Criticizing Al Davis Means Lack of Fandom?
Irony. Though the word that has multiple definitions, I will use my own example today... Irony: Raider Fans, which are known to be loyal, die hard, and dedicated...bashing other Raider Fans over a difference of opinion. The reputation of the, "Raider Nation", is built upon the interpretation that all of us are like brothers, sisters, family, etc. Yet, how are we so close if we can't allow each other to speak freely during these dreadful years?
Of course, the subject I'm really talking about, is Al Davis. How his decisions have forced the team into a downward spiral; in turn causing fans to fight each other in the process.
Maybe, this is the most argued point of view at the time. There seems to be friction from every angle; whether you're loyal to Al, whether you admire him, whether you want him to step down. Is it the worst answer, however, if you chose the latter and think harshly of the once successful rebel?
As a fan, you can talk about the Oakland Raiders from every aspect...but Mr. Davis is off limits? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me, how some fans are being called out as, "fake," just because they think he's ruining the franchise. Even this week, apparently several thousands of Oakland Raider Fans funded a online petition and had a billboard put up reading, "Dear Mr. Davis, please hire a real general manager."
One thing that can't be disputed is the bad business moves that have been made in recent years. From hiring Art Shell to become the head coach, to paying Javon Walker millions of dollars to sit on the bench, there's just too much evidence for any skeptic to ignore.
For myself, the worst spot came last year when he brought out the overhead projector, and fired Lane Kiffin for all to see. It was a soap opera, it was over dramatic, and it just felt like an embarrassment to watch the events unfold.
Yet, we still have older fans that defend him with unquestionable pride. I can respect that. I appreciate all that he's done for the organization, but I also can't lie and say that I want him to control my favorite team. No doubt that I'm not the first person to feel that way.
I'm 19 years young, and I finally started watching football when I was 13 (long, engrossing, funny story, for another article), which puts the time I've liked the Oakland Raiders to about six years. Since then, i've heard disses from everyone you can imagine. Been through all these bad seasons, and still stay silver & black. I have nothing to prove, and feel free to call things how I see them.
Still, you have to wonder about Raider Fans younger than myself. Would hardcore faithful be mad if they talked trash about Al Davis. If so, why? Is it for the love of the Oakland Raiders, or for the love of the owner? Cause sooner than later, he won't be around...which doesn't really matter, considering the Raider Nation will still be living and breathing.
The highlights of Al Davis for my generation, involve watching his great moments on NFL Films. Of course, the man has fallen in recent years, but his legendary legacy will never die. The point of my article is simple: no matter the subject, no matter the argument, there's always a certain truth. You're no less or more a fan, just because you think differently.
Welcome to Raider Nation folks. Where diversity is always guaranteed.
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