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No wonder many players consider Shoop a hugh upgrade. :D Poor Raider fans.

 

Raiders implode as Shell explodes

Column by Monte Poole

Article Last Updated:12/01/2006 07:59:44 AM PST

 

THE OBSOLESCENCE of Al Davis has not been graceful. A man who wielded power like a wrecking ball has become bitter and ineffectual, unable to stop his beloved Raiders from plunging into an unprecedented irrelevance.

 

And now, with Al's health subjected to rumors and speculation, as his kingdom crumbles, the 77-year-old owner's top football lieutenants are squaring off.

The power struggle between first-year head coach Art Shell and eighth-year senior administrator Mike Lombardi, behind the scenes since Shell arrived in February, tumbled into the streets this week.

The coach on Wednesday stood before the local media and carved Lombardi into pieces, leaving only a pile of steaming bones.

Shell presented a detailed evaluation of alleged disloyalties, saying he had grown tired of the bad-mouthing and back-stabbing, that it was disruptive to the goals of the organization. He called it "an attack on my family."

 

"I won't sit back and allow it to happen any more," Shell said. "When they root against me, they're rooting against the Raiders."

 

Without once mentioning Lombardi by name, the coach left no doubt he was the target.

Insofar as Shell conceded he had not addressed the individual, the purpose of this eruption is open to question.

 

For a coach who believes in problem-solving within the framework of the organization, it's odd that Shell, a man's man if there ever was one, chose to deliver his message through the media rather than confront Lombardi face to face. They share a workplace.

 

Maybe Shell simply couldn't hold back this burst of emotion. He generally is mellow and slow to anger, so we can assume this had been eating at him for a while. Which gets back to the more significant issue. The unrest and disgust among the Raiders touches not just the locker room but every door in the building. It has become a toxic cloud, sickening everybody in its wake.

 

There are player-coach conflicts, with Art battling Jerry Porter, Andrew Walter, LaMont Jordan and, to a lesser degree, Randy Moss. Many members of the offense were ready to grab the collar and shake the color out of former offensive coordinator Tom Walsh.

 

There are player-player issues, notably Warren Sapp pointedly advising Moss to shut up and play.

There is player-owner conflict, too, unless you believe Davis is not orchestrating Porter's mysterious disuse.

There is player-organization dissension, too, with Porter itching to escape and Moss taking time each week to go on radio and express his desire to get out.

 

Are we all starting to understand why this team is 2-9?

 

And why this organization will, for the first time, put together four consecutive losing seasons?

Some teams claim to thrive in the face of discord.

The Oakland A's of the 1970s were famous for winning championships despite internal beefing. Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant expressed open contempt while winning championships. Michael Almighty Jordan detested Bulls general manager Jerry Krause.

 

But these Raiders are not built to win with less than the best of each other. Not enough overall talent. Too many combustible components. And, above all, the glaring lack of a single, vibrant, unquestioned hand of power.

 

There's Al, at the top, barking at shadows but plainly without the vigor and presence he once possessed.

There's chief executive Amy Trask, who operates as ruthlessly as Al once did — but applies herself mostly to the team's business/marketing aspects.

 

There's Lombardi, the longtime football man who basically moved into Bruce Allen's former position, theoretically handling whatever details were passed along by Al, while providing a bridge between owner and coach.

 

And there's Shell, one of Al's favorite players, a former Raiders coach summoned to the rescue of this flailing franchise.

 

So they end up with the coach, a man some claim was brought back to grab the torch from Al, basically calling a news conference to rip into the man who has his own ideas about who should take the torch.

This was followed by Lombardi's off-the-record defense of himself, followed by Mike speculating on what may have led up to Shell's outburst — and who may have put him up to it.

 

Indeed, these two are practically staking claims to Al's throne — while he's still in it.

 

The Raiders have reached a point where there is a comprehensive breakdown in trust, where the belief system has been shattered. Nobody believes in anybody else — no matter how much authority they supposedly have.

 

Thus, we have rampant self-preservation, killing the kind of team spirit Shell has seen elsewhere around the NFL.

 

"I went to Kansas City, that's the way it was," he said. "Every individual was on board. Atlanta, every individual on board. And it should be like that here."

 

The drama, outrage and madness in this team's house makes the New York Giants look like a roomful of stuffed lambs. There is no solidarity in Oakland, much less esprit de corps.

 

The paranoia that once manifested itself with a certain hostility toward those outside the organization has come home to roost. The Raiders have met yet another enemy, only to realize it is them.

I can't help thinking this wouldn't be happening, if Al Davis were the man he used to be.

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Maybe they brought back the wrong old coach. Time for John Madden to return to coaching? :D

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Honestly, Broncos fans could give a rip about OAK. They stopped being serious competition a while ago.

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Maybe they brought back the wrong old coach. Time for John Madden to return to coaching? :D

 

 

 

:D What's Bud Grant up to these days?

 

Probably fishing up by the Boundary Waters. Or chasing a deer through the woods.

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Honestly, Broncos fans could give a rip about OAK. They stopped being serious competition a while ago.

 

speak for yourself. i don't advocate kicking most people when they're down. but al davis? i think i can find it in my heart to make an exception.

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:D What's Bud Grant up to these days?

 

Probably fishing up by the Boundary Waters.

 

and of course, every time he hooks the Big One, it gets away :D

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speak for yourself. i don't advocate kicking most people when they're down. but al davis? i think i can find it in my heart to make an exception.

 

 

C'mon. Beating the Raiders these days is about as exciting & fulfilling as flipping off blind people. The Raiders have transgressed beyond hate and are well into the pathetic range. The thrill is gone.

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C'mon. Beating the Raiders these days is about as exciting & fulfilling as flipping off blind people. The Raiders have transgressed beyond hate and are well into the pathetic range. The thrill is gone.

 

 

well when it comes to beating them on the field, sure. that's not much of an accomplishment these days. but watching them suck, implode, hire borderline retards to run their offense, etc -- that is definitely entertaining.

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It is definetly a sad time to be a Raider fan.

This is probably the lowest point ever in the history of the franchise...

 

:D

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well when it comes to beating them on the field, sure. that's not much of an accomplishment these days. but watching them suck, implode, hire borderline retards to run their offense, etc -- that is definitely entertaining.

 

 

Oh crap.

 

Okay, I'll concede your point, even though it is kind of like laughing at mentally retarded kids.

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and of course, every time he hooks the Big One, it gets away :D

 

 

:D

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Oh crap.

 

Okay, I'll concede your point, even though it is kind of like laughing at mentally retarded kids.

 

 

There's a big difference between making fun of somebody who has a disability and making fun of somebody who is perfectly-abled, but inept because of incredibly poor decision-making. The Raiders appear to fall into the latter category.

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and of course, every time he hooks the Big One, it gets away :D

 

 

 

Just like the Broncos until they got TD.

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It's a low point for the team, sure. But it's not like we are in a decade of suckitude. How many teams in the league haven't made the playoffs in the last 10 years? How many haven't made a Superbowl in the last 20? Ever?

 

We suck now, but we have a good Defense to start a rebuild upon. But Raider fans have to take the jokes and ass kickings now if we are goign to be able to do it to others, so bring it on. :D

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There's a big difference between making fun of somebody who has a disability and making fun of somebody who is perfectly-abled, but inept because of incredibly poor decision-making. The Raiders appear to fall into the latter category.

 

 

Given Al's mental state, I'd be inclined to disagree with you.

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Given Al's mental state, I'd be inclined to disagree with you.

 

 

Whoops, didn't factor Senile Al into the equation. I stand corrected. :D

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Honestly, Broncos fans could give a rip about OAK. They stopped being serious competition a while ago.

 

 

 

Bronco Billy forgets how he and the rest of Colorado celebrate "RAIDER WEEK" when the Raiders come to town. They gallop around in orange and blue fur and wear fake John Elway horse teeth. It's a rippen good time! :D:D:bash:

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Bronco Billy forgets how he and the rest of Colorado celebrate "RAIDER WEEK" when the Raiders come to town. They gallop around in orange and blue fur and wear fake John Elway horse teeth. It's a rippen good time! :D:D:bash:

 

 

yeah, and raiders fans dress in motorcycle queen get-up EVERY week. :clap:

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It is definetly a sad time to be a Raider fan.

This is probably the lowest point ever in the history of the franchise...

 

:D

 

Yeah so go back in your last place cave, where you belong!

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Bronco Billy forgets how he and the rest of Colorado celebrate "RAIDER WEEK" when the Raiders come to town. They gallop around in orange and blue fur and wear fake John Elway horse teeth. It's a rippen good time! :D:D:bash:

 

I don't remember a Faiders week around here for years. It's just another game now, nobody gets excited about beating a doormat.

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Honestly, I MISS the days when the Raiders were competetive. Some of the best games I remember watching were the old Broncos-Raiders matchups. They were always close, usually decided by a field goal. The highs of beating them were great, while the lows of losing to them were agony. I miss that passion.

 

c'mon Raiders, pull it together! Fire Art Shell, get a new owner and GM, and a quarterback, and a new stadium, and then come on back to the National Football League.

Oh, your cheerleaders are fine. They can stay the way they are. :D

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