In this continuing segment, “Ask an Oakland Raiders Fan,” Just Blog Baby had the pleasure of being contacted by and interviewing Chris Kelley. Chris is 43 years old and he has been a die-hard Raiders fan since he was born. His parents brought him home from the hospital in a Raiders blanket. So he’s literally been sporting the Silver and Black since 1970. His dad was a season ticket holder in the 70′s and he got to attend several games with him. He passed away this past January, but even with his illnesses, he still watched every game and they would always talk on the phone as soon as the clock hit zero. Chris moved to Austin, TX, in 1994, and he was able to see the Raiders scrimmage against the Cowboys during the summers at Saint Edwards University, his Alma Mater. Chris was able to meet Eddie Anderson and Lincoln Kennedy, and he said they were always nice.
Chris answered the following questions for me, and these were his responses:
1. How well do you think the Oakland Raiders will perform in 2013? Discuss.
Answer- “I really think of the Raiders as a playoff caliber team every year. If forced to be more realistic, I’d have to say I’m praying for 8-8 at this point. I haven’t liked the lack of emotion from Dennis Allen thus far. I’m not sure if the coaches realize that when we are losing and throwing things at our televisions and the coaches just shake their heads or shrug it off, it appears as if they don’t care. Where is the passion? That is one of the things I loved about the Chucky err… Gruden era. Even Hue Jackson gave us hope. Unless we can show some fire, my hopes of 8-8, or better, still seem doomed.”
2. What is your favorite off-season move that was made by the Oakland Raiders? Explain.
Answer- “My favorite off-season move was actually a non-move. I’m glad that we didn’t go out and pick-up a bunch of high dollar free agents for a quick fix. I’d hate to see us waste money on a Terrell Owens with a win today/mortgage the future approach. With the way Reggie has set us up, we will be in a prime position to get exactly what we need in the next two seasons. He has done an amazing job of cutting dead weight and adding hungry talent. The Woodson signing was brilliant, and I’m hoping for some redemption on a safety blitz now that the tuck rule is gone. Yes, I’m still bitter.”
3. Can Denarius Moore become an elite receiver? If so, what must he do to become one?
Answer- “Denarius Moore is fast and has great hands. He is a number one receiver with skills to be our number one for years. The problem lies in double teams since opponents don’t fear our other receivers. Ford, Criner, and Streater need to dominate, and we need Flynn to spread the ball around. Locking in on Denarius would be a mistake. We need to get everyone involved. Remember how much better Tim Brown was with Rice or Rison? Same thing. No one took Jett seriously since he had stone hands. Hopefully our young guys will take the pressure off Moore by stepping up their game. They are a speedy lot and as Al always said, you can’t teach speed. You either have it, or you don’t.”
4. Who is your favorite Oakland Raider of all time, and why?
Answer- “The Snake, Kenny Stabler is my all-time favorite Raider. The Holy Roller and Sea of Hands, c’mon, that’s history. Not enough, how about Super Bowl XI? Still not enough…? Did I mention his incredible will to win and he did it all LEFT HANDED! Dude is a legend and I can’t believe he is not in the Hall of Fame.”
5. What is your favorite Oakland Raiders memory, and what is a typical tailgate party like for you at home games?
Answer- “Back in 2003, I flew to Oakland to visit my parents and catch a Raiders game. I attended the ‘Monday Night Massacre’ when Brett Favre went off on us just after his dad passed away. This was not my best Raider moment, but it would come soon after. When I was flying out of Oakland the next weekend, guess who I met on the way to my terminal… the man himself… Al freaking Davis!!! I shook his hand and he patted my daughters head and said she was pretty. I thanked him for all he had done for the league. My only regret was not getting an autograph .”
“There is a huge Raider Nation presence in Austin, TX. I watched many games at the Warehouse Saloon and Sports bar with a crowd of 25 or more every week. Lately, I watch more games at home on television, especially since I don’t have to worry about blackouts. I have a CD that I play with the Autumn Wind, Ice Cube, Luniz, and many other classic Raider tracks. But if we win, I crank up the Raiders of the Lost Ark (march) theme hella loud.”
Wow Chris, Al Davis? Nice. You met the man himself. Hopefully your daughter is a Raiders fan and you have taught her just how special a moment that was. I definitely have all those tracks from the same artists, and I find myself blasting them a lot in the off-season as well as in the regular season. Thank you for representing Raider Nation deep in the heart of Texas!
I would like to extend my thanks to Chris Kelley for taking the time to conduct this interview. Again, if any of Raider Nation would like a chance to answer a few questions themselves, please contact me via email. I will be continuing this segment through July 25th (The start of training camp).
Topics: Al Davis, Andre Rison, Charles Woodson, Denarius Moore, Dennis Allen, Eddie Anderson, Hue Jackson, Ice Cube, Jacoby Ford, Jerry Rice, Jon Gruden, Juron Criner, Ken Stabler, Lincoln Kennedy, Luniz, Matt Flynn, Oakland Raiders, Reggie McKenzie, Rod Streater, Terrell Owens, Tim Brown