Admittedly, that headline is intended to be hyperbolic. I do have a point here however.
This offseason has seen a flurry of rumors around the Oakland Raiders, many regarding who will be the quarterback in 2010.
Donovan McNabb has been a hot topic recently, because historically Al Davis has traded high-picks for players that have only a year left on their contract. In most circles, that reasoning makes no sense.
Just recently, Mr. Davis traded a 3rd round pick for a rental player in Kamerion Wimbley from the Browns. Wimbley has only a season left on his contract.
Not only that, but coach Tom Cable has stated that Wimbley will play strong-side linebacker, when Wimbley is not a tackler or great in pass coverage. He's a rusher who apparently will be expected to be a tackler.
Mr. Davis is a gambler, no doubt. We in Raider Nation don't think he's "crazy," nor do we wait on the edge of our seat for the ESPN lead story, "Pro Football Hall of Fame Owner Al Davis of the Oakland Raider has died at the age of... his last words were Just Win, Baby!"
He will however draw our ire for bonehead moves. DeAngelo Hall knows what I'm talking about. I think we in Raider Nation understand that a great owner deserves leeway when he (or she) makes mistakes.
After all, Mr. Davis built a great team that was not supposed to exist to eventually win three Super Bowls and appear in five all together. Mr. Davis was also able to rack-up the highest winning percentage in the NFL for over 40 years, and was a trailblazer in equal opportunity hiring. And , he lead the former American Football League before it merged with the NFL.
Like I said, you are the one that's crazy. Crazy with envy.
Yet, all the crows in the sports media can do is compromise their integrity as journalists to sling mud at the Raiders.
Al Davis 2.0
Philly has all but dubbed McNabb as old meat that they hope some rabid dog will bite.
That is why Al Davis makes the most sense to ESPN. The chip in their brain that iterates through the "Al Davis is crazy" program says that Davis would trade a high pick for a veteran on the way out.
The Eagles will either release McNabb this year, or let him walk after the season. No team in its right mind would trade more than a 3rd round pick for McNabb, when that team can potentially sign him later.
Don't get me wrong. McNabb is a great player, but the cut-throat in me says, "why trade fair value for a player that the Eagles clearly don't want?"
The other reason that ESPN has fanned the flames of the baseless rumors is because ESPN is once again doing a hatchet job on JaMarcus Russell. The sub story has been, "if the Raiders want McNabb, they must not want Russell."
His Worst Enemy—Himself
ESPN has exposed itself as a hack organization by retaining Jay Mariotti—a writer who admitted last August that he intentionally reports gossip about the Raiders and does not investigate. He would also detail his clearly neurotic and borderline psychotic hatred of the Raiders, Raider fans, and especially Al Davis.
Most heinous of his incendiary comments was that the Raiders are a, "God-awful franchise."
Well, tit for tat. I've been able to resolve most of my grievances by blogging. Yet, the only one left has been ESPN because of Mariotti.
As any employer says, if there is a problem with one employee, there's a problem with every employee that has done the same thing. You can bet your bottom dollar that Mariotti is not alone in delusions of persecution by Davis and Raider fans. Until ESPN fires Mariotti, I can only assume that ESPN agrees with his malicious writing.
You can also bet that the fork-tongued hack, Mariotti, does not make an exception only for the Raiders.
In the same article, Mariotti made his BS quite clear when he claimed that he wanted Raider fans to be entertained and have a good season, yet also called Raider fans "rowdies," and "crazies" that are, "terrorizing the enemy."
Mariotti would also praise commissioner Goodell as the "crown price" (no joke) for 'cleansing' the NFL of "thuggery." I don't know about you, but when I hear people talk about 'cleansing' I immediately think of Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver (1976).
I also think of the disgruntled power plant employee in The Simpsons that stroked a rifle while saying, "I am the angel of death, the time of purification is at hand."
If you actually believe anything you hear from Mariotti, you should get your head examined.
Until ESPN fires a clown like Mariotti, I have no reason to care about what comes from that organization. If you want watch ESPN, then watch ESPN for the highlights. But I think you're best served to watch with the sound off.
ESPN was once a reputable source for sports news, but once it became an established brand for sports info, it became infested by hacks like Mariotti that knew enough to insinuate themselves into a place that they don't belong.
Follow the Money
I realize that I've developed a reputation on B/R as a cavalier sand-bagger who likes to find creative ways of writing outside the lines given by B/R. And that, I'll stand my ground no matter how much people hate my opinion.
I know I have that reputation because Keith Olbermann decided to slime me by name, because I wrote an article that asserted an East Coast bias (or, "East Coast media complex") that deliberately calculates which stories to trump-up and which stories to ignore, in order to garner better ratings.
Of all the articles I have written, including an article in May of 2008 in which I argued that the Miami Dolphins could contend that year (after going 1-15 in 2007) on the strength of the running-game—a story about the East Coast bias instead is the one chosen by the East Coast media as evidence that bloggers are crackpots.
Nevertheless, I do have respect for certain people and organizations.
Quite frankly, I'm most bothered by my generation. I learn from "elders." Sorry, if I just made you feel old. One of which was from when Bill Parcells was on NFL.com. I learned from some great football minds on NFL.com (Parcells, Pat Kirwan, Gil Brandt, etc).
As much as I love technology, I also can't stand the culture that has developed around every new gadget or website. There's something paradoxical about computer technology that has become popular. Like punk music that has become popular.
It's just not right, I say.
Despite all his rage he is still just a rat in a cage
I do the sand-bagging largely as a reaction to the BS from the mainstream media. I don't go looking for iti—t comes to me. It started with me, mostly back in August after I read the defamatory junk from Mariotti.
Until he's fired, I'll keep doing it. Mariotti crossed the line in a big way. Not only casting aside his code of journalistic integrity, but insulted the people who keep him in business - with blasphemous insults.
Yes, I've always had a "distrust but verify" approach to the media, but until last August, it wasn't a real issue with me.
I would like to believe that people in the mainstream media have enough integrity and conscious to run Mariotti out of town on a rail, even if one of us lowly bloggers is the one calling for it.
It shouldn't matter who is saying it, when it is blatantly right.
Or in the case of Mariott, he shouldn't get a free pass when his claims are blatantly wrong and an affront to the virtues of his job field.