feelings that they experienced in the locker room after the Jets game.And that has to be earned by playing four quarters every week home and away and see where that takes the OAKLAND RAIDERS.This team stands at 2-5, and I believe that we should or could be at 3-4 heading into back to back home games.That has been with some important pieces missing at different times - McFadden, Burgess, Carter, Fargas, O Neal and now Griffiths, plus these two upcoming home games looked a lot easier before the season got under way, particularly regarding the Carolina Panthers.
All that being said, and with Across The Silver And Black Pond literally being across the pond for both games I have to believe for my own sanity that we have a chance to add to those two wins.Tom Cable has been preaching accountability, building of foundations, and above all else faith in each other.He has made himself directly responsible for change, whether that be sitting Curry and Huff, or promising to get on top of the stupid penalties that plagued the Jets game, going from 14-85 yards to 2-10 this week.Cable's promise this time around is to get to the bottom of the problems that the RAIDERS had on offence.I have to hope that he holds good on that too, because I like the guy, I see some action to go with the talk, which is more than I felt was happening with Lance around.Cable has had three games in charge, and already I have seen some message board crybabies calling for his head, give the guy a break, the same people will probably hail him as the second coming of John Madden if we beat the Falcons.
There has been much bemoaning of the talent on this RAIDER team, and there's no doubt that the receivers and both lines are not strong enough, but if C able can get a few results with these players then for me he would deserve his shot next year.I'm not saying that I have agreed with him 100% so far, but I believe that he believes in what he is doing and that he's sincere when he says that the players are starting to as well.
This week sees our fourth trip to Oakland which will put our quest to see a RAIDERS win in the 43,000 miles bracket.That's a lot of shit movies, and ropey airline meals.So to every RAIDER player please can we get some of the Jets game mojo back, go on I dare you.
To all of those in the NATION that we have had the pleasure of meeting in the past, we look forward to your company once again.I can almost smell those Coliseum portaloos.......
Oh and Mr John Elway is worried about JaMarcus Russell's future in the game as the present RAIDERS are just not the right environment for him.Isn't it weird how because the RAIDERS are going through testing times at the moment that people like Elway feel the need to fill their boots.Well enjoy yourselves while it lasts.You do realise that people like you will be at he top of the "where are they now" list when things have turned.So thamks for the concern Mr Ed, but you better hope that you're right for your precious Donkey's sake.
NOW BACK IN THE HOSEBOX AND STFU.