Hi Raider Nation. My first post after my introduction was a fantastic experience given your comments. I presumed I was getting too cerebral but I found that it is ok if I do that occasionally since all of you seemed to get into it. Still, I will be careful what I post in that regard because I have to be very clear and respond in a manner that all of you will understand, which can be very hard work. In this post I want to rekindle an old Raider tradition (and not speak so cerebrally!).
Through the years, Raider fans have conferred names onto players whose performance on the field merits special recognition. Those names suggest how those players have shown their silver and black hearts and determination to win for the Raider Nation. It is my understanding that this is a tradition that is held only by Raider Nation, which says a lot about the kinds of fans that we are. To me, and I presume to all you, conferring a name is something sacred, because it sort of admits players into our own special historical hall of fame by manner of remembering who they were by how they played. My view is that we don't just hand out these names to just anyone, but to someone that is bound to be remembered in Raider history. For example, perhaps the most outstanding example is how Jack Tatum would appear to fly horizontally like a rocket or a spear flying through the air to make some of the most vicious tackles in NFL history. Unfortunately for Stingley, Tatum was dubbed the Assassin. Lamonica had targets such as Warren Wells and because of his accuracy and enthusiasm of the vertical game led him to be called the Mad Bomber. Ted Hendricks seemed to extend his large arms like a condor or albatross spreading his wings and ensnaring his opponents like a net, hence earning the name Mad Stork. There are other players with special names that I'm sure you know and I won't bother to mention as this post might get too long.
Apparently, McFadden has been so labeled by many Raider Nation brethren as Run DMC and that nickname has shown up so frequently that it seems to have stuck. When a writer writes Run DMC everyone knows who it is. I also believe that by now everyone is convinced of his ability and we are watching history in the making. Undoubtedly, his heritage is to be one of the most gifted runners in Raider history.
Let's now consider Rolondo McClain as Death Ro. As long as I have been a fan, these names don't just happen overnight. Ro is the first person to be dubbed with a special name as a rookie from what I recall, and I'm just a little bit uncomfortable with that because to me these names are sacred and are generally established over a longer period of time. Nevertheless, Death Ro appears to be consistently showing up and its pretty apparent that he will be consistently referred to as Death Ro. Along with his continually improving hard hitting, he has spiked a player and was fined, and the concussion he laid on Charger running back Darren Sproles seems to be really defining the type of player he is panning out to be. I might have some of the old timers recall linebacker Skip Thomas, one of many players from USC that the Raiders have drafted. Skip used to also hit opponents so viciously that he was labeled "The Headhunter," and Ro tends to remind me a lot of Skip. Thus, although the timing is a little soon, he deserves it.
There are traditions that might come and go and I hope this one remains forever. It creates more Raider pride, enthusiasm, makes the game more fun, and the players know the fans love them. Because this is a sacred tradition, let's make it more formal: McFadden and McClain, please get on one knee. Bow your heads, and using a sword from the sacred Raider shield, the Raider Nation touches you on your shoulders and both of you have been formally knighted as Run DMC and Death Ro. Congratulations!!!!!! I hope you enjoyed the reading.