That's it, I've had it with the current events of the Oakland Raiders, the NFL team I have loved, adored, and stuck with through the good times and bad times. It's not easy being a Raiders fan living in New Jersey my entire life, but I've always done it with pride. Since being a little tike and falling in love with Cliff Branch, Jim Plunkett, and Lester Hayes in the late 70's-early 80's I've been aboard with full loyalty. But as of today, things have changed. And in some ways I now view my beloved Oakland Raiders the way I have viewed my beloved America the last eight years.
Clearly, Al Davis is one of the worst owners in all of sports, and also one of the worst human beings I can think of in sports. Through recent weeks of his mistreatment of head coach Lane Kiffin, the only class-act human left in the organization who doesn't actually play, I have tried my best not to come to this new point. But after viewing the footage of columnist Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury news being verbally assaulted, bullied, and nearly physically assaulted (or so it seemed) by senior excutive John Herrera today, I can no longer hold the same feelings for the Raiders I once did through most of my life. To say Herrera acted like a classless, unprofessional thug at this press conference, where the only sane individual associated with the Raiders was Kiffin, woud be a gross understatement. If you haven't seen this display of the downfall of humanity go to youtube right away.
So that's it. Here's my new view on my Oakland Raiders. I still love my Oakland Raiders, but I hate Al Davis and those who usher his style of ownership and leadership. I will not turn my back on my team, but until Al Davis is gone, I cannot keep the emotional ties I had for so many years. Their pending defeats will have no effect anymore on Sundays in 2008. I expect Kiffin will be gone soon, sadly for us Raiders fans, but good for him. And Davis will be still be at the helm. And this is my same outlook with America. I love my country but I fear, loathe, despise its current leadership. We have been lied to by a lawless presidential administration for eight years and I numb to the daily news of their continued criminal acts. Perhaps one day soon, the country I love will have the leadership that is right (no this isn't an Obama-McCain thing). And perhaps one day, my Raiders too will have the right ownership.
I now view my Raiders and my country in the same window. I love them both and always will but despise their leadership. I'm holding out hope for both...