I was watching ESPN First Take this morning and was both outraged and amazed at how they treated today's show involving rookie running backs. We all know that when this year's rookie backs come into the conversation, the first name to be mentioned is D-Mac. Well Dana Jacobson was interviewing former NFL RB Jamaal Anderson. Several questions came up with rookie backs. Anderson continued to mention D-Mac but for the questions involved, I could see why he would only merely mention him. They were questions like which back will have the biggest impact on their respective team. Instead of McFadden, Kevin Smith and Matt Forte's names were part of Jamaal's answer. Understandable, after all, neither of the NFC North teams ran the ball effectively. It only makes sense that Kevin Smith and Matt Forte hopefully revamping porous rushing games would cause the most impact. The raiders ran very well and thus McFadden won't have a great impact in the sense that the question implies.
That wasn't what I was listening for. The next question was what got me pumped. Dana said, "Which rookie back is the best one coming into the season?" Without hesitation Jamaal said, "Darren McFadden." He spoke of his ability to make big plays and be an explosive runner. I bet right now those of you reading this are saying "The media says that everyday." True, but the next question only got me more excited.
Dana Jacobson: "With McFadden on the team, do you think the Raiders are a playoff team?" I fully expected Jamaal to say no, not at all, and bring up 19- and whatever over the past 5 years. Instead of pulling a Mark Schlereth, Mr. Anderson said,
"Well, McFadden well most certainly help their offense. And Russell's going to be a big factor to Oakland's success this year. Their defense is been very consistent the last few years. They did have some drop off in sack production and overall production from the D-Line, but Oakland spent a ton of money this offseason on their defense. With people like DeAngelo, among others, coming in they look to be even better this year. We'll have to see how they do in September and if they come out of September .500, the sky's the limit."
Simply amazing. It has been SO long since I'd heard a good word from the media concerning the Raiders. The week after the Niners game, they said that the 49ers coach was obviously impressed with Darren. But he was really impressed with was Michael Bush. He said we got the steal of the draft and some real talent.
But on the same First take broadcast as the Jamaal Anderson interview, they went from making my day, to ruining it. Their sports poll today involved rookie backs as to which would be the best this year. Overwhelmingly at 58.1 percent (I think second was like 11.8%) Darren was the winner. Usually after announcing the winner of the sports poll, they would discuss it as the show began to close. Instead, it seemed Skip bayless (who I greatly respect and admire) was still riled up about his 4th. down discussion. So instead of talking about Darren, he brought up how he thought that Bolt was more amazing than Phelps in the Olympics. Another argument began as time was running out. I wanted to say, "Shut up and quit avoiding the issue at hand." No one tried to get them to stop and talk about the Sports poll. No one said anything about it, just that Darren won. It seemed that Jay Crawford and Dana Jacobson (usually the peer mediators whenever Skip and his 1st and 10 opponent break out) just were too full of themselves and too reluctant to speak of anything about the raiders that they just sat back and watched.
Now, I have been reading a lot from San Francisco Chronicle about the Raiders and a lot on SI. All remarking of improvement in the organization and how there was no longer an issue with Davis and Kiffin. I even have read several articles predicting Oakland to go 7-9 to 8-8. A far cry from Schlereth and Jaws saying we'll go 5-11 or 6-10. So overall, it seems the media finally is starting to realize the Raiders are getting somewhere. They're just too reluctant to admit they were wrong, so they avoid any topic of the Raiders what so ever. Unless of course it's negative.
So what do you think, has the media warmed up to the Raiders, or are they still far too ignorant to realize we're finally getting somewhere?