Raider Nation: Beware of the ‘Grumblewoeskins’ amidst our Brotherhood

Captain Jack Rack Levy – May 4, 2013

Good afternoon my nation of Raider-loving mates and wenches, ‘tis a fine day to relax and enjoy the last day of the weekend before many of us return to the usual ‘Monday-to-Friday Hubbub’ used to pay our bills, save for the future and generally just makes our lives fruitful, if not totally fulfilled. 

I guess a ‘totally fulfilled life’ would involve being the General Manager of your Oakland Raiders since – and I’ll quote from a few sources I’ve had the chance to read from their musings since last Thursday – the ‘Ass-Clown’ currently in the position doesn’t know the difference between fecal matter and shinola, which definitely could cause a problem if you follow the line of thinking here. 

Could anyone call the father of Navin Johnson? He was very successful in showing his son the difference between the two products, although his son didn’t quite grasp the intricacies of the lesson…

Anyway, there is a common denominator between the person responsible for Reginald McKenzie ascension in getting THE JOB as Raider’s G.M. and the abundance of ‘I know I could do it way better than THAT (expletive usually follows here)’ Raider armchair G.M.’s littering the country… nay the WORLD…

Curse you John Madden!! It is YOUR FAULT!!

If it wasn’t for Madden leading the way with his dynamic and powerful video game which gave every Tom, Ricardo and Harriet around the world the ability to show their ‘football IQ,’ then we wouldn’t have to put up with the ‘TOTAL LOSER’ – your words, not mine – who currently mans the chair of power given to him by Mark Davis. 

This dastardly event took place only after Madden and fellow co-conspirators Ron Wolf and Ken Herock wrongfully took the job away from YOU… and YOU know who YOU ARE… and forced the hand of Mark Davis to name McKenzie the General Manager of YOUR TEAM.  Seriously, what were they thinking? Didn’t they know Al Davis himself used to call YOU religiously before every draft as ‘You & Al’ would plan these college acquisitions for months at a time?

Again, what sort of football lineage does Madden, Wolf, Herock and McKenzie have to begin with in comparison to YOU? I’m sure YOU have won every Fantasy Football League you’ve ever been in, along with being the “Madden NFL Football Champ” of not only your block but of the greater Tri-City area to boot!! The nerve of some people, naming McKenzie over YOU, while adding insult to injury as McKenzie brought in some loser named Clinkscales!!

Taking an aside here, if I’ve offended ANYONE with my diatribe… Well… Tough Noogies!! (As I try to keep this piece off the book/web burning list of political wackos left OR right). 


Many of you know the story of Rumpelstiltskin and his spinning straw into gold; what many may not know is ‘Rumpel’ had a younger brother, an avid fan of the Silver and Black named Grumblewoeskin, whose trick of the trade was the touch of constant foreboding and gloom.  ‘Grumble’ is responsible for touching characters such as ‘Chicken Little’ and ‘Eeyore’ and bringing them to fame.  He has also been busily building his army of minions in Raider Nation – especially this past decade since the Super Blow (SIC) and Rich Gannon’s career-ending injury the following season. 

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Look around Raider Nation – I’m sure you know of at least one if not several people who have been ‘touched’ by Grumble.  These are the same people who WOULD look a gift horse in the mouth as well as mutter about the air conditioner being too cold at a Florida Mall in August or the hot tub being ‘scalding’ when sitting amongst friends for a January Wisconsin outdoor brats and beer get-together.  ‘Grumble-ites’ would even complain about their tourniquet being too tight around their severed limb at the scene of the accident.  Yep, there is just no pleasing anyone touched by Grumblewoeskin amongst our group in Raider Nation…

… And the NFL Draft is the first event of the year to showcase their ‘pleasant and optimistic viewpoint’ on the present state along with the future of the Raiders.  For those who may have missed some of the ‘Grumble-minion’s Highlights’ the last few days, I’ll try to pass along some of the ‘nuggets’ herein:

“What in the #$@(& is Reggie doing with the third pick? Trading down? And he got fleeced on the deal! OMG where are the Roll-Aids?!?!?”  Then it turned into, “Never heard of that guy! We need help along the D-line and he picked some basketball reject? Hunt was there for the taking, as well as Moore! Martha get me my Tums!!”  A little while later it was “Did someone tell Reggie the first name of guy we needed to draft, because he picked the wrong Moore?!?!? Martha, where is that Speedy Alka-Seltzer?!?!?!”  

Oh, but the harangue continued with, “Are you kidding me with that Wilson pick? We could’ve picked Barkley or Geno or even Nassib if we wanted a project quarterback, and we already have Pryor anyway?!?!?  Martha, call the doctor ‘cuz my headache and stomach continue to kill me!!” 

When all was said and done, comments like this ended the weekend – “Two TE’s when we needed Line Help?!?!? That SDSU kid when we could’ve picked the receiver from Cal or USC?!?!? How in tarnation did we miss out on Lacy and Lattimore when they were still on the board; who is this kid from UCF?!?!?! Where’s the Beef, Martha? Where’s the Beef?!?!?  Call the paramedics… this is the BIG ONE!!” as our Grumble-ite crashes to the floor in an apparent heart attack or Grand Mal seizure (with apologies to fellow heart patients like myself or seizure sufferers.) 

If the preceding dialogue was yours, and Martha is your wife, sister, significant other or imaginary confidante, then have her call the Raiders immediately and tell them to patch you through to Mark Davis’ ‘Red Line.’  After all YOU will save the franchise with your ‘Expert and Urbane Analysis’ from your past experience which served you and Al well – don’t forget to cite those previous conversations with the Maverick himself as well as those Fantasy Football / Madden Video G.M. trophies you have shining on your mantle, as only then will get you through on the ‘Red Line’…

… The same line Al himself used to call down to the field during the game from his owner’s box to fix the hideous and ineffective Defensive alignment Sumner, Shaw, Bresnahan, Ryan et al. was employing at the time – yeah THAT ‘Red Line.’  If you DO get through, be sure to stand ready for the ‘nice bunch of gents from the Shady Acres Rest and Relaxation Center’ who will come to visit you, but you do get a nice ‘Raider White’ coat similar in color of the one used and worn on the sideline by the great Mr. Davis himself - just not the same style as the sleeve ends appear to tie in the back… 

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Listen busters, the General Manager role is multi-faceted, employing the cutting of dead-weight egotist athletes and their more crippling salaries; the employment of economical-sensed free-agent acquisitions with hard-nosed, lunch-pail work ethic mixed with ‘chip on the shoulder and something to prove’ players who wish to leave their mark with a new team.  Add to this a drafting of young talent with a mixture of street free agents looked over and bypassed by the entire NFL, lean and hungry to show their football mettle to all; mix these men with holdovers on the roster deemed worthy to wear the logo and colors of the Raiders, subtract through pain, injury, non-compliance, misses and ‘getting the play-book: Yes or No’ which is whittled down to a final product of 53 souls (plus your Practice Squad and Injured Reserve) and you get yourself a viable, Playoff-contending FOOTBALL TEAM!! 

In a few years, folks… a few years. 

Please also remember the clock started ticking on this timeline in 2012, with a ‘show me the goods’ progress/report card required by Reggie McKenzie (and of course Mark Davis) in 2014.  The last time I looked, we’re currently nearing May 2013, with camps and OTAs and more get-togethers awaiting the Raider club for the 2013 season.  Look again… 2013 SEASON

Guess we may want to look at some of these fine acquisitions from this past weekend’s draft, first.  D.J. Hayden is considered a top coverage cornerback by many, and will be immediately engaged with Porter and Jenkins for an outstanding corner crew; Menelik Watson is a talented (yes rawer than what I would’ve liked) right tackle who should be starting by mid-season if not sooner, but will definitely improve the running game when employed.  Sio Moore is a talented hitter, a BEAST of a linebacker whose ‘tude will be used immediately on Special Teams for sure if not starting on the outside in a hybrid 4-3/3-4/46 Defense.  He should be gainfully utilized along with Burnett, Roach, and Burris and possible other ‘backers yet to be signed; I’m digging him already, and I think we may INDEED have gotten ‘the RIGHT Moore’ after all…

… Bringing us to the drafting of Tyler Wilson, whom personally I think may be the best quarterback to come out of this draft.   Even ol’ Ron ‘Jaws’ Jaworski intimated young Wilson would be the starting QB for our Raiders this year; granted, Jaws is still suffering from hits he took way back in Super Bowl XV, so anything he says in a complete sentence is commendable… but sorry Jaws, pending debilitating hits to both Flynn and Pryor, I don’t see Wilson starting THIS YEAR, but next year? That will be an awesome Mano Y Mano Y Mano “Cage Match” for whomever the Raiders have on the roster – and THAT is fantastic. 

Rounding out our draft picks was a player being called ‘THE STEAL’ of the draft, UCF’s Latavius Murray.  Think to yourself a bigger, faster complementary running back we haven’t had since Michael Bush left – except he’s much faster than Bush; figure he’s a ‘Bo Jackson-light’ type of back.  Now, in no way am I saying Murray will be the second coming of Bo, but I definitely can see him spelling DMac much more often this year without fearing loss of capabilities. Isn’t that awesome? Yes Martha, it is!!

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The Raiders also snagged two highly capable receiving Tight Ends in Colorado’s Nick Kasa and Tennessee’s Mychal Rivera; a speedster who actually can catch with SDSU’s (former USC) Brice Butler, and two more ‘Big Uglies’ for our Defensive Line with Oklahoma Tackle Stacy McGee and Missouri Western  End David Bass.  So for those scoring at home, a nearly 50/50 split between Offense (OT, QB, RB, 2 X TEs, WR) and Defense (CB, LB, DT, DE) addressing positions of need across our roster – and I haven’t started talking about the ‘street’ (unrestricted/ undrafted) free agents the Raiders picked up!

Now, before you mumble to yourself “So what… camp bodies!” I’d like to remind you our best rookie receiver last year was none other than undrafted Rod Streater from Temple; I firmly believe the signing of Duke wide out Connor Vernon may turn out to be an overlooked gem by ALL teams.  Vernon has the ‘shifty moves, sticky hands sans stickem and precision route-running skills’ exhibited in such famous receivers as Fred Biletnikoff (remember him?) and Wes Welker (whom we’ll see twice this year due to his trading in Patsy Red, White and Blue to Donkey Orange and Blue).  

The unofficial ‘haul’ so far via undrafted signings yield: 14 Offense (3 x WR, 2 x QB, 3 x RB/FB, 6 x Linemen) and 4 Defense (2 x DB, LB, DE) and three special teamers as well (Kicker, Punter and Long-Snapper), so the Raiders ARE filling out the roster via draftees and these ‘rookie’ free agents.  These signings are in addition to the other free agent signings with previous NFL playing experience, so don’t state the Raiders are sitting on their… well… wallets, as you can see they most definitely aren’t.  More signings will be forthcoming. 

Reggie’s scouting department - Calvin Branch, Mickey Marvin, Zach Crockett and David McCloughan to name a few, under the tutelage of Director of Player of Personnel Joey Clinkscales, appear to have made some shrewd and dynamic picks and signings.  Granted, none appear to be as fantastic as selecting Bo Jackson in the Seventh round... but who’s to say we haven’t found our version of Von Miller in Sio Moore, or Stephen Jackson in Latavius Murray, perhaps Lincoln Kennedy in Menelik Watson… maybe even Tom Brady in Tyler Wilson.  Who knows… but check back in three to five years after our Raiders become perennial Playoff participants like the Silver and Black crew of the mid-‘60’s to early-‘80’s. 

As always, Raider On Mates and Wenches, as I bellow my resounding post 2013 NFL Draft “YAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!”



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