Oakland Raiders: Tic-Tac-Toe, Get Three in a Row

Honor Warren Wells TheTorch@dbintayaelSenior Writer IIJanuary 1, 2010

CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 27:  Charlie Frye #3 of the Oakland Raiders throws as he is pressured by Kaluka Maiava #56 of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

It's been a good year for those of us who needed to be humbled. Join me because I and others wrote some articles spouting out "high hopes" for the 2009 season, and it's been a year with a few highs and several lows.

Like a child who wants to get three x's in a row in tic-tac-toe, some of us would have been happy to see three consecutive victories in 2009. Two wins in a row would have made us happier, too.

So much was invested in JaMarcus Russell that some fans thought that surely he would give us "a very good year." Nope, it didn't happen.

Our heads swelled with pride when Bruce Gradkowski injected excitement, passion, and a higher degree of effectiveness in a couple of our games. Then, maybe because we got "a little bit too lifted up," our "rising star" was injured, not in one knee but in two. Now, tell me, wasn't that disappointing?

I don't think it is "off beat" to say that our opponents targeted our rising star, playing hard and dirty to get him out of the game, so to speak. Is that far-fetched?

So, we did get two x's but they were disabling x's, representing the injuries of our quarterback.

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Well, the beginning of a new year will start and we will get charged up, practiced up, and fired up for the 2010 season.

Will it be tic-tac-toe again, but this time, we yearn for x-x-x and more.

I believe the whole team needs a "major tune up" like changing spark plugs, wires, rotary caps, and a change in the air filter and fuel filter.

Knowing that your car needs a tune up is similar to knowing that the Oakland Raiders need a tune up. When your car mis-fires, won't crank up in cold weather or hot weather, it stalls at the red light, won't accelerate properly, you then realize you need a major tune-up. Our team needs a tune up before the 2010 season begins.

Well, the analogy is: Our team mis-fired; it didn't crank up consistently; and it certainly did not accelerate to give us two consecutive wins for weeks 14 and 15.

How do we tune up our team? Do an assessment and replace any member of the franchise who did not perform properly?

How might this assessment of the entire franchise be done?

A suggestion is to evaluate the performance of "a few good men" and "a few bad men" and strengthen the Oakland Raiders for 2010.

Furthermore, we will stack up the x's and o's and we will see the pattern on which we will make our informed decisions.

With the discipline to watch, carefully, as much of the data and performance records of the entire team, we will not tolerate being treated like we have "stupid stamped on our forehead."

We may be in a game of tic-tac-toe in the NFL, but we still expect, some consecutive x's (wins)  more often.

This is your review of 2009, and your "prep-pep talk" for 2010.

Happy New Year!

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