Raider Myopia: I got a bad case of it

The following definition comes from Jim Rome’s “Smacktionary”:

Myopian   (n.) 1. Los Angeles Raider fan 2. any other overoptimistic fan [for (Raider) fans' perceived misplaced optimism and shortsightedness]

To some the term “Myopian” might come as an insult; to me, it is a compliment. Whatever you want to call it, I’ve got a bad case of Raider Myopia.

To further support my self diagnosis, I offer you the following.

I live in Los Angeles and as a result was unable to watch the press conference that just occurred in Oakland to introduce Tom Cable as the new head coach of the Raiders. So what does an Angeleno do when you don’t get local Bay Area channels? Well, that’s when you turn to that handy invention that Al Gore has blessed the world with: the internet.

For the last hour I stared into the 16 inch screen on my laptop, hanging on every word that came from the mouths of Tom Cable and Al Davis, getting my first Raider fix of the new year. I sat with a pen and pad in hand, jotting down notes as if I were a beat writer rushing to make my deadline, when in actuality I’m but a mere blogger with a wireless connection who has no timeline at all. Few will read these words, even less will be able to relate to them.

As a Raider fan, you become accustomed to the constant mockery that comes from the most uninspired of rivals. I’ve been called a “Thug” because of my tattoos, a “Fool” because of my undying trust in Al Davis and a “Myopian” for ‘misplaced optimism’.  These words do no harm to my psyche, in fact, quite the opposite; they inspire me. We are the most infamous fans in all of the sporting world; hovering somewhere between the faith shown only in holy temples and the passion that boils over into soccer hooliganism.

Today my faith was given new life. Through the pixilated hues of my laptop, I gazed into the future of my franchise. I heard the wisdom of the past from Al Davis and I saw a glimpse of the future in Tom Cable. Cable was born to be a Raider, a bay area native who has a true passion for Raider Football, he went as far as to say that the opportunity to become the head coach of the Raiders was, “A childhood dream come true”.

 At the season’s end, Cable patiently waited as Al Davis brought in other candidates to interview for his job. Davis has been called many things, but above all he is loyal. When Tom Cable’s father passed away, out of respect, Al Davis put the coaching search on hold for nearly two weeks. The national media had its share of fun, mocking the length of time it was taking for Mr. Davis to select a coach, when knowing all along that it was going to be Cable who would be walking the sidelines in 2009.  Al Davis, as he likes it, kept all of this quiet. He gave Tom time to be with his family and to bid farewell to his father.

 But today was not just about a dream realized as Cable was quick to make a statement that none of the previous 5 Raider coaches would be so bold as to do.

 “The Raiders are back. We’re going to be a playoff team and I’m not afraid to say it.” Cable said this in such a matter of fact way that many might question his sanity.

Has he watched this team play the last 6 years? Does he know who his boss is? Whatever you call it, Cable is one of us. He is a Myopian. He speaks to the hearts of Raider Nation.

“It’s all of us against whoever on Sunday” , Cable said  during the conference.

He might not be a poet, but Tom Cable is fluent in a language that the media will never understand, that only those who have ever played the game will truly comprehend and that only the Raider Nation will respond to: The language of football.

Al Davis made it clear that this is Cable’s team. Cable hired the staff and will call the plays. All of Raider Nation is in your hands Tom; lead us to glory and you will become a god of football whose mere name will echo the passion of the sport; like Madden. However, should you let us down your name will become lost in the ever shuffling deck of cards that are Raider coaches these days. 

At one point during the press conference, a reporter stood up and mentioned to Cable that he spoke to the room as if he were talking to his players and not the media, he then proceeded to ask Cable why we should believe things are going to be different around Oakland now that he’s the coach. Tom pondered the question for a moment and responded, “Why should you believe me? Because that’s who I am.” He then fixed his emotionless glare on the reporter and uttered, “I am who I am.”

I am who I am. I am a Raider Myopian.

Chris Shellcroft

Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Al Gore Jim Rome John Madden Smacktionary Tom Cable

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