Back to the Bay is a Raiders column written by Just Blog Baby staff writer and Just Blog Baby Podcast cohost Rory Anderson.
Do you want to know what time of the year it is? Well let us go through our checklist of sporting events and nonsense so we may understand our day on the calendar. Is it a World Cup year and it is over? Check. It is a good thing the Germans are better at soccer than they are at winning world wars. MLB All-Star Game? Check. I guess some fish did something weird like swimming upstream. The ESPYS? Yeah they are going on right now. I had a really funny tweet about Maria Sharapova’s legs being longer than Floyd Mayweather is tall, but I only received one retweet which just seems crazy to me. It really was a great tweet in my opinion. Back to our checklist. Has Lebron James does something involving where he is playing and made people who do not know anything about basketball really mad? Check. I would have an opinion on it, but basketball bores me.
What this all adds up to is the obvious understanding of where we are in the sports schedule. We are a day and a half away from the Buffalo Bills reporting for training camp! I cannot believe it is finally here! No more draft nonsense, free agent insanity, and silly season reporting which will literally make you crazy, but rather some not so actual football being played which will lead to actual football being be played! We are a hop, skip, and a jump away from something actually mattering in any way whatsoever!
I hope you can detect my not so mild sarcasm and my general disdain for all things offseason. Thank God I stumbled across world football and got into it before the World Cup so I could maintain my sanity. There has been a ton for Raiders fans to lose their minds over as well. This offseason has been truly bizarre to watch. Of course it started off rocky, then got better in free agency, then went to ridiculous heights with the draft, and now we are back to typical media treatment. I am going to be honest, there are some things I am simply tired of hearing and discussing. So-called “narratives” which are media made fantasies and fan made paranoid delusions. Remember that scene in the classic Dave Chappelle movie known as “Half Baked” where Scarface quits his job at the burger joint? Well I really wanted to embed that 19 seconds of movie gold, but it is not easy to find an edited version and frankly I do not need to be fired from another job this summer for something involving a couple bad words.
For those who do not remember, Scarface basically points out a couple people he does not like and tells them he does not like them (Well as you may know he actually tells them to go **** themselves). Sort of. Well, that is my inspiration behind this column. Here we go:
Goodbye You… DJ Hayden is still in a walking boot…people
I am starting this season off with a bang and I am going after some people in the Nation. Look, I do not care if he is wearing a boot while rolling on a tricycle in an Instragram video posted on Sio Moore’s account, or any other circumstance. In fact, I am done discussing this very subject because there is a big cult-esque following of mildly delusional haters that go out of their way to dump on Hayden whenever they get an opportunity to, and i can no longer take it. I’m done! I quit!
Hayden tweaked an ankle in camp and is wearing a boot to stabilize it. How much he wears it, when he wears it, nobody knows and I do not care, but all I need to do is point to Ravens Jimmy Smith and Giants Prince Amukamara as two guys who struggled with injuries early and have turned into solid starting corners. This discussion never ends, always results in circular nonsense, and usually boils down to either how much you dislike Reggie McKenzie or how paranoid of a Raider fan you are when it comes to expecting disaster.
As far as I am concerned, the only thing about DJ Hayden I will discuss is how well or poorly he plays once real football begins. Until then, do not bother tweeting me or commenting on this article regarding your feelings on this subject, because I have had enough.
Goodbye you… Mike Florio and Pro Football Talk
After taking digs at some people in the nation, it is time to do what we Raiders fans do best, take down haters world wide! On a more serious note, I am a massive supporter of the American dream and making something out of yourself from an entrepreneurial perspective, but some people just need to realize who and what they are. Mike I have some advice for you, and I know what you are thinking. I am not a lawyer like you I only have a measly Master’s degree, I do not run a massive football gossip site that is trying to become a source of serious football opinion with industry wide respected minds and brilliant discussion concepts… oh wait… Neither do you Mike.
I am not going to beat around the bush. Mike Florio and ProFootballTalk.com need to stay away from pretending they are anything more than the TMZ of the NFL. I may be an unpaid blogger, but I do not pretend to be something I am not. My only question is this. If the entire PFT staff voted for the preseason power rankings which ranked the Raiders dead last, does that mean Florio did as well?
Goodbye you… ESPN Insiders ranking Raiders 32nd in Future Rankings
Apparently, ESPN does this weird power ranking where they rank each team on their future in the next three seasons. They claim this is the fourth year running, but this was the first time I had ever heard of it. When I started to read the Insider’s article I noticed the “panel of NFL experts” they used and I laughed. John Clayton (information man), Mel Kiper (“draft expert” which I use very loosely), Louis Riddick (ex player and scout), and Mike Sando (blogger) make up the so called “panel of experts”. I have an immense amount of respect for Louis Riddick because he has proven to be an intelligent football commentator, but ESPN decided to use an information man with an impeccable taste in music but is not known for football analysis, the Godfather of the draft scouting industry who is constantly wrong but has awesome hair, and a guy who is a highly paid version of what I do and passed them off as experts.
Furthermore, the things they chose to rank and give values to were roster excluding quarterback, quarterback, draft, front office, and coaching. What they did not do because they cannot, is inform the reader how each person came to their ranking. It is impossible to do so due to the fact the poll is inherently subjective and not based on an established scale. Not to mention the fact that the perception of the front office is based on a lack of money, lack of draft picks, and a couple injuries. Frankly, this concept is idiotic and to say that there is any real analysis that goes into something like is, simply insults those who actually analyse. Three months ago every “expert” said the Raiders had one of the best drafts in the league, but yes the team is 32 overall. Well, at least we are back to normal rather than being confused by receiving praise.
Want to know the best part which just shows how absurd this concept is? And I quote, “Worth noting: Our panel scored teams quite a bit higher overall this year than it did the past season, which caused the numbers to look a little inflated year to year and caused some very close scores among the teams in the middle of the pack.” So you are telling me we are supposed to view these numbers seriously when you cannot even maintain consistency in the basis of the results and how they are presented numerically?
On a personal note, I have recently found myself looking for a new job and I must say LinkedIn is an amazing resource. I especially love the companies that understand how to use it properly and allow you to apply in two clicks. Hat tip Reid Hoffman. First PayPal then LinkedIn. Love it.
Goodbye you…Losing seasons
I am going to say it now before training camp and before any more nonsense. The Raiders will get at least eight wins this season. There are loads and loads of people out there talking about how the schedule is more difficult, how the division is tough, and how nobody knows which Matt Schaub will show up, but I am here to say that I am taking the Raiders to win eight games. I truly believe the gap between the Raiders, Chiefs, and Chargers has dropped massively, the Raiders can compete with the lower ends of solid divisions, and with the changes in this roster the Raiders are able to compete on the east coast which will eventually see wins.
Regardless if it is Schaub, McGloin, or Carr under center, this offense has added weapons, depth, versatility, and veteran leadership. I do not have a single complaint with the players that were added to this roster via free agency or the draft. The defense similarly to the offense added weapons, depth, versatility, and veteran leadership. Critics enjoy making fun of the age of the players the Raiders added, but for every older veteran they added, they made sure were backed up with a younger player either signed or drafted. Players like Ryan Robinson, Jack Crawford, CJ Wilson, Stacy McGee, and Justin Ellis are just a few young players that will be asked to play a role in this defense and back up an older veteran that will show them how to be a better player. Unlike past seasons, the Raiders actually have the roster to be the team they want to be.
I know Raider Nation is amped for this season and you have every right to be. It is time for this franchise to turn the corner. I am sick and tired of finding moral victories in losses, always being out of the playoffs come Week Six, and having no expectations. It is time for this group to make it happen, show me some wins, and show me what it means to be a Raider in the future. For the first time since 2003, the Raiders have a roster that requires moderate expectations. Unlike most Raiders fans, I never bought into Hue Jackson’s teams, those were teams built on smoke and mirrors, but this team this season has been built properly, methodically, and with winning in mind. I for one am done with the pretense and the media bashing, I want to win!
I am looking forward to stepping up my game and bringing it bigger, better, and more in your face than ever. Just like the end of this clip:
“We gotta take fight club up a notch. We gotta take it up a notch or shut it down for good.”
Throws a hamburger patty…