ESPN broke the story last night that the Oakland Raiders and kicker Sebastian Janikowski are at an impasse in regards to his contract and that there is a chance the Raiders will let him go. He is the second longest tenured player on one team behind Tom Brady.
Janikowski turned 39 in March, and he presently is struggling with a bad back and has missed 2 pre-season games. The Raiders do not know if he will be ready for opening day.
He is in the final year of his contract which will pay him 4 million this year. The Raiders have asked him to rework his contract and take a price decrease and Janikowski has said he will not do it. The next time fans complain about a player not “honoring” their contract, needs to be reminded that approximately 90% of the contracts in the NFL are NOT honored by the teams. Many outlets are reporting that the Raiders have held tryouts with Mike Nugent, Josh Lambo, and Marshall Koehn.
Mike Nugent was cut from the New York Giants. The 35 year old kicker was 23 for 29 last year for Big Blue but his longest FG was 47 yards and he was 0-3 from 50 plus yards. He also was only 23 for 29 on extra points.
Josh Lambo was 26 for 32 last year for the Chargers and was 0-3 from 50 yards or more. He was 42 for 46 for extra points.
Marshall Koehn is a rookie from Iowa. He was 16 for 20 in field goals and 47 for 53 in extra points for the Hawkeyes. He was also a backup punter kicking 8 times for a 40.9 yard average.
Several reporters are stating online that Janikowski really looks awful and isn’t close to being ready to play. Take that for what it is worth. I’ve seen him in reports this pre-season and he didn’t look that hurt but you never know.
The reason the Raiders want this resolved so quickly is that if they don’t rework his contract by 1 pm today, Oakland will owe Janikowski 1/17th of his contract, or $238,000.00. Even if they keep Janikowski, they will need to sign a kicker if he’s out for any games.
What a fun year it will be for the fans in Oakland. With a fun team and great personalities, there will be many smiling faces all around. Some have said 12-4; some say 9-7 due to the defense. Let’s quickly look at each position and get a better understanding of the 2017-18 Oakland Raiders.
Quarterback: (Derek Carr, EJ Manuel, Connor Cook)
It’s nice for the Raiders to be set at QB. Derek Carr was the best protected QB in the NFL last year and he sliced and diced his way to a great season. Carr struggles at times if he’s rushed, but as long as their OL protects him the way they have, he should have another stellar year and will wow the NFL.
Even with today’s rules making passing so easy, the QB position has never been worse in the NFL. That means an excellent QB like Carr’s value is huge. EJ Manuel and Connor Cook are not waving around a Super Bowl trophy any time soon so Carr’s health is obviously imperative. No team can win without their starting QB.
I think the Raiders have the best set of running backs in the NFL. If Marshawn Lynch can find some life left in a body that has taken a lot of punishment, the Raiders running game should be excellent. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington can do it all at a smaller level. They can run, catch, and are the best pass blockers against the blitz in the NFL. Add an underrated fullback like Jamize Olawale and this crew is as good as it gets for 2017.
Offensive Line: (LT Donald Penn, LG Kelechi Osemele, C Rodney Hudson, RG Gabe Jackson, RT Marshall Lawson; T Jylan Ware, G Denver Kirkland, T Vadal Alexander, G-C Jon Feliciano, T David Sharpe)
Donald Penn did what many players used to do in the NFL. He took training camp off with a hold out. With him back the Raiders OL is intact. I’ve seen some on Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports say the Raiders OL is overrated and that’s laughable. This is a top 3 line in today’s football. Carr was the best protected QB in the NFL and the Raiders were solid on the ground and they will again be a top 10 offense; maybe even top 5. This group is the engine and driving force of the Raiders. This group HAS to stay healthy.
Wide Receivers: (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Cordarrelle Patterson, Johnny Holton)
The Raiders have an excellent core of WR (maybe the best) with the addition of speedster Cordarelle Patterson. This is a huge upgrade to Seth Roberts who the Raiders are infatuated with. Johnnie Holton is solid and plays a key role in special teams.
Tight Ends: (Jared Cook, Lee Smith, Clive Walford)
Bill Musgrave gave me a headache. His WR heavy and at times conservative offense has been replaced with new offensive coordinator Todd Downing. So far I like what I’ve seen. The Raiders tight ends were near the bottom in attempts thrown to them last year. Can’t have good TE if you don’t throw to them. Lee Smith is the best blocking TE in the NFL and can catch the ball when needed. The Raiders are excited about the addition of Jared Cook from Green Bay. Clive Walford is set at #3 but should see more time in obvious passing downs. Walford has been a bust so far and he needs to show he belongs.
Defensive Line: (DE Khalil Mack, DT Eddie Vanderdoes, DT Justin Ellis, DE Mario Edwards Jr.; DE/LB James Cowser, DT Darius Latham, DT Treyvon Hester, DL Denico Autry, DL Jihad Ward)
The Raiders were last in sacks in the NFL last year and 26th in overall defense. Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin are fine but then what? Justin Ellis looks good at times but he hasn’t had a sack in 3 years and is inconsistent. Jihad Ward started 13 games last year and played in all 16. In those games he only had 16 tackles, 14 assists and no sacks and was invisible at times. If he can’t step it up this year, it may be another draft bust.
To bolster the DT position the Raiders drafted Eddie Vanderdoes out of UCLA. He was hard working and tough against the run, but not a good pass rusher. He had 4 sacks in 4 years. Mario Edwards Jr. comes back for a key year but it remains to be seen if he’s the answer. A bright spot this pre-season has been Treyvon Hester out of Toledo. He has been a quality pass rusher with a big motor. He had 5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss his senior year at Toledo and was a great pick at #7 this year.
Linebackers: (SLB Bruce Irvin, MLB Marquel Lee, WLB Cory James, Tyrell Adams, Nicholas Morrow, DL/LB James Cowser)
Jack Del Rio has told the media several times that the Raiders haven’t put as much into LB’s than they were able to. “When you have only so much money, you can’t fix everything”. Many times Irvin rushes the passer so he’s kind of a hybrid LB/DL. A couple of publications have said the Raiders linebackers are the worst in football. The biggest knock on this group is that they play passively and are more finesse than physical. To be fair, these guys give huge effort, but it’s obvious there needs to be improvement. Cory James has had his moments and the hopes are that he’ll keep improving. Free agent Jelani Jenkins is now out for the year on injured reserve. Rookie Marquel Lee has good mechanics and he may start but he lacks speed and coverage skills. Shalique Calhoun; the 75th player taken in last years draft; was recently cut and signed to the practice squad. A wasted pick.
Defensive Backs: (LCB Davis Amerson, RCB Sean Smith. Backups–Gareon Conley, TJ Carrie, Antonio Hamilton, Dexter McDonald)
For several years the Raiders have tried to fix their pass defense by constantly drafting and signing DB’s. It hasn’t worked & it’s a bad philosophy. I think if they spent the same money and drafts on pass rushing DT’s and tough LB’s, things would be a lot better on defense. I’ll take a great front 7 over stud DB’s any and every day. With today’s rules making it so easy to pass, DB’s have no chance if there isn’t a pass rush in front of them.
It took teams a year to realize David Amerson struggles against the deep ball. It took teams a week to find out high priced CB Sean Smith was a lot better with Chiefs safety Eric Berry and the Kansas City Pass rush in front of him. TJ Carrie has really struggled. Gareon Conley was drafted out of Ohio St. but missed all of training camp and pre-season. To get a rookie corner to jump in with out much preparation and expect him to excel is a bit much. He’s a straight cover guy and isn’t a good run tackler but people are excited about his potential in coverage. With all of the money and picks the Raiders have spent on this group, it’s been a big disappointment. The hopes are Conley will be a mainstay. Raider fans on social media have also pointed out that it’s hard watching 49er’s rookie LB Reuben Foster look like a one man wrecking crew as well.
Safety: (FS Reggie Nelson, SS Karl Joseph, S Erik Harris, S Shalom Luani, S Keith McGill)
Obi Melifonwu has been placed on IR today and the Raiders have signed veteran Erik Harris. Karl Joseph is a tough player and has looked good against the run, but he’s struggled in coverage. He seems more passive and has to improve his positioning on tight ends. Reggie Nelson is good for interceptions every year but he’s far from great. Draft pick Obi Melifonwu is a physical specimen and a great athlete. He’s a good tackler but lacks instinct in coverage and is a project. I like Shalom Luani a lot. He has good size but also has amazing instinct and a nose for the ball, something that seems to be getting rare in the NFL. With the NFL so obsessed with size and athleticism, the Raiders think that they got a huge steal getting Luani who was a great player at Washington St. Look for Luani to get more playing time as the season progresses & maybe even take over for Nelson. I’d like to see him and Joseph play together.
The Raiders are set with Marquette King but the Raiders want Sebastian Janikowski to rework his contract & he said no. The Raiders are worried about his bad back and age (he already looks to be out for week 1) and they have been working kickers out. He’s getting 4 million in this, his final year of his contract. I give you permission to slap all of the Monday morning quarterbacks in the back of the head who say that players should honor their contracts when 90% of the contracts in the NFL are NOT honored by the teams.
Grade: A (for now)
The Raiders have a solid coaching staff lead by Jack Del Rio. With the defense lacking talent in areas, look for Ken Norton Jr. to be on the hot seat all year with fans. They say change the scheme. WHAT SCHEME? If the Raiders blitz, now their DB’s who struggle in coverage are playing man to man and they will be exposed. If they play zone, the Raiders have a poor pass rush so the QB has too much time to throw and will pick them apart.
And with DB’s getting penalties for being anywhere near WR in today’s NFL, no DB is going to be able to cover for that long of a time. If you take out the 2014 draft, the Raiders have had a ton of busts with signings and draft picks. Hayden, Calhoun, Ward, Woodley, Schaub, Walford, Smith, Amerson, Lofton, Allen and many other names are adding to the list of busts. I defended Reggie when few would and here is part of his history. Some good, some bad.
While Philip Rivers is being lauded by many in the press, they forget how bad he was in the 4th quarter last year and that he lead the NFL in interceptions with 21. The Broncos still don’t have a QB & have questions at OL. On defense they have to rely on the health of often unhealthy Shane Ray and Derek Wolfe for their defense to thrive. The Chiefs have an aging defense (pass rusher Tamba Hali literally has no cartilage in his knees) and a conservative offense that is built, “not to lose”. It took them this long to see Alex Smith will never win anything? They also lost their starting RB to a season ending injury. What this means is that the Raiders are prime to take over the AFC West. If they don’t, this will be a disappointing season.
Detractors to Defenders:
I think it’s ridiculous for some writers to say the Raiders are overrated. Larry Kreuger of KNBR had them going 9-7 and missing the playoffs and some have them 10-6. Not a chance. With teams struggling to score at times, and with the QB position so bad in the NFL, (Matthew Stafford gets 27 million and he’s 5-46 in his career against teams with winning records) the Raiders offense will shine and be the key to their quality season. They will flat out beat teams with their offense. That style though doesn’t work in the post season.
Now I get the detractors. The Raiders will have some good moments, but overall this looks like a really bad defense. I get that the Raiders won close games against some bad teams last year and that their schedule is much tougher (4th hardest) but their offense is better and they are more balanced.
They start off the year with 3 very winnable games that could get them on a roll. The first 9 games are a lot easier than the second half and they should go 7-2 or 8-1 (again, no win is for sure). In the last 7 games though they play New England in Mexico and host Denver, Dallas and the NY Giants. They have to play 2 cold December games, at Kansas City and then on Christmas at Philadelphia before ending the season in San Diego. Christmas in Philly? That’s a rough second half.
My Prediction: 11-5; AFC West Champs; losing in AFC Championship game
Calm down non-Raider fans; I’m not saying Derek Carr is as good as Dan Marino, but the Raiders remind me somewhat of the 80’s-90’s Miami Dolphin’s. This defense is no where close to being a championship defense. Offense excites the fans and puts butts in the seats, but defense wins championships. If the Patriots defense doesn’t completely shut down Atlanta in the second half, Tom Brady doesn’t get the chance for a come back. And as Matt Millen said several times, the Raiders defenses dominated in all 3 Super Bowl wins. In the future they have to get a pass rushing DT, a physical LB and to a lesser extent another CB before they can get to the next level. If somehow a DT comes out of the ashes this year to have an amazing year putting pressure on the QB, then something magical can happen. I don’t see it but crazier things have happened.
With the Raiders ability to score, even with the tougher schedule I don’t see them losing anything more than 5 games. If the AFC West tanks, then a 12-4 season is possible. Getting home field advantage is vital because winning in New England or Pittsburgh in the Winter is near impossible.
With the Raiders in full lame duck mode before their move to Las Vegas, this will be a wild ride, so hang on. And loyal Raider fans of all ages, keep your wits about you. If you thought Bay Area millennials jumped on the Warriors bandwagon, you ain’t seen nothing yet. So move over and let people on because NOTHING about this NFL season will be boring in the city of Oakland.
On a cool winter day about 5 years ago, I had to make a house call to Mr. S (no name for healthcare privacy). Mr. S was in his late 60’s and he was not doing well. He had just lost his wife. He was getting ready to move back east to live with his daughter with the hopes his grandchildren could spark life into him.
As I sat in his home with his daughter, they got me a snack and I gave Mr. S a breathing treatment. He was a small, frail Japanese man who was obviously in a lot of emotional pain to go along with his poor health. He barely spoke.
I looked around the room to see if there was something I could talk to him about to try and cheer him up; an old salesman’s trick. His bookshelf was filled with books mostly in Japanese, the country he grew up in. About 25 years ago his company asked him to move to America to work for their San Francisco Bay Area branch and he agreed.
I looked and saw some wrestling magazines. He saw that I was reading them and all of a sudden a wry smile came to Mr. S and he took the nebulizer out of his mouth and said, HUSS, HUSS!
I smiled and asked his daughter what the heck that meant and she said that her father was a big wrestling fan and that was Bruiser Brody’s famous yell when he entered the ring. Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen were his favorite wrestlers. He slowly began to open up and he began to talk about Bruiser and Stan’s amazing entrances and their great skill. Wrestling in Japan in those days was very serious business and the respectful fans of the orient had an amazing passion for it. He said that his family and friends often went to the matches together and he was very fond of those memories.
We sat and talked for a couple of hours. I had to come back the next day so I went home and went on Youtube. I looked at every video I could on Bruiser Brody and I ordered the book “Brody; The Triumph and Tragedy of Wrestling’s Rebel” on Amazon. It was written by his wife Barbara, and Wrestling Promoter and friend Larry Matysik. Once I saw Bruiser Brody’s first entrance in Japan, my mouth was wide open. Here they were playing Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song and he’s swinging a chain over his head while fans and ring workers alike ran for their lives. I thought, “my God this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!” I was a huge wrestling fan back in the day but I long since dumped it since it became the after school special type product of today. I was not into sports entertainment; I liked wrestling.
(below is a great Facebook group honoring Bruiser Brody)
I stayed up for hours probably watching nearly 50 more videos on Frank Goodish, AKA Bruiser Brody. The next day I went to Mr. S’s again and showed he and his daughter the Youtube videos, both in English and Japanese. He was euphoric! He wouldn’t stop talking saying that he was even at a few of the matches we watched. I stayed for hours and listened to them laugh and have an amazing time reminiscing about the “intelligent monster” and the amazing fun their family had going to the matches.
When I left, Mr. S grabbed both of my hands and bowed saying he was so glad that I came by. His daughter gave me some snacks to take home and thanked me as well. I wished them well in their move and told them to get a hold of me if they needed anything. That night I ate the snacks and drank Guinness watching Youtube videos of Frank doing leap frogs, drop kicks, and his classic move where standing still he would bring his leg straight up and smash his opponents face. My jaw dropped. I never saw anything like it. To end it he jumped high in the air and busted his opponent with a knee.
The Myth of Bruiser Brody:
Frank Goodish was the greatest Independent Wrestler of all time and one of the greats period. He was a spiritual, complicated man, and the stories of him are of legend. From his physicality and his “stiff” or “strong style” form of wrestling, to him carrying cans of tuna and green beans on the road. He was mostly loved by wrestlers and hated by promoters. I heard many positive and sometimes negative things about him but I had to find the truth.
I first watched several matches with him and Stan Hansen. It didn’t matter if the opponents were the Funk’s or whoever else, Stan and Frank ran through them like buzz saws. There wasn’t a wasted movement and they were like a tidal wave. They just kept coming. After every tag team match their opponents looked like they were about ready to pass out from exhaustion, while Stan and Frank looked like they were out for a Sunday morning stroll. These guys were like machines that never tired. I always thought the Road Warriors or a younger Steiner Brothers were the best tag teams ever, but Stan and Bruiser Brody are the best in my mind. I’ll bring them to the ring against anyone in history and smile while doing it.
I also heard negative stories about Frank. I wanted to know the truth and let’s face it; other than politics, there is no arena with more lies and falsehoods than the wrestling business. It seemed that few really knew the truth or wanted to know it for that matter. I took about 6 months to devour anything on Bruiser Brody so I could answer these questions.
I’ve seen various online articles saying what a huge steroid user Bruiser Brody was, especially from younger wrestling fans and writers. Well that is false. Bruiser did use steroids for a short time in the late 70’s when they were NOT illegal and they didn’t know the long term ramifications of their use. Well Frank found out quickly they made him very sick.
On a trip home from Japan Larry Matysik explains in his book that Frank crumpled and collapsed on the airplane saying that he thought he was dying. The doctors didn’t have a definitive answer to his illness but Frank did. He felt that steroids were destroying his body so he stopped cold turkey in 1979. He never used steroids again and he was never that ill. What’s funny is that in the book the promotional posters of his upcoming match was a photo of him recovering in the hospital.
The Lex Luger “no sell” incident:
Boy does Brody get destroyed online for this one. At the time Lex Luger was still learning how to wrestle but he had that amazing physique that was becoming a big deal in the steroid era of the 80’s. Not even 2 years into his career, he was given a steel cage match with Bruiser Brody. It was hard for wrestlers to watch because Luger had the reputation for being pretty self-absorbed and some thought his push was not fair.
Bobby Heenan explained that Luger went up to Brody and started telling him how the match should be played out. Several others have said that Bruiser told promoters that he was not going to put up with any of Luger’s bulls**t. Heenan explained that Brody said nothing but it was obvious he was pretty upset. He told Luger they would just call the match in the ring. When he went into the ring Brody never “sold” (acted like he was hurt by punches) and the match was uncomfortable to watch as Brody did nothing. Luger looked like he legitimately got scared and left the ring; quickly; and immediately left the arena. This story has also been backed up in interviews and podcast’s by the referee of the match, Bill Alfonso. When Bruiser said nothing about it, the media and fans said Bruiser was just being a selfish jerk. The problem was though that Luger was terrible at selling; and that’s if he sold at all; and Bruiser did not tolerate anyone that was disrespectful to him or who didn’t sell to him. To tell a legend like Frank how the match was going to go was extremely disrespectful in his mind.
MANY wrestling fans go by rumors and do little research. That’s why I hate going on some social media sites and articles that say Brody was a jerk and was selfish. I looked up Brody’s matches (site seen above) during this career. It doesn’t have all of his matches but most of them. There is a pattern. Bruiser lost only to people that were on his level. He even lost to Brian Blair once when he was leaving a territory and no offense to Brian but does anyone think Brian could beat Brody? Brody lost to the likes of Baba, Bruno Sammartino, Dick the Bruiser, Big John Stud, Paul Orndorff, Ted Dibiase, & Abdullah the Butcher just to name a few. They all have one thing in common; IT’S BELIEVABLE they could beat him. Brody is a HUGE draw world-wide and if he’s losing all the time, you lose that big draw, especially in Japan! How many times did Hulk Hogan lose? Not many. Why? Because he had full control over his matches AND if he lost more often, it would kill his character. Brody knew if he kept up his huge persona and didn’t lose, the fans kept coming.
Many said Frank was loved by wrestlers but hated by promoters. Jim Cornette once said that most promoters whose territories were doing good back in the day were millionaires, and they weren’t exactly givers. In one story he told, after seeing Jerry Jarrett’s amazing mansion at a party, Memphis icon Jerry Lawler demanded more of a stake in the Memphis territory profits from him. Cornette said, “the promoters usually took the sacks of money and threw it into the air. What stuck to the ceiling was given to the boys and what came down was there’s. And that was after their unique counting techniques”.
Bruiser knew what he was worth and he had power. Everywhere he went he packed the houses and he made a ton of money for a lot of people. He had power and of course he used it. Few other wrestlers were as popular as he was or had the courage to stand up to promoters like he did.
It cracks me up that when corporations or companies wield that power, no one says a word. If the little guy tries to wield some power though, they are selfish. NFL teams rarely honor a players contract, many times cutting players before their contract runs out. No one says a word. If a player is playing fantastic and wants a raise though, fans tell the player to honor the contract and stop being greedy. In wrestling, WWE is a billion dollar company who has corporate jets and helicopters and buses, but they still can’t “afford” to pay $800/month to give their wrestlers healthcare?
I heard a few podcasts from wrestlers that ripped on Brody for being selfish by not losing matches or selling. Are you kidding me? I just watched matches where Rick Rude, Blackjack Mulligan, Abdullah the Butcher, The Funks and Von Erich’s and many others were kicking the crap out of Frank. Problem is it’s easier to take in rumors than do some research. Time also enhances these rumors. Funny how after ripping on Brody they all would add, “but I knew when Brody was around we made a lot more money because he was such a huge draw”. Steve Austin often clashed with WWE about the direction of his character. Once he just went home. No one today says he’s selfish. Frank was just way ahead of his time.
If Brody was so nasty to deal with, why were the promoters lined up to get him to come wrestle and why were wrestlers glad that he was around? Because he made them more money! Also, why did he get along with other promoters like Baba, Sam Muchnick and Larry Matysik? The reason was that they were fair and professional and they paid him properly.
The stories of Frank’s kindness haven’t exactly hit the front pages either because he didn’t promote that part of himself. That was just who he was. Some celebs and athletes need cameras around any time they do anything nice, but not Frank. He loved kids and they loved him, and he was very gracious to his fans. He supported many wrestlers and taught them the ropes. As long as you respected him and the business, and you sold for him when needed, you were cool. Disrespect him or the business and it could get ugly quick. There are stories in the Larry Matysik’s book where Frank helped out the underdog wrestler who he could help get over. In some matches that he won, he also at times let the other wrestler beat the heck out of him to help get him over too. He was far from an angel though. He could bully you if you were on his bad side that is for sure. Isn’t that attitude what most promoters have? Was he looking out for himself? Sure he was. I’m not naïve. But, in reality he was so popular that if he was on top, everyone got paid. Just like iconic names like Hogan, Flair and Andre, few wrestlers at the time could draw world wide like Frank could.
Spring forward 2 years. I saw the daughter of Mr. S at the Corte Madera, Ca Safeway. We were both excited to see each other. She sadly told me that her father had died recently and she was selling his house. She saw that I was upset about that but she smiled and said don’t be sad at all. “My father and our family appreciated you lighting a fire inside him. He loved wrestling so much and he and his friends reconnected. He watched so many matches on the internet and was so happy to regain memories that he cherished. My children also helped so much. His last two years were very happy.”
That night I was relieved and glad to hear Mr. S had some happy times and was out of pain. I thought of him running to Bruiser with his wife and friends like kids as Brody entered the ring, and I laughed out loud. Bruiser Brody was still making people smile and touching lives almost 30 years after he’s passed. And for a new fan like me, I found out that Frank Goodish; one of the greatest wrestlers of all time; was also a great man in and out of the ring. This is something that his wife Barbara and his son Geoff; along with loyal fans from around the world; have already known for a very long time. HUSS, HUSS!
Charlie Chaplin once said our greatest enemy is time.
As time goes on, more and more of the great people that we’ve come to know and love in our lives are leaving us. The sting of loss hit again yesterday with the passing of an all time great Raider fan, Raider Gloria. She had struggled with an infection with complications from a recent knee surgery. Gloria Malvaez was quite a character that no one will ever forget.
Gloria began dressing up as Raider Gloria in 1987. She became quite well known and was always ready with a quick wit and a willingness to take pictures with anyone who wanted a photo opportunity. She was feisty, but kind and passionate and loved by all.
In 2013 she was asked by ESPN to be a part of their ESPN magazine spread with other iconic fans being featured. Eventually she was told that she was not only going to be in it, she was going to be featured on the cover. Below is her story on ESPN.com. She was also mentioned in People magazine in 2003.
She often told people that it took 2 ½ hours to get ready to become Gloria Raider; but only 90 if she wasn’t drinking. Even though he did not dress up, her beloved husband Gabriel would go to the games to represent his Raiders as a regular fan without ever asking her to tone it down. “He let me be myself”. She dressed up and he didn’t and they were a great pair. She was married to him for 21 years until he passed away in 2010. There were some close to her that said she never really got over the loss. They are now together once again.
Gloria was a character with many funny stories. She often talked about going to the Raider games as a kid before the Oakland Coliseum was built. She talked about her father and godfather being huge fans and they took her to the games. At 14 y/o they would bring pillows for her to sit on and she often would drive home because they would be “blitzed” and couldn’t drive. She would wear a hat and they were never pulled over.
In probably the biggest Raider fan wedding in history, she was a part of the over 1000 people who attended the wedding of Gorilla Rilla. Super fans Marc (Gorilla Rilla) and Marilyn (Jungle Jane) Acasio had a wedding with famous Raider fans in full makeup and Raider dress. Gloria proudly was a part of her friends Marc’s nuptials which even the Raiders themselves covered.
As with many of the “characters” that dress up, they have very warm hearts. Gloria was quick to help others and was an encouraging force in many peoples lives. Here she is below feeding the homeless without much fanfare. A selfless, kind soul who’s actions were often for the benefit of others.
In the last few years that I’ve gotten back into writing it’s been both rewarding and heartbreaking. I’ve written about several amazing people and triumphs but all and all the tragedies are hard to take. One fan said I was their memory. I guess I just don’t like us to forget good people. The losses lately have been great.
Other Raider fans like Social Media Raider Icon Tim Casto was lost in a tragic house fire at 49.
I hope that no one forgets these great people and their love and contributions to so many. The friendships we create through meeting such unique people are more important than any win or record.
So again sadly we have to say goodbye to another amazing person who represented her team so well, but more importantly represented humanity even better. In a country so divided and angry and lost, remember the spirit of people like Gloria. Have fun, enjoy life, help others and don’t take yourself too seriously. Live life with a wink in one eye and a twinkle in the other. And don’t worry Gloria. It’s ok to wear full Raider gear when you get to heaven. God and Gabriel will totally understand.
As I wrote yesterday, hold onto your hats, this NFL draft would be a crazy one. It didn’t disappoint.
With the QB position being at maybe it’s worse position in the modern era, teams were trading up to gamble on prospects that some feel are reaches at best. Let’s face it though. In the modern NFL, if you are tall and can throw far, they will look at you. I think in 10 years you will look back on this draft and ask what some teams were thinking while they made their picks.
The controversy was also seen in Oakland. Raider fans for the most part were divided when Ohio St. CB Gareon Conley was chosen by the Raiders with the 24th pick. With MLB Reuben Foster falling into their laps, the Raiders chose to pass and picked Conley who is being investigated for rape allegations made against him. Let’s answer all your questions about him.
Why Draft Conley When He’s Being Investigated & May Be Guilty:
First off, name the long list of athletes that have done jail time for sexual assault or battery in the last 10 years…………………..
After reading a lot on it, I don’t know if anything happened and neither does the police. I think the case will be dropped and nothing will happen and it will be forgotten. Some fans say, “well he was seen with her so he didn’t do anything”. Ridiculous. The Stanford swimmer that was convicted of rape was also seen with that girl. Just because you are walking around with one another doesn’t mean a rape wasn’t committed.
Fans love their athletes and most will defend them. It’s a little sick but some people are no longer into right and wrong anymore, they are into if that player is a member of the team they like or not. I deal with the facts.
Even when athletes are guilty they usually get off due to good lawyers. And even if they are convicted, jail time rarely if ever happens. Conley should be cleared soon and this will soon be forgotten. Again I’m not saying he’s innocent or guilty, I’m just saying you have to have evidence and it’s not there.
But Jim, I Thought the Raiders Wanted High Character Guys?:
Anyone trust Aldon Smith to house sit while you are on vacation? When you read about all of his felonies and misdemeanors over the years you wonder how the guy is still walking the streets let alone being previously signed by the Raiders. I saw one Facebook post last night saying there was a conspiracy to keep Smith in trouble so the Raiders can’t get him. And people were agreeing with him!! OMG! Stay away from drugs kids.
The Raiders DO want high character guys, but they also want to win. With Carr & Mack being the main leaders and high character guys, you can live with others not being that. Some NFL players are not angels by any means so you take the good with the bad. Conley probably didn’t do anything and overall he’s not been a trouble maker, but the real reason you draft him is because he helps you win. Fan’s shouldn’t be naïve about this stuff anymore.
Don’t Listen to Draft Rumors:
I heard a lot of people saying people are worried about Fosters injury. Let’s look into that. NFL teams and the people that report them over the years have lost a lot of people millions of dollars with school girl rumors. Some turn out to be true, but some don’t.
False rumors swirled that Dan Marino was into drugs and he dropped in the draft like a stone. And remember Aaron Rodgers? He went from being a possible overall #1 pick to waiting 4 hours to be picked. Why? Because 2 draft “gurus” said that he held the ball too high (remember that?) and that he was a system QB under head coach Jeff Tedford. All of a sudden everyone worried about him. Just because of silly rumors. So who was the #1 pick? Alex Smith who was from the biggest system of all, the spread at Utah. Can’t make this stuff up folks.
Ten minutes before the 2015 draft, ESPN was reporting on their radio show that DT Leonard Williams may have a severe shoulder injury that might keep him out for the year. Well, Williams has played 31 of the 32 games so far in his career but the damage was done. Some thought he was a top 3 pick but he dropped to the Jets at 6. Star Lotulelei was an amazing drop when he was drafted. He had a virus that made some of his heart tests abnormal so teams just forgot him. He eventually was proved to be ok. For this year think Reuben Foster and all the drama with his injury, especially when doctors are saying he will be ready in time for the July camps.
Why Conley Was a Good Pick:
Many fans have finally convinced me that many NFL fans aren’t exactly the biggest college football fans. Oh, they will watch the big games or the playoffs but overall it’s not their thing.
For those of us that are addicted to college football, Ohio States defensive backs had a big reputation last year. Other than CB Marshon Lattimore, the Buckeyes DB’s were very one dimensional. The dimension that they all excelled in was that they knew how to cover. Conley is an excellent cover guy with length and speed. He’s not as athletic or talented as Marshon Lattimore, but he’s very good. Ohio St. plays a lot of man to man and he handled it well rarely getting beaten badly. He always seemed to be near or on the ball.
He can cover in the slot, man to man and also in zone press coverage and that type of player is hard to find. I really like his coverage skills and feel he’s a guy that can start in 2 years, if not this year if Amerson and Smith continue to struggle. Some have said move Smith to Safety but I think that is a reach and it remains to be seen if that will happen and if Smith can handle it.
The Raiders are stuck with Sean Smith and David Amerson’s money this year but next year they can be let go without any dead money against the salary cap. Amerson was found out last year; he struggles against the deep ball and Sean Smith was much better when he had the Chiefs pass rush and safeties helping him. Conley will at least be used in nickel and dime packages and as a backup to the starters. His quality cover skills in the slot also help him get on the field. Again, I’m a big fan of Conley’s cover skills.
Why Conley Wasn’t a Good Pick:
There are TONS; and I mean TONS of CB’s and safeties left on the board that are very good. This draft is full of them. There are little to no DT’s and MLB’s left. Reuben Foster fell into the lap of the Raiders. It wasn’t as bad as Star Lotulelei and DJ Hayden but they needed Foster badly. The Raiders defensive front 7 is like a big donut right now. The 49ers gobbled Foster up like a Thanksgiving Turkey pulling off one of the best first rounds in a while.
Some say teams were worried about his rotator cuff surgery. Reports how have him ready before July training camp. In the last 2 years Foster played in every game and almost every practice. His stats are amazing, with most of his big numbers coming against the best teams in the biggest games. Some ill-informed people yesterday were tweeting that he was too injury prone. The facts don’t agree.
The NFL draft isn’t Costco. Just because you want salmon doesn’t mean they are going to have salmon. People say well now draft a DT or MLB. Well who? Foster was a near for sure thing and now you have question marks left. Jihad Ward was a bad pick last year at DT and he was not a big factor even though he started most games and played in all of them. No sacks & no tackles for losses. Their depth chart at DT and MLB doesn’t scare anyone.
As we said before, Ohio St. DB’s were mostly one dimensional. Good, finesse cover guys but not good tacklers who weren’t very physical.
I agreed TOTALLY with Jon Gruden. Ohio St. Safety Malik Hooker was very overrated and as a safety you can’t be that bad against the run. It reminded me a little bit like Michael Huff when he came out. Conley also struggled against the run and he isnt’ very physical.
The Michigan game also showed Conley struggling against the crossing routes and slants of the Michigan WR. He’s not physical with players off the ball at all and seemed to get lost with WR in front of him instead of chasing them down the field.
Clemson fans are still talking about 5’ 9”, 175 lb. WR Ray-Ray McClouds one on one obliteration block on Conley in the Tigers 31-0 playoff win against Ohio St. last year. So again, Conley is a good cover guy, and not a good run stopper with a lack of physicality.
With Washington CB’s Sidney Jones and Kevin King still available along with countless others, picking Conley over Foster hurts my head.
Raiders Day 2: What Will Happen:
Here are some guys that may be picked by the Raiders in their quest to fix the defense.
Chris Wormley, DT/DE Michigan:
This is my next pick if he’s there, which I think he will be. He’s physical, very muscular and can play inside and out. He’s a leader type who the coaches love. He was inconsistent at times so that has to change but let’s face it, every player left is going to have some mark against them.
Malik McDowell, DT/DE Michigan St.
Because there are so few DT’s that can pressure the QB in this draft, the Raiders may take a chance on McDowell.
I don’t think I’ve seen a guys attitude ripped on by more teams than with McDowell. At the pre-draft meetings with teams, he was ripped apart for his bad attitude and abrasiveness. At MSU the Spartans media talked about his bad temper and him seemingly more worried about beating up the player he was against more than playing football. There was also disappointment in his play and effort when Michigan State’s season began to go bad. I don’t think Malik will get many good references. A talented head case is what one media guy called him.
Zach Cunningham, MLB Vanderbilt
Zach has climbed up the draft ladder and though he’s not my favorite pick he would not be bad. He’s smart, a good leader and he’s consistent while making plays. He’s an amazing athlete which the NFL loves but he’s only 230-235 and he’ll need to put on some weight for MLB. He’s also not the most physical guy and MLB’s are usually physical studs. Again, he’s not Foster but he’s not bad.
Cam Robinson, OT Alabama:
If he’s still there I take him. I’m the first to say the Raiders need defense badly, but this is ridiculous. First Allen, then Foster and now Robinson falling? The New York Giants really screwed up by not taking this guy. Alabama players are dropping like stones. This guy has 10 year right tackle written all over him.
Day 2 and 3 are where teams GM’s really make their money. It will be interesting to see what the Raiders do from here on out with limited available talents in positions that they need, especially on defense.
“never, ever, ever give your heart to a professional sports team”
Ann Killian, Bay Area Sportswriter
In a 31-1 vote with only Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross voting no, the NFL approved the vote to have the Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas. The numbers still don’t add up but that doesn’t seem to worry anyone; until now. Even if the Raider’s can’t pay back this loan, the NFL has a hold in sin city, something they always wanted.
The National Media:
What bothered me most about yesterdays and today’s sports reports, is that FINALLY many are now talking about the numbers and questioning whether this is a viable deal. Even KNTV out of Las Vegas did a live report saying it will be interesting to see if this can financially work long term because some of the numbers don’t add up. ESPN also questioned the deal and talked about the extreme greed of the owners and that the message to fans is clear; you mean nothing; revenues mean everything. Are you kidding me? After the fact? Where have you been for the last year media?
People wonder why I quit my writing jobs and went solo. It’s because I don’t want to have to kiss up to the NFL, companies, owners, or players. After Bill Simmons of ESPN was fired for calling Roger Goodell and the NFL liars (which TMZ proved they did lie), you realized the power the NFL had over the sports media. This move to Las Vegas shows it even more. Remember when the NFL wouldn’t let Tony Romo have a fantasy sports conference at a Casino? Yet the NFL, MLB, and the NBA were kissing the hand of daily fantasy betting sites even though the Feds were investigating the sites for being so crooked.
Las Vegas and Nevada is a hot mess. Like I said in my article last week, Nevada is last in the U.S. in education and near last in many other categories. Instead of using a hotel tax to help the people of Las Vegas and Nevada, they use that money to build an NFL stadium which in no way is going to bring the same money in return. Lobbyists at work.
The city of Oakland announced that they still owe $95 million to the Raiders from the insane deal they made back in 1995 to bring them back. The city of St. Louis now says they still owe up to 128 million for the stadium for the Rams who are now playing in Los Angeles. Politicians that use tax dollars to fund stadiums are irresponsible. Good luck Vegas; you’ll need it.
Also add the 900 million dollar Nevada road project that will be needed for the new stadium; state and federal sources will be needed to help foot that bill. They hope that the Raiders will at least pay 400-450 million for this project but the money has not been allocated for that yet and is an extra cost, just like the relocation fee. This stadium is costing way more than 1.9 billion. As I said before, this is a terrible deal for Las Vegas and the state of Nevada and the Raiders. If the Raiders default on the loan the NFL still wins big time and that’s what the owners want.
Mark Davis & him reaching out to an Iconic Raider Fan:
I’ve said it before, Mark doesn’t seem like a bad guy. He is though way out of his league. Instead of reading the room and being gracious after the vote, Mark Davis ripped on local officials in Alameda and Oakland and said he pretty much blew them off after the Carson vote and wanted nothing to do with them. He blamed the increase in rents (even though they were minimal) and the counties saying they’d wait to negotiate until he had no other options as to the reason he no longer wanted Oakland. Some can finally stop acting like Mark Davis did everything to stay in Oakland. Saying you want to stay and trying to leave may fool some but it doesn’t fool me. His reasons are obviously CYA. Actions show a man’s heart, words are the BS to hide those actions. His hurt feelings mattered more.
Mark Davis never wanted to be in Oakland; he wanted the glitz of LA or Las Vegas. He’s like the nerd in school who’s rich dad gave him a big football team and he now wants to hang out with the cool jocks. He never got Carson done. He said Adelson was in the bag until he tried to trick him into agreeing with all his demands. He then said Goldman Sachs was in the bag as an investor and that was news to them. Finally it was obvious this was becoming a joke so arrogant rich big brother Jerry Jones came to the table. As everyone close to the situation has said, Jones secured the Bank of America funding and, he also got the votes to pass this move. Davis again being put on 3rd base thinking he hit a triple.
It’s now no surprise that ESPN (Colin Cowherd; who I’m not a big fan of also said it this morning) and other media outlets have said there are rumors of verbal deals with some of the services at the new Las Vegas stadium being done by Jerry Jones owned companies. What an amazing coincidence.
Mark Davis is already in damage control. He has reached out to a well known Raider fan to start the process of smoothing things over. He’s going to say it’s not his fault. He even said in a press conference after the vote that he wants to bring a Super Bowl to Oakland. Here is Zennie Abraham’s interview with Raider fan Godfather Griz & his interaction with Mark Davis.
Emotions aside, I still haven’t seen ONE financial person say this is a good financial deal for the Raiders and that they are going to make a ton of money. This deal almost reminds me of all the no money down housing loans banks gave out like candy for a while. Be careful what you wish for Mark Davis. You owe a lot of money; I mean a lot. The new black hole is going to be Mark Davis & the Raiders need for money.
John Madden’s omen about NFL Fans:
John Madden said about 5 years ago on his morning radio bit that he does locally that within his kids lifetime NFL fans will be little more than props. He said the most wild ones will be let in nearly free to create an atmosphere, and only the rich will be able to afford games. Most average fans will watch on tv at home where teams make most of the money.
Backlash in Other Communities:
Already the backlash of the ridiculous corporate welfare that Mark Davis is getting is being seen. Two months ago North Carolina law makers called for a tax to help pay for their stadiums upgrades fearing they’d leave. Jacksonville and other areas also are beginning to shake in their boots and talk about tax money. It sets a bad precedent; pay NFL owners money for stadiums like a gold digger trophy wife, or they will straight up leave you, blame you, and break your hearts.
Everyone should do their own thing. For me though Mark Davis and the NFL doesn’t care if I live or die; they just want my money. I’d rather give thousands of dollars to my friends or family, pay bills, or buy people gifts than give it to an NFL team. Where I come from loyalty is a two way street. You have to find your own way.
Oakland Raiders Writers and Bloggers:
There has been a lot of angry backlash against some of the more popular Raider social media voices for some of their predictions. I’m rare in that I can write about things and not be biased. Few can do that anymore.
Raider voices were just so emotionally involved that I think they kind of heard what they wanted to hear. I didn’t have a clue what the vote would be but I just knew on paper this deal stunk & I said it. I argued with some of them. I said all of the rah rah stuff, the rally’s, and the talk of history and loyalty mean ABSOLUTELY nothing to NFL owners and they disagreed. I hate being right in this case. I hope that you give them a break though; this team meant so much to the community & it’s hard to not understand it.
Libby Schaaf & Oakland/Alameda:
I was driving home on election night and a local reporter was walking with Libby to her election victory party. The reporter asked live on camera about keeping the A’s. “The A’s are going nowhere. They are staying in Oakland”. She was then asked about the Raiders. “We are going to do our best to keep the Raiders here”. I think that was always the vibe that worried the NFL and Raider fans. If you were to talk to Oakland people, they’d rather keep the Raiders than the A’s. If you talk to politicians though, the A’s seemed to be untouchable. In a second year of almost 100 losses, the A’s drew a total of about 1.5 million fans in 81 dates. The Raiders drew about 570,000 in their 10 games in 2016. Bauce man and Dr. Death were both right on the A’s.
Libby was right in not using tax money for this stadium, but she was way wrong in the way she went about it. Right or wrong, with the A’s always in the background picture, this just wasn’t going to work for the NFL.
I also think they should have done a PR plan a long time ago, and released the plan then. Doing this at the last second was wrong. Uninformed fans took this as a last second deal thrown together to save the Raiders. It came off as desperate and unorganized. Months before I would have had ALL Oakland and Alameda officials, Fortress, Ronnie Lott, and everyone involved at the table in a press conference with smiles in one hand and Oakland Raider t-shirts in the other saying that everyone was in this together. Doing this the Saturday before the NFL vote was almost ridiculous in my mind. It made people feel good but didn’t do anything for the NFL.
No team in the history of any sport in any country has left their city twice. It’s heartbreaking & eye opening. The very thing that players and people close to the team said when the Raiders went to LA is exactly what’s going to happen in Vegas. Just like when they moved to L.A., I think over time the Raiders are slowly going to go from a gritty, tough, blue collar team with a lot of diversity in the stands, to a glitzy made for tv product. As so many players said in 1987 in the TV interview I showed on Facebook, (I couldn’t load it on this blog)“We changed”. Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.
If you are in southern California, Vegas is closer so if you are into going to the games that will be good for you. If you choose not to go, again that is your choice and there is nothing wrong with that. Do what is best for you and don’t let others tell you different. You are not a better or worse fan by doing one or the other.
For fans to tell others how to feel (I hope they don’t teach their kids this) and react to this move is as immature and selfish as it gets. Everyone is different and however you feel is alright with me. If you blow off the Raiders I get it. If you are no longer a fan I get it. If you stay loyal I get it. I used to be a Raider, Warrior & partial A’s season ticket holder up to 10 years ago, but I woke up. The Raiders are not paying my bills or making me soup when I’m sick. I realized a long time ago my loyalty to them was much more than their loyalty to me so I didn’t invest near as much as the past. Again; you have to find your own way.
For Oakland and east bay fans I think it’s time you moved on. A lawsuit isn’t keeping the Raiders here. I’ve heard of some saying this deal may financially fall through in the future and maybe they’ll come back, but I say enough. It’s now an abusive relationship. The Raiders do not care about you or the bay area and once they move you will be nothing more than a distant memory. You are a prop and an ATM. They love your money but they don’t think you are good enough.
What will remain though are the memories and friendships along the way. This includes all of the great players and their families that were a big part of the Oakland community. They worked, partied and enjoyed life with the players and the players felt just as much adoration for the fans. The relationships were deep and passionate. From the 1960’s before some were born to now, I don’t know of a more special bond with a community than the Raiders players had with their fans. Those that didn’t live it will never understand it. The Raiders were much more than a football team. They were family.
Thinking of parents, players, coaches & grandparents that are no longer with us, you realize an era has ended and it will never be the same. Remember though that no amount of arrogant greed can ever take these special memories & feelings away. How innocent were those days; how rich we are to have known them.
Does believing you’re the last sane man on the planet make you crazy? ‘Cause if it does, maybe I am.
Will Smith, IROBOT
The Raiders Las Vegas deal might be the worst and most dysfunctional deal in US sports history. I’ve been telling friends for weeks, I’m shocked this is still on the table.
Last off season the late great Raiders social media icon Tim Casto messaged me. “One of ESPN’s analysts said he spoke to an unnamed insider from the Raider’s and Derek Carr broke his hand!! He’ll be out indefinitely and needs surgery!”. It was front page news on ESPN.com. My message back to the “Captain” was to wait until he gets two reliable sources (imagine that?) before he worries. That evening even Derek Carr was kind of freaked out by the fervor when he was the top trend on Twitter in the bay area. Of course he was fine but it served it’s purpose. ESPN was flooded with readers on it’s website and the next day all was forgotten. Welcome to the manipulating media of the 21st century.
I was doing a few radio station interviews talking about the Raiders, and each host had one last question. Where will the Raiders end up. My answer to all 3 to their amazement was Oakland. “The numbers don’t lie guys. All they are talking about is the cost of the stadium. Now you add the relocation fee as well as possible interest payments and other costs that always come up with this type of deal, and the price for Mark Davis goes up; way up”. While fans are being played like fiddles giving “unnamed sources” comments as facts, let’s deal with reality.
The Mainstream Media With An Epic Fail:
I worked for a fortune 500 company as an administrator at a young age. We were the biggest health organization at the time in the U.S. I’ve done large deals and also have done some for my own small company, so I know about business. I also have asked 3 friends who are big wigs in Silicon Valley and in the medical field financial arena what they thought about this deal. They all said let’s look at the numbers. They all said ugh.
This is where the mainstream media and many of those following this story have failed. DO THE NUMBERS! Instead of being responsible, they leak fake stories or rumors to get a rise out of people and get traffic to their articles and sites. It shocks me that until the last few weeks, few have literally made a spread sheet and looked at the numbers of this deal.
The Numbers Don’t Lie; This Deal Is A Joke:
The people below can do a better job than I, but here is this deal in a nutshell. The stadium will cost 1.9 billion dollars. The Raiders will NOT own it. They also will have to pay 350-500 million dollars in a relocation fee that can be spread out over time. Now thanks to the Department of Transportation’s demands that the Raiders pay for upgrades in highways and roads leading up to the new stadium, there are more added costs. The cost is estimated to be around $900 million. The Raiders will have to pay at least $450 million of that. Oh; and I’m sorry. What about the yearly interest/costs to the loan that the Raiders supposedly have shored up with Bank of America. That’s predicted to be between $40-46 million per year.
I could give you a lot of people, but for now I’ll just give a few that looked at the numbers.
Roger Noll, a Stanford University economics professor has made a few comments on the deal. “The probability that it could happen isn’t zero, but it is pretty close to zero.”
Another great voice is Zennie Abraham. He broke down the numbers in depth. He has spoken with the likes of Raiders owner Mark Davis, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and several of the people that are involved in the Oakland offer and the Las Vegas deal.
Zennie likes to talk (so do I) but I found a readers digest version of him showing the actual numbers of the deal. I disagree with him at times but I like Zennie and I ask that you please check out this video and his other videos on Youtube. Here is a quick video with the in depth numbers of this deal.
Below is Zennie’s comparison of the Las Vegas deal v.s. the Oakland deal.
Lastly here is Clark County Commission chairman Steve Sisolak who is a huge backer of the Las Vegas stadium. He has been very outspoken at the lack of disclosure by the Raiders & the Stadium Board in regards to the deal. Even he is questioning the deal saying the numbers don’t add up. Remember the Raiders saying Adelson’s money was in the bag? Then remember them saying Goldman Sachs was a for sure? Remember the media saying these things were a done deal? Now Davis says Bank of America’s funding is for sure but there is nothing on paper, no lease, and B of A hasn’t confirmed anything. It reminds me of Carson when the media said the vote had been finalized for the Raiders to move. Facebook groups all spoke about it. I said wait; 2 reliable sources. Ooops.
Read the above numbers. Doesn’t Mark have any friends in finance? Can’t anyone tell him that his arrogance and inability to admit a mistake may cost him big time? If he put 10% of the effort into Oakland that he has into Carson, San Antonio & Las Vegas, there would already be a stadium deal done. Is he trying to one up his dad and prove himself? The whole situation is bizarre but he is not loyal to Oakland in any way.
Loser #2; Las Vegas & Nevada:
Nevada is the best at being last. The state is last in education; near last in many health statistics, and near last in many air pollution rankings. I’ve read where they desperately need better public transportation, inner city spending, and funds spent for the infrastructure of the state including Las Vegas.
What does the legislature do? Sheldon Adelson hired 12 lobbyists to bribe; I mean encourage; politicians to vote for the $750 million stadium plan even though Nevada is a hot mess. See why I want to outlaw lobbyists in all forms of government?
After being confronted with his huge donations to the Donald Trump campaign by Forbes magazine, Adelson said, “I don’t believe in the ultra rich using their power to dictate what happens in politics, but until they change the rules, I will”.
The City of Oakland is still paying for the Raiders move back 22 years later. St. Louis says they still owe $100-128 million to pay for the Rams stadium even though the Rams are not in the same time zone. Can you imagine the mess Nevada is going to be in? Study after study shows tax payers paying for stadiums get one thing; screwed.
Loser #3; Raider fans:
The Raiders ticket prices are near the lower third of the league right now even after 2 years of increases. Now add to that the monstrous PSL prices that some are predicting for Las Vegas and the cost could make them the top 5 most expensive in the NFL. Top that with very high ticket prices and parking. Now add airfare which will run let’s say $150 per person. Now add hotel rooms which will cost a good $200 dollars or more per night with many hotels looking to get at least 2 nights out of you, possibly 3. Food and drink during your stay adds up in this pretentious and overpriced land. How about a husband and wife taking the kids? Fat chance. And you thought Disneyland and Harry Potter World were rip-offs (ok they still are).
Oakland Raider fans will especially lose. The move to Los Angeles ruined the Raiders and they’ve never been the same. Even though the Raiders had a nice core of about 30,000 loyal fans, the crowds at times were embarrassingly low with it’s lack of support. It was so bad that when they came back to Oakland, the players made fun of the LA fans. The violence, bad behavior and flakiness were hard for Oakland fans to watch. A once proud tradition ruined.
Even Raider great Tim Brown on 95.7 The Game said LA was a bad place for an NFL team because when teams don’t do well, fans won’t come. Las Vegas will be worse. Just ask the once darling basketball program at UNLV who’s attendance is now at record lows due to some average years. With the Raiders needing 40-46% of the seats being filled by tourist/travelers, that is a pretty scary thing to rely on. Do you think the Raiders are going to be Super Bowl contenders for 30 years or that the economy wont tank? In a loyal place people will still come. Not in Vegas.
(below is a 1995 article describing a Divorce Made in Heaven; the Raiders leaving LA)
Many fans worked, played, and partied with some of these Oakland greats for years. They still talk about the Santa Rosa training camps and now on Facebook you see kids and grand kids of Raider greats happily befriending kids and grand kids of longtime fans. If you say the Raiders can play anywhere and it won’t matter to you then you don’t understand the connection and even though you are a good fan, you don’t have the same investment Oakland does emotionally.
The Raiders may be your team but for Oakland and the east bay, they are family.
What Will Happen At The Vote Next Week:
First off, how can the vote even happen? There is no financing on paper because if there were, there would be a lease agreement. What are they going to vote on? I mean if they do vote yes, now they are giving free reign for the Raiders to do what they want in regards to any crazy deal with his boys from Clark County. And let’s say the Vote is yes; which would be shocking; the deal still isn’t finalized. They still have to get approval from the Stadium board and finalize the financials. I still question if there will be a vote. Look for it to drag on until May during the next one. It would be a miracle if a yes vote was finalized next week. If it is yes, there is something going on behind the scenes that isn’t kosher because this is a bad business deal all the way around.
And Please STOP LISTENING TO MAINSTREAM MEDIA! How many more times do they need to be wrong before people stop quoting them and giving them so much credit. I know there is a lot of bad writing out there on the internet. Everyone thinks they are a writer. There are many that should not be writing at all. In reality though there are some unique bloggers and writers that are getting a lot done for fans. It’s “fools” like Zennie, myself and countless others who love learning and sharing the facts with others. Some work like dogs to give the best information. Why do you think my 3 part series on Ken Stabler went viral? It’s not because I’m some genius. It was because I stayed up for weeks on end sometimes doing all nighters researching and writing because I felt I owed it to Ken & his family along with great college and NFL fans to do something that would inform them and be enjoyable to read. We needed the truth, not insider rumors. Does mainstream media do that anymore? Many don’t. What’s popular isn’t always good, what’s good isn’t always popular.
Conspiracy Theory; The Only Way This Vote is Approved:
Some of you say I’m too much into facts; don’t know why that’s a bad thing; but I’m not a fool and I know conspiracies exist. I get that they can be fun to think about. I think the only way this deal succeeds is if the NFL doesn’t care about the numbers and wants Mark Davis out as owner. Why not let this deal go through and let him crash and burn. The way things are now, there is no way he can pay all this money back. And if he does default on the loans, will the NFL make him sell out to minority owners who have more money, or just sell out all together? You have a stadium and a team that can’t pay it’s bills. Now the NFL has all of the power over him. Crazier things have happened.
We talked about this a couple of weeks ago; what if the stadium vote goes through and Mark does default on the loan within 3-5 years. Will Oakland again be an option? Holy Toledo!
I’m not dumb; the NFL is going to go to Las Vegas eventually. The NFL, MLB, & NBA showed their real feelings about gambling when they sold their souls to daily fantasy sites even though the feds had to step in because the games were so crooked. Take out gambling and fantasy football and NFL ratings plummet. For the Las Vegas deal, it doesn’t matter about the bickering, hurt feelings or emotions. It’s about the money; it’s business. And if you look at the numbers and at history you realize that this may be the worst proposed deal in the history of U.S. sports with so many losers. Let’s hope that the House of Thrills has one more miracle up it’s sleeve to stop the insanity.