Someone questioned my loyalty (zealotry even) yesterday after I voiced my support for Nnamdi's decision to leave and depart to the Eagles and also because I don't hate him or think ill of him for leaving.
This photo almost perfectly describes the feelings of the Nation from once free agency began (black, numbness), to the initial reports of Nnamdi's discussion with other teams (green, prepared for the worst but calm), to the news of his departure (RED, anger/frustration/hurt).
This would have been my response:
"My zealotry and loyalty has always been first and foremost to my team....
.....But I can do so without misplaced hate and lack of gratitude. Nnamdi Asomugha was the only good thing this team had going for it from 2003 to this year. I won't start shitting on him now for trying to win with a team that doesnt have a meddlesome owner and has had way more stability over the last 12 years.
Until this year, '98-'02 were the only years the Raiders had at least an 8-8 record in my lifetime/cognitive memory. Most of those horrible years were do to horrible ownership, bad management, terrible coaching, and complete lack of effort from the players. I'm proud to say that Nnamdi, Tim Brown and Charles Woodson (before he became injury prone those last couple years) are the three most important Raiders to me (in my lifetime) because they stuck it out during some of the worst times and never quit on the team no matter how questionable personnel decisions were, or how many consecutive losing seasons they had to endure. (Ok Woodson is a bit of a stretch but I don't consider him a quitter.)
Nnamdi is the only one of them that never had a good enough team around him to succeed (Gruden and Bruce Allen were the sole reasons that Brown and Woodson finally got their chance here). I'm pissed that we never tried to put him in a position to succeed here but happy that he has a chance to do well elsewhere. Had he gone to the Steelers, Jets, Niners, or Cowboys, I would join you in your unfair hate for Nnam because those teams are historically rivals of ours and/or don't offer a better chance at success than we do. Philly however has a solid team, better (more proven) coach, much more stability in their organization and a defensive system that will give him more opportunities to get thrown at/tested. If we ever play them I hope to brutally destroy them for robbing us of our best player but until we do play them, I'll be pulling for Nnam to finally do what has evaded him for 8 years in Oakland: just win, baby."
I dunno why some of us choose to act like bitter bitches and give Nnam the Lebron treatment. While Oakland and Cleveland both have some similarities sports wise now, I refuse to act as scorned as they did when Lebron left. Nnamdi didn't go to the Steelers or Jets (or another stacked team with a recent SB win or a Super Bowl championship-caliber roster) like people speculated he would. Instead he went to Philly where they appeared to be a middle of the pack team after getting rid of McNabb until Michael Vick had a resurgence. He didn't 'betray' us, nor did he ever do or say anything disrespectful to or about the team. To be honest I'm kinda disappointed in my Raider-brethren for trying to make Nnamdi out to be the new Marcus Allen/Lebron James hybrid when he's never been anything more than a class act. I hate that we extended Routt and all those other players before we knew what the cap was because we might've had a better chance to keep him AND those players, but since there was NO POSSIBLE WAY to keep Nnam without having to cut Miller and/or other important players, I can't be mad at Nnamdi, his agents, the Eagles, or even Al Davis for him not still being on the team.
All I ask is that we move on and give Nnam the same love and respect we gave him when he was here, and hope that our new DB corps can benefit from Rod Woodson the way that a young Nnamdi did. While I hope that he's robbed of any chance of a Super Bowl victory for the next 10 years, and that we face him at least 3 times to personally rob him of that chance, we probably aren't in a position to contend for at least another year or two (I hope to God I'm proved wrong). If we don't make it to the big dance, I hope that Nnamdi can at least have a taste of that success the way that Charles Woodson did last year. It will be bittersweet, but he very much so deserves it, and any true fan would know that.