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oaklandhater
10-10-2006, 09:17 AM
http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061009/NEWS/610090339/1015/SPORT0502

Winless Raiders finding comfort in their misery
By BOB PADECKY
PRESS DEMOCRAT COLUMNIST



SAN FRANCISCO - So what do the Raiders provide for an encore after this one? Walk down Broadway Avenue in Oakland with a lampshade on their heads? I mean, if it's true, if Randy Moss is correct and very few players on the Raiders are concerned, then it's time for everyone else to relax. No use being surprised if the Raiders lose again. Time for comic relief.



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Time for Moss to juggle bowling balls in a park at Jack London Square while singing "Everybody must get stoned." That would give us something else to think about than a team scoring 31 points on the Raiders after getting blown out, 41-0, the week before by mediocre Kansas City.

Warren Sapp could read Shakespeare at a pre-school, which would provide better video than the 49ers intercepting four Raiders passes - after San Francisco hadn't intercepted a pass all season.

LaMont Jordan could take a broomstick and ... uh, but you get the picture. The Raiders are 0-4 but it feels like 0-40 because Sunday gave absolutely no indication Oakland is leaving its black hole. In fact, the hole only seems more dense than before, very close to swallowing this season.

"Our season is going (away) right in front of our faces," said defensive tackle Sapp, "if we don't start doing something."

After only four games, is the season reaching critical mass? Yes, most definitely, said Sapp. Jordan called it a crossroads. Urgency required? Absolutely, said safety Stuart Schweigert. What is spreading like a cancer, said Schweigert, threatening to destroy the team, is the belief among the players that they aren't better than 0-4.

"Some guys are playing tentatively, and you can't do that," said Schweigert. "It's like they are waiting for something bad to happen."

And, wouldn't you know it, something bad did happen Sunday. A punt was blocked. Jordan nonchalantly walked away from a botched lateral. Moss dropped an easy touchdown pass. For Raiders historians who remember how often Oakland has snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory since the team relocated from Los Angeles, this was a textbook game.

"Like they teach you in Pop Warner," said Sapp of Jordan not pursing the missed lateral, "you just got to get on that ball."

The Raiders now have entered the mystifying portion of their season, an annual occurrence where otherwise intelligent players break off pass routes, forget basic rules of the game and go numb of mind. A team doesn't post the fewest victories in the NFL for the past three years, as the Raiders have, without combining poor coaching, lack of skill and sudden, inexplicable brain dumb. Jordan, to his credit, took full blame for not falling on the missed lateral.

Accepting responsibility is one thing. Doing something about it, as Sapp suggests, implies the Raiders have the necessary skill to do so.

"You can't tell me this isn't a good ballclub," Sapp said.

Yes, I can. The Oakland Raiders are not a good ballclub. If Andrew Walter is the heir apparent as the Raiders' quarterback of the future, it's not apparent. His performance was so sketchy, coach Art Shell isn't even sure if Walter will start next Sunday in Denver.

The Raiders cannot become a good team if their best player, Moss, is a mood ring, running hot and cold, good hands one minute, concrete mitts the next. Moss is supposed to decide games. That's why Al Davis treated him like royalty when the Raiders signed him. Moss, to be sure, is deciding games, but for the wrong team.

"Something's got to give," Schweigert said.

And indeed it must, otherwise the Raiders will become the first non-expansion team to go winless in a season. It's virtually impossible to go unbeaten or winless in the NFL, parity being such an equalizer, but the Raiders have a real shot at losing them all. Sunday, for the first time this season, they looked comfortable with the result. If that doesn't change, this 34-20 defeat will seem like the good ol' days by the end of the season. When everyone will be wearing lampshades, just to hide their faces.

jspchief
10-10-2006, 09:24 AM
I'm no Moss fan, but the media is starting to make him the goat and that's not even close to being reality.

Randy Moss is the same Randy Moss he's always been. He's just surrounded by a team built by the worst owner in the NFL.

RINGLEADER
10-10-2006, 09:49 AM
This Raiders team really is pathetic but what did they expect? They have very little talent and the key positions (QB, OT, RB, LB, DBs) are occupied by players who wouldn't be back-ups on most teams. Signing Aaron Brooks was laughable. Recent draft picks like Robert Gallery are proving to be busts. And Art Shell - who even I thought would be an upgrade - has come in with a scheme that is as outdated as Al Davis. The Jerry Porter situation and the potential of a Moss melt-down hang over this team. It really is an example of how NOT to rebuild a team in the salary-cap era.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys in my book...

Easy 6
10-10-2006, 09:58 AM
Sapp really has a lot of room to talk about commitment, he looks like he's been on the tater tot n' concentrated pork fat diet.

MichaelH
10-10-2006, 10:03 AM
All the problems the faiders are having makes me believe in kharma.