I was sitting in the north endzone at the Cheifs-Raiders contest. With Darth Raider at the front of my isle I watched both the team and the fans,trying to absorb the "vibe" and seeing how the day developed. What I noticed on the field was a lack of inventive playcalling. Seems like the Cheifs were not challenged by a well thought game plan, rather, they just responded to basic plays. Was Cable going with the mano y mano philosophy? I saw McFadden run off tackle a few times..seen that before. Have never figured out why you would'nt use his speed outside and on short passes. The fans in my section all agreed. Must be a stubborn coach I thought. Saw McFadden in the wildcat.. tried to run up the middle again. 2yds for the effort.
Bush, Fargas, McFadden were all on the field during the game. I wondered " why not set a tempo with 1 guy instead of swapping them in and out?" Fargas looked strong, is'nt he your stable for setting the tone? If your going to feature Bush since he started off strong, then leave him in to get a rythum going. I thought in training camp we were going to use McFadden as a wideout? What happened to that?
On one series that ended up being 3 and out as so many did on this sunday, we needed 7yds for a first down. Raiders threw a 5yd pass right in front of a Cheifs LB who dropped his man instantly. Why would'nt you call a deeper route or a comeback I yelled. My fellow fans all agreed.
We all questioned " why was DHBust" even on the field. " That guy needs to be on the sidelines"..."He's not ready for the NFL"...This was all before he dropped the rarely seen perfect pass by J-Russ. After he did make the drop, my neighbor in the crowd said " Nice draft pick Al".." Cable's gotta go" someone said.
Nobody had anything positive to say about J-Russ the entire game. Admittedly he is not the one dropping passes...but to see his behind the receiver passes up close made me think I was watching a H.S. game. When he did miss the crowd screamed in unison "Behind!!!"
After starting off scoring 10 pts in the 1st quarter, the crowd was excited. The defense was strong and fired up. If only C.Johnson would learn to turn around when the man he's covering turns to face him the crowd agreed.
Right before halftime as the offense slowed down and the Cheifs picked away at the opportunities being given them by a sluggish, uninspired Raiders offense, the crowd started to get mad. They had seen this senario too many times before. With J-Russ getting worse as the game went on the chant began " J-Russ sucks, J-Russ sucks".
Let me be clear here...these were the Raider fans that come to the games every week, the fan's that spend their money and their time supporting the team they love. The man next to me comes from L.A. every home game with his group. He said " my Dad used to take us to the games, so we come every home game. We leave at 2a.m. to get here. The couple in front of me has been coming for years and the woman had a very funny and offensive word on her Raider custom shirt..started w/ an F.
It was so sad to feel the energy just drain out of the fan's around me as the game wore on. Not from giving up hope mind you, rather from the lack of exicution from the offense on the field. I felt that way myself as I had finally gotten my youngest daughter to come to a game w/ me, as well as my girlfriend for her 1st Raider game. My brother and his oldest son had joined us from the 3rd deck and we all had a very goodtime cheering for our team.
Despite the lack of offensive production, despite the lack of progress by our team to change their ways and bring us a victory, We came together as family on sunday. Us along with our friends we met at the game for the 1st time. Just like family, we shared the bad times and made the best of them as we could. Times in the Raider Nation are tough to get through these days. We choose to share these times and know that someday our fortune will change. Thank God we have family to hang onto.