The Raider Nation has had to endure the sports media's continuous stream of trash talking from the opening kickoff this season. From the Mike Ditka's long-winded, negative diatribe in Game 1 versus Denver through yesterday's editorials trying (unsuccessfully) to dig up old dirt with John Gruden, many of our so-called objective journalists have been on a nonstop Silver and Black attack.
Well, how about a little crow for dinner tonight sports journalists? Sure, the Raiders didn't make the playoffs again this season, but they did manage to knock Tampa Bay out of the postseason. It would be hard to argue that the team didn't improve by leaps and bounds in 2008. Oakland took several teams, including Buffalo and Carolina to the wire before losing. It suffered a few blowouts, but so did playoff-bound teams.
The whole demeanor of this organization has changed. Dare I say, Al Davis knew what he was doing when he sent Lane Kiffin packing and promoted Tom Cable? Maybe the old master still has a bit of genius left in him. Granted, Davis needs to hire a GM in the off-season, but he's on to something with the current coaching staff.
Sans experienced wide receivers, all that Oakland did was win its last two games of the season against decent ball clubs. No matter how much the media dislikes Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders, the team is headed in the right direction. Several pieces are in place and a few more will be added to complete the puzzle.
Give credit to Tom Cable, his staff, and especially to the players who never gave up; prevailed despite the onslaught of anyone who grew up despising the organization and its owner. It's not a perfect ending to this season's story, but I'll sure take it. Now how about that bird naysayers?