Justin Fargas: Oakland's True Raider

jackson chesherContributor IDecember 4, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 2:  Justin Fargas #24 of the Oakland Raiders runs for a touchdown in the second half against the Denver Broncos during an NFL game December 2, 2007 at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The last seven seasons of Raider football have been absolutely terrible. 

The team has lost 80 games since 2002 when they lost in the Super Bowl to Jon Gruden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Many players have come and gone in those seven years, most telling horror stories of their time with the Raiders.  Through all of the hard times and turmoil one player has shown the pride and poise that owner Al Davis demands out of every Raider.

Justin Fargas.

Justin Fargas was drafted in the third round of the 2003 NFL draft by Al Davis and the Raiders.  That year Fargas joined an aging Raider team fresh off a Super Bowl loss. 

Fargas' rookie season wasn't much to talk about.  The team finished 4-12 while Fargas rushed for a mere 203 yards. 

The only thing that has changed for the Raiders since then is personnel. Fargas is the longest tenured Raider on offense. 

He is currently the team's leading rusher despite missing the first two games with an injury.  He also led the team in rushing the last two years. 

What sets Fargas apart from the other Raiders that have come and gone during his career isn't great numbers or flashy plays.  It's the way he conducts himself as a true Raider.

During Al's time with the Raiders he has always preached a "commitment to excellence" and no other Raider has lived up to that better than Fargas.  He has always given 110 percent on every player and does it with class. 

Fargas' game is pretty simple.  He doesn't duck and dodge defenders, he takes them head on.  No player in the league hits the hole harder than Fargas.  He plays hard nose football in a league that seems to be getting softer every season. 

The most important thing about Fargas is that he loves being a Raider.  Through seven losing seasons he has never whined or questioned his team.  He goes out there week after week and plays his hardest, even though many times the rest of the team hasn't.

Al Davis has been criticized a lot lately for poor personnel decisions, but lets give him credit for Fargas.  He conducts himself like a true Raider, with pride and poise, commited to excellence.