Before today, it didn’t seem like that much time had passed since the last trip to the Super Bowl. However, after today it feels like an eternity.
David White of the San Francisco Chronicle reports the Oakland Raiders have requested that former All-Pro quarterback Rich Gannon be removed from the CBS broadcast of the game against the Broncos this Sunday.
“Rich Gannon is not welcome here,” Raiders executive John Herrera said Friday when asked about the ban. “We told CBS we did not want him in our building, we did not want him to be part of our production meeting, and that’s where it sits.”
“He’s attacked us on a regular basis since becoming a member of the media,” Herrera said. “After affording him the opportunity to establish a career here, he has since gone on to attack us in a way that’s totally unacceptable.”
Since we’re talking about the front office of the Oakland Raiders, there is the obligatory element of the bizarre as well.
Herrera quoted Gannon as saying in several interviews they should just “blow up the building and start over” in Oakland. Team officials took that as literally as they did figuratively, and told Gannon as much before last season’s home game against the Chiefs.
“We think in a post 9/11 world, that’s not a very proper thing to say,” Herrera said. “It’s uncalled for. He seems to be a guy who can’t get over the fact that he played the worst Super Bowl game in the history of the game and he wants to blame everybody but himself.
“I guess it’s our fault he threw five interceptions.”
Is it just me or does that read like something you’re heard from a drunken Bronco fan? Going to the “five interceptions” card is just a low blow and uncalled for.
I honestly don’t know what to make of this.
Certainly the Raiders have the right to run their business as they see fit. However, it’s not like Rich Gannon is some hot shot broadcaster looking to stir up ratings. He is a former MVP and was model employee while in Oakland.
If the Raiders came out and banned Bob Costas for no reason, I’d be able to come up with 5,000 reasons to keep him out of Alameda County. But for Gannon, I need a better explanation than simply doing his job and being insensitive to 9/11. Gannon is paid to give his opinion as a former pro with great insight. His recent comments on JaMarcus Russell were meant to be informative more so than critical. If Al Davis is looking to ban anyone who speaks ill of his franchise or his young quarterback, then he might want to look into what his passing game coordinator Ted Tollner had to say about JaMarcus and his progess.
Gannon has earned the right to say whatever he wants about the Raiders. As a man who had much success in Silver and Black, he must be just as pained to see what has happened since his retirement.
As always, I’m sure there is much more to this than is being reported. Gannon was believed to have been interested in joining the front office in Oakland. We know how those talks went since he still works for CBS, ironically broadcasting a game that will not even be seen on the local affiliates.
The sad part is that now the list of people banned from the Coliseum includes a man who not so long ago helped fill it. How can it be that an MVP’s name can be found on the same list as drunken fools who were arrested and kicked out on Sundays?
UPDATE: Not that the Raiders were in any position to dictate who CBS would use on the broadcast, but Yahoo! Sports reports that the Oakland brass has backed off in their attempts to keep Gannon out of the Coliseum on Sunday.
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