The Disney Sports Channel continues its Raider Hatred


The line separating factual sports journalism from fan opinion/analysis has been forever blurred thanks to the good folks at Disney.

It has now become impossible to watch – what is supposed to be a newscast – without being bombarded with more opinion than facts.

Last night I decided to watch a few highlights before going to bed. I tuned into SportsCenter just in time to catch their segment on the NFL’s announcement of the 2009 primetime schedule.

There, sitting behind a glowing desk not even Gene Roddenberry could envision, were two “news” anbright-lightschors, shimmering in a Massengill inspired glaze, beneath an array of multi-colored lights. They proceeded to run through the slate of games the NFL has selected for its opening night and Thanksgiving Day.

As you know by now, the Oakland Raiders are featured on the second half of the Monday Night doubleheader and on Thanksgiving Day as well.

Oakland will host the San Diego Chargers on the Monday Night affair. To tease the game, the Disney Newscaster informed the viewing public that Charger running back LaDainian Tomlinson was 9 touchdowns away from reaching a career total of 150. Innocent enough, but what followed wasn’t. The Dumbo look-a-like then went on to say, “He just might get all 9 against the Raiders”. Nice. Never mind the fact that no man has ever scored more than 6 touchdowns in a game.

Moving on to the Thanksgiving Day games, of which there are three games played on that hallowed day, the Mickey Mouse reporter took a moment to comment on one game. Guess which one?

Of the Raider/Cowboy affair he said this, “I’m going to go ahead and pick the Cowboys right now.” Never mind the fact that the Raiders and Cowboys have played 9 times in their history and the Raiders have won 6 of those meetings, the last win coming in 2005 when the Raiders were in the middle of a historic streak of futility (more on this “streak” later).

I have no problem with people taking shots at the Raiders. Infamy inspires hatred, it is natural.

I do have a problem with a supposed newscast being used a vehicle for asinine commentary and uninformed opinion.

Do you ever hear Katie Couric use her primetime news status to give the world her opinion on the Obama Presidency? Yes, she reports real news and the Disney Channel is just covering sports. One is hard pressed to draw a parallel between the two news outlets. The fact remains, both are news outlets, with a duty to report facts and not opinion.

There is a time and a place for opinion and commentary. It’s not enough that the Snow White Sports Channel has a 24-hour monopoly on sports opinion, where you can tune in at any hour to hear gasbags spewing nauseous venom on everything athletics related. No, they have to utilize their factual reports as a means to interject meaningless commentary as well.

11-lossesA recent trend for all Raider Haters out there has been to fire off the “Oakland is the first ever NFL franchise to lose 11 or more games for six straight years” argument for futility.

Guess who was among the first to report this asinine fact?

Go to any message board now, and I guarantee you’ll find some Bronco, Charger or Chief fan that has posted a comment of this sort within the last hour.

The facts are the facts. I cannot argue that. Six miserable years have amounted to a “new level of futility”.

However, if you stop for a second, you’ll realize that the mere unearthing of this fact is but another proof of the Raider Hatred flamed by the Lion King News Network.

They love to find ways to make the Raiders look horrible, but how about the fact that the Tampa Bay Buccaneuncle-vinny1ers never even sniffed a winning season from 1983-1996. In 1990, the Orange Creamsicle Pirates went 6-10, snapping a string 5 consecutive seasons of 11 or more losses. Thus, the Raiders six years of 11 or more losses become history. Never mind that Tampa only won more than 6 games once in any of those 14 seasons. The Raiders are the benchmark, really?

The Disney characters seem to have a love affair with the New England Patriots. Between 1989 and 1993, the beloved Pats won a total of 19 games. In 1994, they had an amazing 10 win season, but returned to earth in 1995 by going 6-10. Yes, they did not loose 11 or more games for six straight years, but they managed to go 1-15, 6-10, 2-14 and 5-11 during that span. The Pats record was not exactly impressive, but clearly not nearly as futile as the Raiders, right?

To top it all off, once the Pats reached the pinnacle of the NFL and achieved the title of “dynasty”, they were entangled in a cheating scandal that involved a video camera, the head coach and a few assistants. It was news for a few weeks, and then disappeared. I’m willing to bet anything that was it the Raiders, we’d still be hearing about it in the form of sharp barbs sprinkled in between facts during their newscasts. mario-lopez-shirtless

The time has come for Disney to decide what their identity will be. Are they journalists or are they sports fans with an axe to grind who have the backing of a billion dollar corporation?

At this point, they might as well just hire Mario Lopez as an anchor to host a sensationalized, Hollywood style, sports themed, gossip rag…oh, wait…they did do that.

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Tags: Gene Roddenberry Katie Couric LaDainian Tomlinson Mario Lopez

  • Me

    I completely agree that no team should be discriminated against without looking at the facts. But your comment about spygate is completely untrue, I’m a patriots fan, and I’m always getting crap about it. It has by no means been forgotten by anyone in the country who isn’t a pats fan. As for the rest of the article, though, you are completely right. Nobody seems to report news/facts. It’s always their opinion.

  • Jason

    As a Raiders fan, nothing bothers me more then listening to Sports Center go on and on how Al Davis is such a horrible owner he is, but they praise Jerry Jones of Dallas who is on the field calling plays, and making very stupid decissions. When it comes to the Pats, the NFL and ESPN seem to deifiy Brady and Beli-Cheat. It’s like they forget that without all the videos that the chances of NE winning 3 Super Bowls is slim. With the videos all the SB games were close and a call here or there, and they lose. I don’t understand how they’re suspose to be the NFL’s poster team and ESPNs super heros when they’ve been caught and punished (very minorly mind you) for cheating.

  • http://landryhat davedallasfan

    jason, are you kidding me? where have you been this last 3years……i agree with you that they hate the raiders, but they are not on dallas’ parade wagon here. have you seen what they did with ed werder and the whole owens mess, and riding romo like a broken down horse….come on, they hate dallas and owens and whatever trash they can dig on us….i agree, i hate em too. but please man, don’t throw us under the bus with them????

  • Erik

    This is why i haven’t watched ESPN in years except for MNF (which sucks now) and when they have Nascar one. Other than that, ESPN IS USELESS. I agree with the whole article except for one thing. If the spygate thing would have been ANY other team, not just the Raiders, it would still be getting reported on. I would sure laugh if Brady was to have his other knee taken out this year by ACCIDENT!!!!

    Not saying that NFL Network is god or anything, but that’s the only TV channel that I’ll watch for NFL related stuff anymore. While they’re not perfect they don’t have everlasting hatred towards any team.

    GO RAIDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • SR_Raider

    ESPN is a local sports channel for New England, like TBS in Atlanta or WGN in Chicago. It makes sense for them to be biased towards teams in the northeast – this is their home market.

    Myself, I stopped bothering to watch a long time ago, and when I read articles I’m always careful to note the author because almost all of them are extremely anti-Raider. I would not call them journalists.

    And, lastly, with the disastrous Monday night non-appearances of recent years, the Raiders do deserve to be ripped for it. It wouldn’t surprise me if LT did score 7+ touchdowns. Oakland has to show up once if it doesn’t want to be the brunt of jokes.

  • Ken

    Jason look at the Raiders record the last few years, they are as bad as the Lions. Would you expect a Detroit fan to take exception to those comments?
    Wake up from your “Al Davis” coma, stop living in the past glory days.
    By the way, nobody hates the Raiders anymore…They want to play them, it’s an easy win, you have to be good to be hated in the NFL.
    I’m a Raider fan who lives in the present….not the past. I do hope they get to the level of being hated again.

  • Sonny

    This has nothing to do with the Raiders but I have not watched Sports Center for a couple years now. I did not even know they still ran the program.

    NFL Network is all I need for my NFL news including Draft coverage. I only watch the night game on ESPN and they have even taken the thrill I use to get watching that game from me with the talk show format.

    Last with the internet and all the sources for sports today ESPN does not brake most of the stories anymore and only report on them after they have broke somewhere else. And when they do try and brake a story they are wrong much of the time.

    Disney has always been good with fiction so ESPN is right at home with Disney

  • bernardo

    do you really want to know who the anti-Raider fan is? chris Berman just listen to him when he talks about the raiders we all know he is a 49r fan….

  • raider fan

    Your entry is ripe with contradiction. You make the point that the Raiders deserve criticism but shouldn’t be criticized… well, get over it. You give the anchors silly disney monikers because you feel their behavior warrants such, yet you are so bothered and compelled by their ‘childish’ comments that you spew out a few paragraphs about it. Yes, they’re idiots, yes the Raiders have been awful. Who the hell cares? If the Raiders manage to turn it around this year they’ll all be singing a different tune and you’ll be miserable because you have no “waaah, everyone hates the Raiders” material. Move on, stop wasting your energy and tears.

  • JosephM

    For all us Raider fans we know this story is true. I have not watched NFL live in over a year because that jerk Tre Wingo, and ex Bronco Mark Shlereth. Any time they have to mention the Raiders they do so with a smirk on their faces and a joke always comes after. No matter how much ESPN so called sportscasters hate the Raiders, we all know the world loves the Raiders. We’re still on primetime!

  • Greg

    I agree with raider fan. First off, the Raiders aren’t the only team that gets lampooned by ESPN, although I’m not sure if you know who I’m talking about unless I call them Aladdin Broadcasting. And by the way, that got old after the first one. The Lions, Browns, Bengals, and Chiefs all take it from ESPN for not being good throughout the past 3+ years. The Lions don’t get any slack for their 7 wins in 2007 and same thing for the Browns’ 10 wins the same year. The problem is that since their Super Bowl loss in 2002, the Raiders have struggled to be competitive. They may not be as bad as the Bucs or Pats used to be, but they are one of the NFL’s marquee franchises, and when they’re bad it gets noticed a lot more than when one of the lower profile teams is consistently bad. The Knicks have gone through the same thing as the Raiders because they stand out. When teams like the Raiders or Knicks or Yankees or Cowboys are good they get more attention than they deserve, and same thing when they are bad. Try to spend more time thinking about what you are writing about and less time with a thesaurus and Disney’s IMDB page. And I know Disney doesn’t have an IMDB page, it’s a joke, just like it was a joke that LT will score 9 TD’s, so don’t waste your time writing an article about this.

  • Chris Shellcroft

    Raider Fan and Greg,

    You both make valid points. I agree with you Greg that the marquee franchises are held to a higher standard. However, Raider Fan, the point if this was not to complain about the critics, instead it is the forum that is used for the hatred. Sports Center is a news show. Imagine if the anchors on the local news dropped in their opinion everytime they report facts. There has to be some sense of professionalism. I’ll take the criticism in the right form. As for the Disney names, Greg. Well, let’s just say that I refuse to call that network by its call letters (notice the never appear anywhere on this page). I refuse to give them credit in anyway.

    Thanks for the comments guys!

  • Mildog

    Gosh what a revelation. I had know idea. Remember Don Banks reporting on Russell being up over 300 pounds during the off-season before his second season. This report started being passed around at free buffet tables for sports writers. They would pass it off as a true story unearthed by them. When Brett Favre was introduced before the Monday night game after Favre’s father’s death Brett entered for his introduction to the sound of cheers from everybody in attendance, especially including Raider fans. This was never passed along by the media.
    In response to Greg’s comment, if you can look in an unbiased manner at reporting on the Raiders (especially by the national media) you will notice that most reports have a negative slant in the story. Most stories include a reference to the rowdy Raiders or their rowdy fans. Name an incident about misbehavior on the part of a Raider player within the last five years. How about a couple of incidents of domestic assault? They are not to be dismissed but do these incidents equal hiring people to kill your pregnant girlfriend? Rowdy Raider fans? Have you ever heard of hundreds of Raider fans throwing bottles on to the field ala Cleveland? And as far as “stupid” Raider fans, we have been ridiculed for the face paint and costumes. However if it is so ridiculous then why are more and more fans from other teams emulating us?

  • TJ

    I agree with alot of you guys. Although the raiders aren’t the only team to get bagged on by the senile idiot anchors of the disney channel. The raiders get it more then any other. And some how, still we get primetime games. Although MNF isnt the same thanks to kornheiser. Man talk about idiot. But as much as disney loves to hate on us we still are loved world wide.

  • NetRaider

    ESPN has the worst NFL game coverage I have ever seen since I began watching in 1962. Tony is absolutely the worst announcer ever. He is beyond annoying, idiotic and moronic. He RUINS the game if you don’t mute the broadcast and listen to another audio alternative.

    ESPN suffers from the same disease that network news has in reporting opinion instead of news. Thank goodness for alternate news outlets.

  • Slam

    Chris – Great post. And the comments are spot-on.

    If I could play the devil’s advocate:

    1) ESPN isn’t a “News” organization; it’s a 24 hr Sports Channel that only has an obligation to report the scores ; anything other than that is editorial commentary and entertainment. They gotta keep you watching in between commercials. Ed Werner at Cowboys camp every time Tony Romo goes on a date is tedious. Pedro Gomez following Barry Bonds around was ridiculous, the Bret Favre thing got so bad I thought they were going to start a new channel. And Mark Schlereth belligerently bashing the Raiders makes me want to hunt the guy down and go Galooly on his already ravaged knees.

    But, the appropriate response is, don’t watch. I agree 100%

    2) The Raiders are notoriously paranoid and uncooperative with the media. Al Davis loves his “Us against the World” culture he has carefully cultivated. Therefore, the negativity is a self-fullfilling prophesy.

  • me

    Well, Disney sucks. And thank god the Pats dynasty is OVER, otherwise the Disney sports channel would still be advertising them instead of having actual news. Also, nice MNF game LT!

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