I’ve tried my absolute hardest to refrain from making the Raiders the center of my weekly posts, figuring I’ll be able to maintain my journalistic integrity by not showing any kind of favoritism or bias. But this week, I say screw it… it’s time for some blatant bashing!
So if you’ll allow me, I’d like to recite a story about two teams I know very well…
Let me take you back to April 2009, the NFL draft. Stafford had already been signed to the lowly Lions, and WR studs Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin were highly sought after. The Raiders were coming off yet another abysmal season, and I was sitting there patiently waiting to hear the commish announce our new star WR, Michael Crabtree. Since both he and Maclin were still on the board, it was a no-brainer that one of those talents would be wearing the Silver and Black and bring us back to the Super Bowl baby!
And to no one’s surprise (especially not mine) Al Davis and his dunce cap wearing team of execs selected a kid named Darrius Heyward-Bey. He can’t catch the ball worth a damn, but boy, he sure is fast! Then, in the lowest point of my sports-addicted’ life, 3 spots down, Crabtree was selected by one of the Raider’s cross-bay nemeses, the San Francisco 49ers.
Fast-forward to this Sunday. Crabtree, after a 3 month long holdout, finally made his debut as a Niner against the Texans. He finished with 5 catches for 56 yards. Chris Mortensen on Twitter made sure to emphasize how Crabs had already caught up with, and surpassed, DHB in total catches for the season. Once again, I was not surprised.
What did surprise me, though, was the Niners’ decision to play 2005’s #1 overall draft pick Alex Smith, thinking he could provide an offensive spark of some kind. Smith has been all sorts of terrible in his NFL career, but his stat line on Sunday was a far cry from the days when fans were pleading for no-name Shaun Hill to start in his place. Smith ended 15 for 22 with 206 total yards and three TDs.
On the other side of the Bay, my glorious excuse for a team has their very own #1 overall pick playing at a superb level… a superbly awful level, that is. With three turnovers in the first quarter and no signs of life in the second half, Jamarcus Russell was benched for journeyman Bruce Gradkowski. Suffice it to say, the substitution didn’t work — the Raiders were shutout.
I’m not saying that Crabtree is going to be a star, nor am I saying that Smith is not a bust (in my book, he still is). What I am saying is I’d rather have Crabtree over DHB and… uh… the quarterback of my high school football team over Jamarcus.
I am also merely mapping out the evidence for the police when they find out a hit has been placed on Al Davis’ head – yet again.