The NFL Draft is tonight, marking the exact moment it becomes totally OK for grown American men to spend an undue amount of time and energy worrying about other grown men wearing their preferred color of spandex pants. This is without a doubt going to be a lost season of sorts for my Oakland Raiders. Many of the people who get paid to know this kind of stuff believe we have the worst roster in the league, and before Tracy Porter, Mike Jenkins and Matt Flynn were brought in to fill gaping holes, perhaps the worst roster ever.
Of course, none of this is the least bit surprising. Despite the fact that he's the greatest human being to ever exist, Mr. Davis wasn't so good at running a football team in his later years. Particularly damaging to the long-term prospects of the Raiders was his propensity to award "his guys" with monster, often record-setting contracts. Anybody with even a passing knowledge of the team understood that when Reggie McKenzie took over the football operations going into the 2012 season, the first two years would be about cutting all the dead weight and eating the salary. As exciting as the process isn't, that's where we are now... hoping to resemble an expansion team next year.
The only surprising thing about this process to me has been the response. For years, both fans and haters have insisted that the Raiders won't turn it around until Mr. Davis cedes control (by which of course they meant- dies) and gets a respectable GM and coach. That is exactly what happened last year when Reggie and Dennis Allen signed on- finally, two minds that were actually in demand across the league, instead of some guy yanked out of an Idaho B&B, or fucking Tom Cable. And what was the reaction last year? "They suck, blow it up and fire everybody!"
As if you needed further proof... man, people are stupid. THIS IS THE BLOW UP. Remember everybody worth a damn saying it was going to take two years? Actually, that wasn't a question. REMEMBER EVERYBODY WORTH A DAMN SAYING IT WAS GOING TO TAKE TWO YEARS. It's like people thought that assessment was just the dramatic set-up for a Cinderella season. Take us to the promised land, Joselio Hansen! And these are just the fans of the team I'm talking about. Even more galling was reading the same nonsense from people who are supposed to know better. "Same old Raiders"... yeah, as catchy as that sounds, it's pure, ignorant horseshit. Mr. Davis is not here. The franchise is already almost unrecognizable from how he left it. But apparently reality isn't going to stop click-hungry idiots from going after that low-hanging fruit like midgets with scurvy.
And that is why we are here, now and the rest of the season. If so few people are inclined to get past the lucrative "lol Raiders" meme and take an honest look at one of sports' marquee franchises essentially undergoing thirty years of progress in about eighteen months, I'll do it myself.
Oh yeah, the draft... consensus opinion among Raider fans is trade down. We're so devoid of talent it's a no-brainer, unless the trade market is soft and there's somebody Reggie is in love with. I'd like to see us pick up a pick toward the end of the first, top of the second round to get a shot at Kyle Long or Keenan Allen, but hey... at least we have some draft picks this year.
Football is back. Yay.