Disclaimer: This is my first crack at writing something like this. I have a lot of angst built up over the last seven years of losing, so if you are easily offended, please skip this one. I'll try to tone it down the next time around.
In honor of the recently released 10th anniversary edition of the epic "10 things I Hate About You" (Complete with a Heath Ledger Commemorative Chemistry Set), I decided I would try and whittle down my list of 1,278 things that suck about being a Raider fan into 10 concise details of despair. This was extremely hard to do (our horrible home stadium didn’t even make the cut), but here goes.
1. The Slogans: Listen I love the clip of Al after the super bowl uttering "Just Win Baby" as much as the next guy but I’ve had about enough. If "Just Winning Baby" was all that was important why are we constantly in pissing matches with coaches, players, executives and lunch ladies? Why did we keep Kiffin around when we knew he was sabotaging us (attempting a 76 yard field goal? Come on!), just to fire him for "cause" and save some cheese. "Pride and Poise"? Seriously f*#k the heck? The next time a Raider player shows "Poise" will be the first time since…well it might be the first time. Did anyone see the 874 penalty yards we gave up to the Cleveland Browns? Seriously "Poise"? I could go on for hours about "Team of the Decades" (which decade exactly?), etc. but you get the point.
2. The Coaching Carousel: This one never gets old. Team loses (shocking), Al hates losing, Al Fires Coach, Al Calls 248 unemployed coaches, 247 of which let it go to voicemail or pretend to be housekeeping when they realize it’s Mr. Burns errrr Al Davis on the line. The one who accepts the call puts down the fry basket and says "Sure Al, I’ll take a pay cut to get run over by you and your hand picked group of talentless athletic specimens. You already have my assistants picked out? Great I didn’t want input on that anyway." Rinse and Repeat every 8-12 months.
4. 49er Fans: Individually these are some of my best friends on earth. It’s only natural that due to their dominance during my formative years (and the Raiders absence from the Bay Area during those years) there would be a disproportionate amount of Niner fans in my age group and area. I find some of them to be insightful, and passionate football fans. As a whole? They can fu*#ing blow me. Yes the Raiders suck balls, yes they are a laughing stock, yes our owner is loony tunes, but can you stop celebrating your mediocrity like it’s something special? No one gives a damn that you won 8 games (the most since 2002 which happens to be the last time we mattered as well), or that you’ve managed to stay a game or two better than the Raiders for 7 years. What the hell do you want, a merit badge? It’s been 7 years of hell in the Bay Area stop acting like you haven’t contributed to the stench of this sports landscape. You suck a little less than us, congrats let me know what time the parade is.
5. Overhead Projectors: Quick Disclaimer: I love Al Davis. If you’re a real Raider fan, you do too. Sure I want him to step down, or hire a GM, or stop forgetting to take his meds or whatever, but without him there would be no Raiders and I love the Raiders. That being said I hate the dementia that has obviously taken hold of his brain. I shake my fist at the TV every time Adam Schefter or some other shister disrespect Al as if he’s just some old crotchety bastard without a brain in his head. Unfortunately without fail shortly thereafter, I shake my head at the TV as Al proves them all right by dusting off the overhead projector. The last time overhead projectors were relevant to multimillion dollar businesses like the Raiders, polyester jumpsuits were in style. Wait a minute…
6. Coach on Coach violence: Want a surefire way to tell if you’re a Raider fan? Has the highlight of your season ever been the moment the DA decided not to charge your head coach with felonious assault? If the answer is yes then you’re a Raider fan. I’m sure coach’s get into heated arguments on other teams but only the Raiders have middle of the night ER visits for broken jaws , legal drama, Outside the Lines specials and DA announcements. Surely the Raiders are the only team on earth that would end up bringing the injured assistant (who happens to have a previous suspension and psychiatric evaluation on his record) back to the team without even running it by the current head coach. Crazy…
7. LA: I’m sorry, I’m still not over it. LALA Land was a huge mistake. It made me feel dirty rooting for an LA team. Born and raised in the East Bay I have a natural aversion to all things south of San Louis Obispo, especially sports teams. Chargers? Wake me up when your trophy case contains something but heartbreak. Lakers? Does Kobe drop more dimes on the court or in the back of police cars? "But officer Shaq does it too!" Dodgers? I hope Kirk Gibson dies of syphilis. LAAAAAA Angels? I hope when Lackey gets to hell Jason Kendall is there waiting to beat his ass for eternity. Clippers? You end up with Baron and we get Maggette? Double Turds!!! I know Oakland is a $h*thole but it’s our $h*thole.
8. The Costumes: Now before what’s left of you Raider fans get all up in arms, this doesn’t apply to all of you. You want a little war paint on Sunday? Fine by me. You want to dress up like a crazy person on the weekends to break up the monotony of your cubicle enclosed life? Be my guest. The one thing I can’t stand though is you 400 pound behemoths (male and female) shoe horning yourself into chain mail or squeezing into slutty pirate costumes that offer more cottage cheese than a dairy farmers convention. Just stop it. You might have fit into that the last time the Raiders were good but that pirate ship has
9. Streaming Games Online: I spend roughly $2,000 a year on my Raiders obsession. Between Jersey’s, merchandise, game tickets, and the NFL Sunday ticket. The emotional cost of being a Raider fan is much higher and harder to calculate (these past seven years of losing have probably taken 5 years off my life). Even after all this blood and treasure that I pour in, roughly 6 Sundays a year I am stuck watching my beloved bunch of losers get their tail kicked on a 14 inch computer monitor with a picture so pixilated it reminds me of early internet porn. Let me get this straight Mr. Goodell and Mr. Davis because my team is too horrible to convince 60,000 idiots to plunk down $100 a piece to sit in your run down rat infested coffin of a stadium and witness it’sputridness, I can’t watch on TV? Even after I purchase every superfan, megadeal, suckerplus HD combo pack? Well f*@k you very much. Oh you’ll still show them on the RedZone Channel? Thanks so much seeing as we’re in the RedZone as much as Jamarcus Russell is on the treadmill. F@*k the Heck?!?!?!
10. The Losing: This one is pretty self explanatory. No fan has ever in the history of the NFL has been asked to endure as much losing as the Raider faithful. 7 straight years of at least 11 losses. 11. For the last 7 years 70% of my Sundays are completely ruined by this inept bunch of overpaid, short bus riding jerk offs. In a league that thrives because of it’s parity these guys have managed to become the Washington Generals of the NFL. You would think it would be hard to achieve such lofty levels of incompetence with all the high draft choices we’ve
received earned over the last seven years, but no we’re the Kevin Garnett of losing "Anything is Possible!!!" We can snatch defeat from the clutches of victory better than any team ever assembled. We’re the Maestro’s of Misery, the Beethoven of Buttf*ckery, and it I’m sick of it. That’s it, I quit. Forget this team…
What’s that you say? We got the 8th pick? You think there’s any chance Suh falls to us? I better go watch some tape.