The Raiders Need To Fire John Herrera

Lionel HillContributor ISeptember 26, 2009

I’ve spent hours looking for the right word.




All three words speak to a shameless sense of boldness, which would describe Raiders PR man John Herrera… if any of his childish actions were actually “bold.”

If you haven’t read Herrera’s comical justification for keeping Rich Gannon out of the Raiders’ production meetings, allow me a chance to provide the laughs.

Herrera quoted Gannon as saying in several interviews they should just "blow up the building and start over" in Oakland. Team officials took that as literally as they did figuratively, and told Gannon as much before last season's home game against the Chiefs.

"We think in a post 9/11 world, that's not a very proper thing to say," Herrera said. "It's uncalled for. He seems to be a guy who can't get over the fact that he played the worst Super Bowl game in the history of the game and he wants to blame everybody but himself."

"I guess it's our fault he threw five interceptions."


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In football terms, this is somewhere in the neighborhood of Sarah Palin’s sit down with Katie Couric. I am a stunned Jack Cafferty, forced to comment on the shame of such an inept person having such a high position of power.

John Herrera has insulted everything from the intelligence of Raider fans to the people who live in fear of real post-9/11 danger. He’s insulted the only successful Raiders quarterback since the Los Angeles era. He’s insulted the national media, who try to cover the Raiders in an honest light but get a heap of run around and smoke screening. He’s done all of this while playing the “media victim” card.

This isn’t the first time Herrera’s been in hot water. Just last season, a video on beat writer Tim Kawakami’s blog clearly shows Herrera physically intimidating the reporter over a column Herrera claims “was built on a lie.” Kawakami, a much smaller person in stature, is poised and calm throughout, but clearly not happy with Herrera’s display of thuggary (as much “thuggary” as a graying middle-aged PR man can display).

Rich Gannon is larger than Tim Kawakami; suffice to say, there probably won’t be any YouTube gold after tomorrow’s production meeting.

But the truth remains the same – John Herrera continues to humiliate the Raiders’ organization with his obvious disdain for truthful reporting and willingness to commit any shameful action to block unfavorable stories.

Maybe Al Davis needs to look at the bigger picture, the one that says “who’s meant more to this organization? John Herrera, or Rich Gannon?” If Mr. Davis needs time to think this answer over, it really is time for the NFL to seize control of the organization and demand secure, sane ownership.

Al – as a fan of 20+ years, I’m asking you to show me a sign that you’ve still got it, that there is a sane bone left in your body, that the fans and former players mean as much to you as your image, and that constructive criticism (the same constructive criticism that Rich Gannon offers every time he’s in the booth) is not a taboo concept at 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway, but an embraced one.

Pick up the phone, find “John Herrera” in your contacts, hit the call button and utter the only words you should say to him ever again.

“You’re fired.”

By the way, I found the word I was looking for.


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