No Carr? Let Me Tell You A Story...

Captain Jack Rack Levy – Dec 29, 2016

So it’s been almost five days since the break heard ‘round the Nation occurred in the last regular season home game for the Raiders in 2016.  Whether it is the last game in Oakland for this season remains unclear, as there still is business to be conducted between all of the AFC West participants this Sunday which will delineate where the two Playoff parties – our Raiders and the nasty, hated Chiefs - will play in the early rounds of January football. 

But before we dwell on such matters, a few ‘business’ items to take care of herein, as in the pronouncement of the first annual (we’ll see if it does become annual, but that’s something else to consider entirely) Effyeuw Awards. 

1) For Blatant and Obvious Hatred for the Raiders which cannot be disguised on national TV, the coveted Effyeuw goes to … well… several  - Al Michaels, Chris Colllinsworth, Dan Fouts. Solomon Wilcots, Rodney Harrison, Tony Gonzales, the retiring Chris Berman and the retired Tom Jackson. 

Mark Schlereth wasn’t seen enough this year for his eligibility, and Rich Gannon, Steve Beuerlein, Mike Lombardi, Amy Trask and Jon Gruden aren’t eligible due to past ties to the Silver and Black, although we may make the category of ‘Disgruntled Former Raider Employees’ in 2017. 

2) For being a two-faced A-hole which indirectly led to the Raiders not having needed and vital participants for their Playoff run… a tie for the Effyeuw between Commissioner Roger Goodell and Referee Ed ‘Watchmeflexmyguns’ Hochuli. 

Roger as you know still refuses to reinstate Aldon Smith, who is needed if the Raiders have greater hope of getting to Houston, as their Defense will need to step up a few levels as they increase their steady improvement over their last 8-10 games.  Thank goodness Mario Edwards Junior and Stacey McGee are back practicing…

‘Studly Ed’ garners his first Effyeuw for his ‘double standard’ Intentional Grounding call(s), picking up a flag for the Colts (apparently their Tight End was ‘in the area’ on an earlier non-call against Luck… Where? On the stadium playing field Ed??) while happily throwing a flag against the Raiders and Carr, pushing Oakland back into a longer yardage situation immediately preceding the play ending Derek’s participation in the regular season.  Hey… nice Effyeuw Ed!!

3) Finally, a personal Effyeuw given to the Raider Troll Crew for their actions making the 2016 Raider year a memorable one for the Captain.  I’d love to give you your coveted Effyeuw personally, but realize this award can only be cherished by those truly giving a sh... errrr... ‘care’…   

So, back to reality.  In case you missed it, the world ended the other day.  Yeah, I know, I guess I missed it too because I was watching the Raiders’ game on my DVR …

… I had to work a late shift at the sports store as the gaggle of last-minute holiday shoppers decided to get their son / daughter / mother / Uncle Charley a much needed hat / jersey / banner / mini-helmet / travel mug which had mysteriously eluded them the other 364 days this year.  Word of advice from the Captain to you – BUY YOUR GIFTS DURING THE YEAR AND PUT THEM AWAY… you’ll know you have exactly what your loved one actually wants, in the proper size and color, and miss out on the Holiday Mall rush!!  And that goes for buying on Amazon and the like… buy it early and put it away… but I’ll get off the soap box and return to our story…
 
… I had made sure NOT to listen to the radio/internet the entire day, so watching ‘virtually live’ was still exciting.  I was PUMPED as I saw what was a rather complete game with the Raiders pouring it on the poor Colts and the sudden awakening of D-Wash at running back.  I guess the rookie took to heart what Carr had mentioned previously about not fully knowing the playbook, along with being inactive for several weeks per decisions made by Coach DelRio. 
 
Our three-headed rushing attack of Murray, Richard and Washington compare favorably to the oft cited (and extremely overblown) rushing numbers of the Cowboys’ Elliott, Morris and McFragile…errrrr… Mc Fadden.  The Raiders’ backs come in at 194 carries for 926 yards at a 4.77 YPC clip with nine TDs compared to the ‘Boys 179-857 and 4.79 YPC with eight TDs. 
 
AUTHOR’S NOTE: There you go Eddie!!  Some statistics and analysis for you!!  Now STFU!!
 
Going into the fourth quarter, the Raiders held the lead and were closing in on their last home victory for the year when all of a sudden our world was headed for a disaster of biblical proportions… the earth stopped rotating on its axis… human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!  (Thank you Doctor Venkman).  And in addition to all stated, Derek Carr suffered a broken fibula and would miss the rest of the regular season AND the Playoffs. 
 
Yep, time to start checking on how the Flyers are doing and seeing who the Phillies picked up before Spring Training (insert your favorite hockey then baseball team in the requisite slots) since football season for the Raiders is DONE!  Not only did I have to hear this B.S. from inane sports "journalists" (notice the air quotes) such as Brady Quinn, A.J. Hawk, Pete Prisco, and the aforementioned broadcast dunderheads who've received the coveted Effyeuws… but I've also had to hear it from a slew of Chicken Little Raider ‘Wagoners (obviously not true, devout and knowledgeable ‘fans’) who started a pity-party of social network crying.  As my favorite General George Patton was once quoted… DISSSSSpicable!!
 
It seems the Raider Galleon on the high seas with the Raider Wagon on land got a lotttttt lighter from the exodus of ignorant fans who know little to nothing about football in general and the Raiders in particular.  Me?  Pffffffffffffffffffffffffft… I’ve seen this movie before, and several times the ending was indeed something to cherish.  
 
OK… I’ll admit the chances of winning the Lombardi this year has gotten exponentially more difficult with the injury to Carr.  OF COURSE IT WOULD… you don’t lose a league MVP candidate from your team on the cusp of the Playoffs and expect smooth sailing to the Houston post-Super Bowl after parties with all the champagne, liquor and wine, hot and cold running models of all persuasions, and TV/Madison Avenue Ad Execs lining up to kiss your toucas for several months of money/dinero/scratch in addition to whichever contract your agent penned for you originally. 
 
But for those on suicide watch since lip-reading the words heard ‘round the Nation from Derek Carr as he was sitting on the Oakland Alameda turf – ‘It’s broken’ – just prior to him rolling over in agonizing pain and being carried off of the field arm in arm with the Raiders’ training staff, I wish for you to consider the following: Teams in the NFL have been meted out similar circumstances and have risen to the heights of a Lombardi trophy. 
 
Let me repeat that in terms you can understand more easily – teams have lost their starting quarterback and have still won a Super Bowl!
 
Sure, some of the readers have thrown out some easily recognized names for Raiders’ fans.  Yes, Jim Plunkett took over the reins after Dante “Dan” Pastorini, the Raiders’ quarterback whom was traded for fan-loved Kenny ‘Snake’ Stabler after the 1979 season, broke his leg in 1980’s week five against the Chiefs.  Ron Jaworski of BSPN still hates the Raiders to this day because of his and the Iggles woeful New Orleans performance in Super Bowl XV.  Plunkett of course also came off the bench in 1983 midway through the season, supplanting an injured Marc Wilson enroute to a Raiders thrashing of the Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII. 
 
Jim Plunkett and the Raiders 2, injured Raiders’ starting quarterbacks 0.  Still, this historical ‘Hey, What About…’ is a bit too easy for this old, grizzled Pirate – let’s dig deeper. 
 
Jeff Hostetler anyone? Raiders’ fans of any knowledgeable self-worth know about the gunslinger from West Virginia who parlayed his short tenured performances as starting quarterback for the New York Giants into a Super Bowl ring.  Hoss came in for foot-injured Phil Simms (yes, THAT Phil Simms whom Raiders’ fans have to endure in his mostly negative verbal barbs alongside Greg Gumbel or Jim Nantz in CBS broadcasts) in 1990 and led the Blue and White Bill Parcells-coached’ team to a Super Bowl XXV victory over the Billlls (yes, SIC… four L’s).  Still… Plunkett and broken-legged Pastorini… Hostetler and injured-foot Simms… give me something worthwhile, right?
 
Ok… us long-in-the-tooth bastards remember the ‘Relief Quarterbacks’ of the 60’s and 70’s: the Cowboys’ tandem of Lil’ Eddie LeBaron and Dandy Don Meredith; the Raiders reliable George Blanda coming into the game in a pinch if/when ‘Mad Bomber’ Daryle Lamonica just wasn’t quite ‘on’ any given Sunday.  Hall of Fame coach Don Shula was a noted proponent of having his ‘Relief Quarterback’ down in Miami for his Dolphins, as Don Strock and the versatile Jim Jensen were always at the ready.  Shula had taken his ‘Relief Quarterback’ idea with him to Miami, first employing the idea of having a steady, reliable and ‘Win when needed’ signal caller on standby with Earl Morrall backing up his ‘Golden Armed’ Johnny Unitas in Baltimore from 1968-1971. 
 
Morrall in fact was ‘the original Plunkett’, taking over quarterback duties for Unitas after Johnny U was injured in the last exhibition game of 1968 and led Shula’s Colts all the way to Super Bowl III, where they inexplicably lost to the Jets after Namath’s famous poolside ‘Guarantee’ of victory.  Morrall would again be prominently featured two years later in Super Bowl V, coming off the bench for an injured Unitas and leading the Colts to victory over the Cowboys thanks to the sure-footed last second field goal by Jim O’Brien.  Two trips to the big game for Baltimore with Morrall, and they were 1-1… not too bad.   

However, Morrall’s worth was realized yet again another two years later, having moved on from Baltimore at the behest of Coach Shula to Miami.  Shula described Morrall as "an intelligent quarterback who's won a lot of ball games for me,” and immediately paid dividends for the Dolphins in game five (hmmmmmm…. game five again) after starting QB Bob Griese went out with an injury (yep, you guessed it, a broken leg / dislocated ankle).  As many know, Miami would remain undefeated that season, with Morrall winning 10 of the 14 regular season games and a Playoff game against the Browns. 
 
Morrall would eventually be replaced by a now healthy Griese in the AFC Championship Game against the Steelers (who were ONLY playing due to winning with an ‘Immaculate Deception’ the week prior in Sh!ttsburgh against our Raiders).  No matter… Morrall had done an OUTSTANDING job… not once… not twice… but three times in a relief and support role.  It’s a fact the Dolphins wouldn’t have their 1972 undefeated season without the veteran leadership and gamesmanship of Earl Morrall.  Give him another glass of champagne Mercury!
 
… Which brings us to present day and our Raiders, who will rely on Matt McGloin to game-manage a powerful offense with an improving defense against the defending (yet thoroughly beaten) Super Bowl Champion Donkeys this Sunday.  Should the Raiders win, they’d be guaranteed a week of rest to assure McGloin (and the eventual Carr back-up in rookie Connor Cook) more repetitions to get in synch with our bevy of talented receivers.  McGloin already has great connectivity with Rivera and Holmes, and is apt to throw more to Cooper and Walford than Carr has done previously. 
 
It all comes down to this though… WIN SUNDAY with a powerful running game, an occasional well-timed throw and a stout defense, garner that bye week and home Playoff game in two weeks, and who knows what can happen afterwards.  Personally, I think only the Steelers have a fighting chance to win in Oakland this year based on how the teams match up, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s beat those Donkeys and we’ll re-address our Playoff potential afterward.  
 
Until then… YAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!! Raider Nation!!  Happy New Year 2017 to All... and a Prosperous Playoff Mode January!!



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