After two consecutive defeats at the hands of the NFC East, fans at S&B Pride are desperate for answers, any answers, for their team's woes. Posts are flying and comments are flooding in giving and receiving advice and observations. Some of the debates have become heated and others have offered solace. After reading the various posts and the associated commentary I've decided we're just not getting to the heart of the issues because we are looking in the wrong places. Instead of beating each other up over the tough questions, because, let's face it, we, the fans, are the victims here, let's put the heat where it belongs: on the ownership, management, and coaching.
I am not a credentialed member of the media so getting access, let alone interviews with the decision makers, is impossible. So, I did the next best thing that solid media hounds do, I made shit up. The following are my FAKE interviews with the Raiders brass and key personnel.
I spent the day at Raiders Headquarters in Alameda. It was a complete coincidence that I ran in to Reggie McKenzie in the hallway while heading to see Mark Davis. Or so I thought...
Me: "Excuse me, Mr. McKenzie, could I get a minute?"
McKenzie: "Uh, hi, sure. Who are you?
Me: "Oh, I'm, uh, a member of the media, I left my ID in the van. I just have a few questions. I was wondering if you could explain some of the decision making that went in to picking up Matt Flynn from Seattle and then drafting Tyler Wilson only to release Flynn and place Wilson on the practice squad?"
McKenzie: (chuckling heartily) "Oh, you're asking the wrong person, I can't answer that. I have no idea."
Me: (getting pissed) "Excuse me, Mr. McKenzie, but that is not going to cut it. The media, the public, and mostly the fans deserve better than that. We want answers and I am NOT leaving until I get something more." (I'm really feeling it now.) "If you think I'm leaving here before..."
McKenzie: (Looks at his watch and sees that it's 10:30 AM) "My brother doesn't get in this early...."
McKenzie: "What was your name again?"
Because Raleigh McKenzie goes about three bills, no way he catches me. I lost him in a labyrinth of cubicles and backtracked to the offices of Mark Davis. I did not think Mark Davis would answer his door so I just let myself in.
Me: "Hi, Mr. Davis? Bleed from S&B Pride, can I ask you a few questions about your plans for the organization going forward?"
Mark Davis: "Do you really call yourself ‘Bleed'?"
Me: "As in ‘bleed silver and black blood'..."
Mark Davis: "You call that a name? You really expect me to take you seriously and answer your questions with a name like ‘Bleed'?"
Me: (Annoyed because I really like my pen name) "Well, do you really expect me to take you seriously with that haircut?"
Mark Davis: "What's wrong with my haircut? Seriously, not hip???"
Me: "Oh, sure it's hip, if you're a freakin' 12 year old in Holland circa 1972..."
I left Mark's office while he was distracted looking at his image in the mirror on his desk, and went looking for the coaching staff, which I really expected to give me the answers I was looking for. As luck would have it, I ran in to OC Greg Olson. Now I was getting somewhere.
Me: "Excuse me, Mr. Olson, I'd really like to ask you a few questions, if you could spare a minute?"
Olson: (blinking and squinting uncontrollably) "Oh, hey. Who are you? Normally we have special sessions for the media. See, we have a process here. Can I see some ID? How'd you get in here? Hey, Tarver, do you know this guy?"
(Holy shit, it's Jason Tarver! Now I can ask them both hard-hitting questions.)
Tarver: "No, I don't recognize this guy. Hey, man, who the **BLEEP** are you? How the **BLEEP** did you get in here? Where are your **BLEEPING** credentials? Hey, can we get **BLEEPING** security over here...? (Dennis Allen comes around the corner) Hey, Coach, who is this **BLEEPING** clown?"
Coach Allen: "Calm down, Jason, we talked about your temper. Go get a berry smoothie. Ok, this is not normally how we do things around here. We have a process, but now that you're here, what can I do for you?" (Tarver flips me off while walking away when Coach Allen turns his back)
Me: "Thanks, Coach, I really appreciate your..."
Coach Allen: "Hey, listen, at the end of the day, the bottom line is, it's about consistency, obviously, we're all working our tails off, I think that's obvious. Again, the men in that locker room are professionals and have a lot of pride. I really like that locker room...I do, I like it a lot."
Me: "I haven't asked you a question yet..."
Coach Allen: "That's all I got." (Grins sideways and walks away)
So there you have it. Even my FAKE interviews do not reveal any satisfying answers to the questions we have. It could be that there really are no easy answers and as unsatisfying as it seems, we may have to let things unfold naturally and sit back and just let things play out.
And now, on to the poll: If you could sit down with anyone on this staff, management, or ownership, and get the answers to the questions you want the most, or give them a piece of your mind, who would you choose to interview? Don't want to interview any of these guys, we have an option for that.