Does the Average Raider Fan Know More Than the Experts?

Bill HintonCorrespondent IMay 30, 2010

NEW YORK - APRIL 28:  Mel Kiper, Chris Mortensen and Keyshawn Johnson broadcast for ESPN during the 2007 NFL Draft on April 28, 2007 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

I like to speculate about what my team, the Oakland Raiders, will do in the off-season, when it comes to free agency and the draft. This is close to the way most fans and "experts" speculate on impending moves.

The difference when a fan, such as myself, or an "expert," speculates, is the fan is doing it without the benefit of insider knowledge. Fans must rely solely on the past and a gut feeling of what our team is likely to do.

Many of our speculations are based on what we hope might happen. In my case, that would have been JaMarcus Russell maturing and becoming a successful NFL quarterback. Missed that one!

In other cases, it's based on our experience of knowing and loving our team. Something that can't be duplicated by most members of the media.

So let's go to the archives and see which ones I got right and wrong. This will be kind of a report card on myself. A comparison of hopes and feelings versus insider knowledge.

On January 18th, I wrote a satirical mock draft based on the Al Davis way of doing things.

Thankfully I didn't get it totally right, but I did have Jared Veldheer and Jacoby Ford tabbed as future Raiders! Not bad!

On January 24th, I wrote a mock draft on best-case/worst-case scenario. I had Rolando McClain as the Raiders first round pick in my best-case scenario. Did you get that one Mel Kiper?

On January 31st, I probably wrote my most accurate article. It was a review of the Senior Bowl. It turned out my assessment of players was spot on.

Of course, I've been miserably wrong as well. See all things concerning JaMarcus Russell and the pursuit of Donovan McNabb.

Overall, though, my speculations and those of fellow Raider fans have been just as, if not more, accurate than those of the "experts".

We know our team.

Raider Nation is passionate, crazy, loyal, delusional, and realistic at the same time. That's why the best Raider news comes from us. The ones without insider knowledge, just a love and a passion for our team.

So we'll grade on a curve and give myself and the rest of Raider Nation an "A", because we'll be the ones who are right when the Raiders turn it around in 2010.

Just Win Baby!