Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 5, 2009
Raiders: Thanks for the compliments, we think?!?

Talk about your backhanded compliments. SI.com, in a feature entitled "25 things we miss in football (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/specials/remember-when/football/25things.html?eref=sihpT1)," took a couple of swipes at the Raiders.

Here is what was written about your favorite team:

"3. Al Davis when he was a football genius:
Raiders owner Al Davis takes a lot of flak for being stuck in a time warp and rightly so. The only thing more dated than his sartorial taste (how 'bout those jumpsuits?) is his football mind. From the team's half-baked personnel decisions (paging Robert Gallery) to its dubious coaching hires to its bone-headed playcalling, there isn't a problem Davis hasn't made worse. The more he meddles, the harder it is to remember a time when Davis was the football equivalent of King Midas. When he took over the Raiders at age 33, he refashioned them into one of the most successful teams in pro sports. (The ledger: 13 division championships, an AFL championship, three Super Bowl titles and 15 playoff appearances in 19 years.) When the AFL was written off as a joke in the early 1960s, Davis, as its commissioner from 1966-70, remade it into a powerhouse, poaching so much of the NFL's top playing and coaching talent that the two leagues eventually merged. An equal-opportunity trailblazer as well, he didn't shrink from starting a Latino (Jim Plunkett) at quarterback, making a black man (Art Shell) his head coach or putting a woman (Amy Trask) in his front office. For a while there, it seemed like Davis couldn't miss. But then, somewhere in the between his LA-related legal battles with the NFL and his haggles with Jon Gruden, the old man lost his way. Moreover, the losses are mounting right along with the fans' restlessness. Will the Raiders ever get back to their winning ways? Probably, but it'd take one more genius move from Al to make that happen: He'd have to butt out. -Andrew Lawrence

19. Stickum and Eye-Black:
The image of Lester Hayes smeared head-to-toe with Stickum is iconic in NFL lore. While others (primarily his Raiders teammates) used the sap-like substance sparingly, the cornerback nearly bathed in it. And, really, what was so bad about that? Hayes found a loophole in the system and capitalized on it, helping Oakland to two Super Bowl championships and himself to five Pro Bowls. Stickum was banned from the NFL in 1981 and, as a result, Hayes' stats took a nose dive. He became a "mere mortal," he said. The eye black of old was made of actual grease, not over-priced tape with a cute little logo that is merely an extra licensing/merchandising arm for the league. Our take? Bring back the grease. -Nicki Jhabvala"

-Raiders continue to extend the Silver and Black brand
For the sixth straight year, the Raiders will play host to a gaggle of international football coaches at training camp. Markus Krause (Austria), Robert Balazinec (Austria), Alex Adamo (Sweden), Jose Antonio Madinaveitia (Mexico), Fernando Maniega Legarda (Spain) and Mel Martin (Australia) are the six international coaches who are scheduled to arrive in Napa tomorrow (Thursday), listen in on meetings and practice, take part in the team's Raider Nation Celebration fan fest on Saturday and depart on Aug. 14, the day after the Raiders' exhibition opener against the Dallas Cowboys at the Coliseum.

"The Raider Nation is worldwide," Raiders chief executive Amy Trask said in a release, "and our unique International Guest Coach Program is just one of our exciting initiatives designed to unite our global fan base."

The Raider will not, however, have another International Practice Player as it did last season in defensive tackle Mauricio Lopez from Mexico as the NFL has disbanded the program.

-Gannon gets a show
Rich Gannon has landed his own radio show on SIRIUS NFL Radio. The former Raiders quarterback and 2002 NFL MVP is hosting The SIRIUS Blitz with Adam Schein on SIRIUS channel 124 and XM channel 124 with the show airing weekdays (7:00 - 10:00 a.m. PT) throughout the season.

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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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