So, if you’ve just met me or don’t know me that well, I know it seems like I’m a hockey freak. Which I am. There’s no doubt about that.
But if there’s any sport that I’m even crazier about — it’s football. And if there’s any team that drives me more crazy than the San Jose Sharks, it’s the Oakland Raiders. And they’ve practically driven me crazy for the past decade or so. Not good for my physical health, I must say.
And here we are, football season is almost upon us. I was irrationally excited for the Raider pre-season game versus the Cowboys on Monday mainly cause I needed to satisfy a football thirst, and also so I could start scouting for my fantasy football teams. Yes plural. Fantasy football is helluva drug.
But I also couldn’t wait to watch the game so I could criticize the Raiders to no foreseeable end.
Yes, that’s what I do as a Raider fan. I talk about how terrible the offense looks and how predictable the defense looks and how Dennis Allen gives cliched answers during interviews and how I hate this team so much.
Yes, I hate the Raiders.
Put it this way, here were some of the thoughts going through my head while watching the game. Mind you, I had to watch the game on delay because I was stuck at work, so I already knew some of what had happened. But that didn’t stop me from talking shit:
“First of all, why the hell are the Raiders on Monday Night Football? Don’t they want, like, you know, a good team to be the opener?”
(But it’s only preseason) “Yeah, they also open up the regular season on Monday Night Football versus the Chargers…again, WHY?”
“Hey, Darren McFadden, can you try running away from physical contact please? PLEASE?!”
“Oh look how easy he (McFadden) goes down when you tackle him by the ankles. I’m sure opposing defenses are taught to do that.”
“OMG, he’s down. Please don’t be hurt.”
“It’s okay, Jacoby* (Ford) usually catches those passes. We know he can. He’ll catch the next one.”
(another ball goes straight through his hands) “WTF Jacoby? Cut him.”
“Ugh…interception? Who’s our backup — oh shit, (Matt) Leinart? Hmph, well, at least it’s not Kyle Boller. What a waste of space.”
“Oh no, it’s Jamarcus 2.0 (in reference to Terrelle Pryor).”
“Ok, the defense are making some big plays. Good coverage. I can dig it.”
“Why don’t we blitz more?! Al’s not there anymore! You can do whatever you want.”
*For some reason, I’ve gotten very used to calling Jacoby Ford not by his last name, but by his first name. I think it has to do with the fact that I’m obsessed with Bill Simmons and his crew. And his bff, the Reality Czar Dave Jacoby, they just call Jacoby. So it just kinda works. It’s catchy.
If you happen to be watching a game with me, quite often you’ll hear me say “I hate the Raiders. They make me so mad.” My obsession with the team is maddening to the point of self-destruction.
But come on, let’s be real here — when it comes to the Raiders, when I say hate, I really mean love. And when I say love, I really mean disgustingly obsessed. I just think it’s more fun to say I hate this team when everyone knows that’s far from the truth. And when I say hate, it gets attention. And people accusing me of not being a true fan, and yada-yada-yada. Whatever. I like attention. Who doesn’t? Well, I don’t like it all the time, but you get the point.
Needless to say, I am actually extremely excited for this season because it is a new era. As much as I appreciated what Al Davis did to build the team, I am elated that he’s no longer running the organization. It’s an exciting time for all Raider fans. I don’t see how this CAN’T be the most anticipated season in a while, not because of what the team might accomplish (I see a 9-7 year, maybe, depending on McFadden’s fragile health), but to see how they go about accomplishing and reaching their goal. Things to keep an eye on will be how the schemes change, how the strategies differ, who they make trades for, how disciplined they are on the field etc.
See, I don’t hate the Raiders. I am actually very much in love. I talk shit because I care. That’s basically all you have to know.