Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

October 27, 2008
Being booed for boorish behavior

BALTIMORE - The Raiders found a way to be booed on the road even though there were never really in the game.

Safety Hiram Eugene put a nice hit on Ravens tight end Todd Heap to guarantee an incompletion on a deep pass over the middle.

It was a nice hit. Nothing that would make the highlight reels, though.

Eugene jumped up with bravado and preened with the Raiders trailing 22-10 at the time in the fourth quarter.

The fans reaction? Boo! Read the scoreboard! Beat on your chest while the Ravens beat on your team.

A few Raider defenders have a habit of doing that. But at some point, shouldn't someone act as if they are being manhandled?

After all, another team just made your run defense look like a joke?

That's not the attitude of these Raiders.

Linebacker Thomas Howard was also booed for celebrating a late tackle in what ended up being a 29-10 loss Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

"If you saw me out there I'm having fun," Howard said. "That's how I play the game. I don't care what the score is."

Perhaps a veteran leader would pull a young guy aside and tell him to tone it down. What's fun about traveling across the country 19-point loss?

But there's no Ray Lewis in the Raiders locker room.

"I don't care if we're up 30 or down 30," Howard said. "I'm going to go out there, I'm gonna stunt, I'm going to give you my stuff after my plays. I'm gonna have fun playing football. I love playing the game."

What about the perception that you look a little...silly celebrating of all things a tackle in a blowout?

"I don't care what they think," Howard said. "I'm out there playing football. I love playing the game. You're not going to tell me I can't play the game and have fun if I'm up 30 or down 30."

Howard said he received credit for Ravens rookie running back Ray Rice for his style of play.

"Rice came up to me and said, 'Man, you have fun no matter what's going on out there,'" Howard said.

By the way, Rice might appreciate the Raider defense after tying his career high with 64 yards.

The difference? Rice needed 22 carries to reach 64 yards Week 1. He ran for 64 in only eight attempts against the Raiders.

Raiders running back Justin Fargas isn't bothered by late game grandstanding in a blowout loss.

"You can never take the fire away from a team," Fargas said. "You can never take the emotion out of it. We need more of that. We need some guys having fun and loving what they do. That's what that's about. It's not about the score. You've got to have that fire and emotion regardless."

If only the Raiders started the game with that same fire and emotion. Maybe they wouldn't have been down 19-0 at halftime.

The voice of reason on this situation just might be DeAngelo Hall.

He's been derisively called "MeAngelo" but he's on point with this.

"I don't know what guys think," Hall said. "I ain't celebrating, we're down. The whole point of the game is to win, not to make plays, it's to win games. You didn't see me celebrating not one time. It's frustrating. We've got execute and play the way we know how to play."

Then all the look-at-me actions wouldn't be looked at as scornfully. The Raiders would have earned the right to boast a little bit.

But at 2-5, the Raiders haven't done that yet. And until more Raiders think like Hall, things figure to stay the way the are.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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