Oakland Raiders look lacklustre in week one of the pre-season. With a start like this, things can only get better - or so we hope! Here’s a quick look at what 3 high profile Oakland Raider fans have to say about week one.
They had 13 penalties, dropped passes, and blew coverage - that’s how the San Francisco Chronicle puts it.
While it's true pre-season games don’t really count, they can be indicative of what’s to come in the regular season. Is there reason for concern?
Mike Sommers is one of the co-founders of the ever popular Raiders Fan Convention, which now has 2 events each year — one in Oaktown and another in Southern California.
Mike was also just one of a small handful of Oakland Raider fans that watched last week’s game between the Oakland Raiders and the Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Wild Wings in Mission Viejo, California.
Things at the joint started out on an upbeat note. But the mood slowly turned somber as the Silver and Black failed to perform up to expectation on the football field.
Off Season Aquisitions
“We have seen the off-season acquisitions and talent we have signed,” Mike says. “It seemed to me and many others that our team could be formidable. Excitement was in the air!”
There had been questions as to if the Raider offence could move the ball. But how the Raider defence would “stuff” the Vikings seemed like a no brainer. Then the game got underway.
“I kept looking for signs of life from our squad,” Mike says.
“What I did see was a Viking team making us look bad. To add insult to injury, the refs seemed to be working out their arms throwing ample flags against our team.”
Deja Vu All Over Again
Refs with Raider-phobic reflexes? Talk about deja vu all over again! This has been going on since the 1960s!!! What DO those refs have against my team???
“It wasn't pretty!” Mike continues.
“How far into the game did it take for us to make a first down? I have blurred that out. The mood quickly flattened out and a depression was in the air. How could this team look so blah? It hurt and hurt deep!”
Mike is just one of many Oakland Raider fans had that gone into this game with high hopes. It has been a long time since the Oakland Raiders have had a winning season.
“I wanted and expected to see more and better than average play,” Mike says.
“It was lacking. So it is onward and upward. (We can't get worse can we? God, I hope not!) Just glad it is pre-season. The Raider Nation deserves the best, time for the team to produce.”
At Pappy’s - one of 2 official Raider Nation sports bars in Phoenix, Arizona - fans showing up to root for the Oakland Raiders missed the first quarter because of problems with the feed.
But Michael Smallwood, Club President of the Phoenician Raider Booster Club says that this is par for the course on the first game of the pre-season. There are often technical difficulties at this stage.
Fans watching the game at the Catalina Sports Bar and Grill - Phoenix’s other Raider Nation hangout - were a bit luckier. They only missed the game’s first 5 minutes. But Mike promises that things will be better this week.
“Now that we know what to look for, WE HAVE A BACKUP PLAN!!!” Mike says.
Catalina’s, as the sports bar’s regulars affectionately call it, was voted No. 1 Oakland Raiders Sports Bar in the Raider Nation last season in an Accidental Travel Writer poll, garnering an astonishing 12,000 plus votes!
“Catalina’s ownership was amazed of the large turnout for the first game and promises to be better prepared for a large crowd for preseason game two!!!” Mike says.
New York, New York
At Peter Dillons Bar, a popular Oakland Raiders hangout in the heart of Manhattan, there was yet a different kind of problem.
Several Oakland Raider fans showed up, but the bar was not planning on broadcasting the game! It was a Friday, and the bar only broadcasts Oakland Raider games that are played on Sundays.
“We are anxious for the [regular] season to start,” says John Lauro, a super Oakland Raider fan that tends bar at Peter Dillons on Sundays.
And with good reason!
The Oakland Raiders open the 2014 regular football season at the Meadowlands against the New York Jets, and NYC Oakland Raider fans (and there are MORE than a FEW) are planning on painting the town Silver and Black!
According to John, Oakland Raider fans will 'maraud' through the streets of Manhattan. An ‘invasion’ of a Denver Broncos hangout is also planned!
I'm a 'wordie' so I double checked the meaning of the word 'maraud' in my online dictionary, and this is what I came up with: (verb) 'to go about in search of things to steal or people to attack'.
And this is what I got for 'marauder': (noun) 'a person who marauds; a raider'.
LOL!!! Make that an OAKLAND Raider!!!