Losing takes its tolls and the Raiders have been paying those tolls more times than the daily travelers of the Bay Bridge. They have plenty of reasons not to smile and not to be joyful over the last 10 years but now it is time that they learn how to have fun again.
I was reading a story about Aaron Ross of the New York Giants who had just spent a year in Florida on the Jacksonville Jaguars before returning to the Giants this off-season. He had a controversial comment about his time in Florida, referring to it as a paid vacation.
Ross said when going from a competitor to a losing team it was hard because it took the fun out of the game and the only thing he was looking forward to was the paychecks. Jaguars fans were obviously upset about the comments and Ross later backtracked and said some too little, too late compliments to his former franchise. His comments got me thinking about the Raiders organization.
Earlier this off-season we got to see some Raiders players have some fun when they got together and created a fun and energetic Harlem Shake video. You could tell they were enjoying themselves and really getting a kick out of the whole experience. The thing about that video that I liked the most was the camaraderie that it helps build.
Have you ever heard the phrase "Happy Workers are Productive Workers"? Well this Raiders team hasn't been happy or productive for quite some time now. They need to figure out how to have some fun out there on the football field and enjoy the game that they have played for so long.
It kind of comes down to the old adage 'what came first, the chicken or the egg?' Does the fun come before winning or does winning create the fun?
Teams that have the camaraderie and the chemistry tend to do much better on the field. People hate seeing the Packers so much as an example for things but they are one of the teams that have always been great at making sure to have fun while playing. Matt Flynn specifically was always really great at that aspect as the back up to Aaron Rodgers.
This is something I really look forward to seeing between Flynn and Pryor. I really believe they are going to be able to create some entertainment amongst their teammates and create a lightened environment more conducive to winning. The effort needs to be put on the field but that doesn't mean people can't smile while doing it.
Pryor was the mastermind behind the Harlem Shake video and has a great attitude with his teammates. He has shown himself to be a fun and charismatic person and that is great for the team. Matt Flynn also is a fun and charismatic person and the two of them should have a good working relationship because of it.
If the two quarterbacks on the team can help create a fun environment for the team then the team itself is going to be able to reciprocate that. The tension from the dark days with the Raiders needs to be alleviated and these two players have the opportunity in front of them to do that. It will be interesting to see how their relationship develops and the effect it is going to have on the entire team. They have the chance to do something special if they can embrace it.