Editors Note: This is the conclusion of Raider Ute’s four part series on how his beloved team became what they are today. Its both funny and interesting and I hope you’ve checked out all four parts.
Here now is the thrilling conclusion to by far the longest piece I have ever written. We last left off when Tom Cable declared for all the football world that “we were no longer losers…”
January 4, 2011—Talk about your “famous last words”. Al fires Cable, although not for saying that per se. Standby to cue up the white smoke from 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway.
January 18, 2011—The white smoke emerges from Alameda to reveal that Al has chosen…offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. I’ve heard of brown nosing, but no one did it quite the way he did it. Calling him “Coach Davis” at every opportunity, he made sure that he appreciated the guy who hired him. At least that’s what we all thought.
July 29, 2011—All Pro CB Nnamdi Asomugha signs with the Eagles. Proof positive that it is hard to build a defense around a cornerback. Or at least it is for us for whatever reason.
September 18, 2011—After a solid victory against Denver on Monday night, where Sebastian Janikowski ties the NFL record for the longest field goal, the Raiders give up 35 points in the second half to lose to the Bills 38-35. Noticeably absent for this game was Al Davis, who had only missed three Raiders away games in his career
October 2, 2011—Raiders lose to the Patriots 31-19 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. This would put us at 2-2 on the year.
October 8, 2011—Al Davis dies. Keep in mind here that Al never had a plan for anyone to replace him after he passed on, and we are about to see the fruits of that labor.
October 9, 2011—Raiders beat the Texans in dramatic fashion as Michael Huff picks off Matt Schaub on the last play of the game. The most glaring aspect in this occasion is that the Raiders only had ten men on the field for that last play. Make of that what you will.
October 16, 2011—During the next game against the Browns, Jason Campbell shows the world what being an Auburn Tiger is all about and slides head first into a Cleveland defender and breaks his collarbone. His season is done, with one Kyle Boller to take over for him.
October 18, 2011—Raiders give up a first round pick in 2012 and a conditional 2nd round pick in 2013 to get Carson Palmer from the Bengals. A series of accidents occurred to make this a reality:
—Jason Campbell puts his Auburn education to use and doesn’t slide feet first like a normal QB.
—He needs a quarterback and fortunately for all parties involved, Hue has a good working relationship with a man in need of a job in Cincinnati.
—Would the GM tell him no? Oh, wait…
October 23, 2011—Carson Palmer gets his first playing time as an Oakland Raider. Between him and Kyle Boller, 6 interceptions are accumulated. Chiefs 28, Raiders 0.
December 1, 2011—LB Rolando McClain is arrested by police in his hometown of Decatur, Alabama for a whole bunch of things: third degree assault, reckless endangerment, discharging a firearm within city limits, opening someone else’s mail…okay, I made that last one up, but you just sort of knew this wasn’t going to end well.
December 4, 2011—the Raiders sit at 7-4, atop the AFC West going into a showdown with the Miami Dolphins. With Palmer and a defense ranked 29th in the league, the remaining games went like this:
Dolphins 34, Raiders 14
Packers 46, Raiders 16
Lions 28, Raiders 27
Raiders 16, Chiefs 13
Chargers 38, Raiders 26
That’s is a grand total of 8 wins and 8 losses in cash and prizes and narrowly missing out on the division title again.
January 5, 2012—Al’s son, Mark, hires Reggie McKenzie as the new general manager at the suggestion of former Raiders front office hand Ron Wolf and one of the Godfather’s of the franchise, John Madden. McKenzie’s first act as GM is to fire Hue Jackson, no thanks to the fact that he put Reggie in the precarious position of not having a pick until the 3rd round of the upcoming draft because he tried to make a power play to become the new Al Davis.
January 24, 2012—McKenzie hires his very first head coach, former Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. Allen makes the first mistake of his young career and brings back Greg Knapp as his offensive coordinator.
April 27, 2012—without a pick until the end of the 3rd round, the Raiders select former Ute OL Tony Bergstrom. I had an allergy attack that night. No, seriously, happens to me this time of year.
September 10, 2012—A whole lot of “meh” went down this particular season starting with a lackluster Monday Night loss to the Chargers, but Raiders radio play by play voice Greg Papa made a very telling comment about this year’s team: “of everyone on this roster, maybe 10 of them are good enough to play for someone else”.
And that leads me to today. The remarks I hear from many are that competence has arrived at 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway, but after all of this, I have no clue what “competence” vis a vis an NFL franchise looks like. Since Barret Robbins went off the rails, a few good things and a whole lot of bad has happened to my beloved team. Maybe this will all be a distant memory and Dennis Allen will be the man that gets the Silver and Black another title…but I can’t be blamed for doubting it.