Oakland Raiders 2012 Draft: Walk the Plank with Captain Jack Rack'em
Captain Jack Rack 'em Levy – Apr 20, 2012
Yes Raiders and Raiderettes… Mateys and Wenches alike… the Captain can FEEL IT!! It’s in the Air!!
Not like you used to ask your old Grammy Mary if her rheumatism or arthritis was acting up, then you knew it was going to rain or the temperature was about to drop (heck, Grammy Mary was a better indicator of an upcoming storm than the jokers acting as meteorologists on the local news broadcasts… but I guess THEIR Grandmothers didn’t live locally…)
No, what I’m spouting about is that there have always been ‘indicators’ as my fellow analysts call them… specific milestones that put the mind, body and soul of Raider fans into ‘Pillaging Mode’ per a Captain euphemism.
The usual modus operandi that fans of the Silver and Black (especially during this past decade of L-L-LL-L-LL-Loo… well, not winning. Hey, the Fonz couldn’t say that he was W-W-WW-W-Wrr…. Well, not right. If I’m dating myself and you younger whipper-snappers don’t know WHO the Fonz is/was, go watch Nick-at-Night and maybe they’ll have a Happy Days marathon and you can catch up…)
Then again, I must be an old crotchety b’stard if I’m throwing out terms like ‘whipper-snappers’ eh? Annnnnnnnywaaaaaaaaaaay… weren’t we talking about Raider fans M.O.’s?
Milestones…that’s the ticket.
Since the Raiders’ last trip to the Super Blow (SIC) an offseason generally worked like this:
- Immediately after last regular season game, deny the Coach will be ‘let go’ due to team failures of the previous season (John Herrera was a maestro at this…)
- Fire the Head Coach, but only after letting him twist in the wind for a day or two…maybe a week (done usually every other year, but not always…)
- Deny rumors of who is being considered or who has been contacted to become the next Raiders’ Head Coach (cue Herrera again); keep media and fans in fog of confusion…
- Hold press conference full of ‘Raider Mantra Clichés’ while denigrating the former coach (overhead projector optional…)
- Keep media and fans in fog until draft; draft athlete with fastest 40yd dash time SOMEWHERE in the draft; try not to be critical of entire Raider Nation fans looking like Silver and Black ‘Bobble Head’ collection as they shake their heads in unison over draft class; continue media and fan 'fog’…
- Overpay for questionable free-agents who are looking to pad their bank accounts while usually performing negligibly on the field; get really excited over free-agents who actually DO perform and ARE Locker-room leaders…
- Hold mini-camps… OTAs… further camps/trainings… astound in pre-season with great players full of promise. Declare the Raiders the ‘Team to beat in the AFC West.’
- Go into regular season with promise yet disillusion as necessary. Make .500 record a lofty goal while disappointing fan base in actual performance.
- Lather, Rinse and Repeat as necessary…
That, ladies and gentlemen of the Raider jury, is how things USED to work. Let me repeat the optimum key words here…USED TO…
THIS offseason Raider Nation has indeed noted the ‘changing of the guard,’ complete with a sweeping of former mistakes and questionable acquisitions – H. Jackson, C. Bresnahan, S. Routt, K. Boss and K. Wimbley, please pick up a white courtesy phone on your way out of town…
Indeed, the Press Conferences of Mark Davis’ announcement of Reggie McKenzie as General Manager, and the subsequent presser with Reggie announcing the hire of Dennis Allen as Head Coach, seemed as though they took place in an ‘alternate universe’ where the starship Enterprise orbited over a planet from right-to-left vice the ‘normal’ left-to-right…
(It’s called an old Star Trek reference from the episode Mirror, Mirror. Spock has a goatee and everything! Watch it y’whipper-snappers…)
Yes, for the first time since 1963, Raider patriarch Al Davis will NOT be involved in the offseason… the stacking of the draft board… the acquisition of key free agents and undrafted college products. Those tasks have fallen to Mr. McKenzie, and trust me when I say it gang, I FEEL IT IN THE AIR… things are right with the world, and in Raider Nation.
(Cue Phil Collins and the drum solo…)
I also felt it in the air…the TRUE BEGINNING of the Raiders’ 2012 Season, when the schedule was announced the other evening… knowing that our Cutthroats will yet again be the culminating game of the first week as a National audience (including those on the East Coast who’ll at least stay) see a Monday Night Football game with the Raiders opening up against an AFC West opponent, San Diego.
In fact, the Raiders will have two home prime-time games against AFC West opponents, with the Denver Mannings… errrr… Donkeys… ummm Broncos coming to play a Thursday night 6 December game. Yeah… that means an NFL Network game, so I’d definitely turn the sound down and listen to the radio broadcast (even IF it’s off by a few seconds, it’s certainly better than the audio you’d hear on NFLN).
I’ve learned that LISTENING to the NFL Network has actually caused brain-cancer in lab rats…
(Disclaimer: although not entirely true, I’m sure I could find an independent study to back my claim…) Unfortunately, I found this study much too late in life after watching BSPN for years, leaving the Captain ill-humored and sarcastic… or were those traits caused by incessant replays of ‘The Immaculate Deception’ for years as a young Pirate… yeah, I’m sure that was it…
Altogether, I’m pretty happy with the upcoming schedule. Yes, the NFL tried to sock it to the Raiders… AGAIN… by having them fly to the East Coast on a short week following the opening night Monday contest (as they did last year); this time however the game at least is scheduled for 4:15PM (usual game time for the Raiders) and the heat/humidity of South Florida has usually subsided by then (in comparison to the normal 1PM games in Sun ‘Death’ Stadium – home of the Mullets).
Remember, the Captain lives IN FLORIDA and knows what he speaks… Uh oh. Guess that NFL realized that they could screw the Raiders AND keep the large Jewish population in South Florida happy by moving up the game to a ‘normal’ 1PM start time for Rosh Hashanah…
Speaking of ‘weather’ games, it appears our Raiders only have three games affected by (possible) snow/colder weather – Veteran’s Day at Baltimore, November 25th at Cincinnati, and December 23rd in Carolina (Charlotte). Yes, those are Eastern Time Zone games starting at 1PM, although the latter two games may be moved to a later start depending on playoff implications (cross your fingers crew). The NFL gave us a break in playing the Chiefs in late October vice late December, as they’ve had us playing them most recently…
Soooooooooooo….As soon as the Captain is ‘settled’ in where he’ll be working this upcoming year – sorry gang, I’d LOVE to say that the Captain writes these articles for a living or travels around the country for games decked out in the garb you’ve grown accustomed to seeing, but that unfortunately is not true – I’ll be sure to let you know WHERE and WHEN you can ‘Toast, Sing, and Make Merry with Tankards o’Grog or Shots o’Rum’ as a member of the Captain’s crew!!
Having said that… ANYONE interested in coming to Miami for the 16 September game contact Mr. Andy Alonso (email@example.com / 305-943-6665) and tell him you want to SIT IN THE CAPTAIN’S RAIDER NATION SECTION for the game!!
Until next week, when Reggie will be making all of Raider Nation smile and nod approvingly in unison, ala a state of happy and content Raider Bobble Heads…
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