Part of being a true fan of a team involves a stubborn refusal to understand that the other team has fans of its own who care about their team as much as you care about yours. Impossible! The other team is nothing more than Opponent. When you are watching on Sunday afternoon, all you want to know is: How do we kill these guys? Whom do we boo? Die, humans wearing different colors than the colors for which I have grown accustomed to cheering!
We are here to help. With a slight nod to Drew Magary’s Why Your Team Sucks series, we want to give you three people to scream at on the television every Sunday, peppering Cheetos flecks in every direction. The Giants play the Oakland Raiders at Giants Stadium at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Here’s whom to boo on the Raiders.
Al Davis. We loved Matt Taibbi’s analysis last year of whether Al Davis was more destructive than Isiah Thomas, determined by such categories as “Did the owner/manager tie up the judicial system with one pointless legal fuck-snit after another?” In the end Taibbi comes to the conclusion that Thomas was worse, in part because Davis has won three Super Bowls. In fact, his Hall of Fame credentials are quite impressive: He’s the only person in pro-football history to have served as a player personnel assistant, an assistant coach, a head coach, a general manager, a league commissioner, and a principal owner–CEO of a team. But unlike Thomas, who was demoted to the point of irrelevance by Donnie Walsh, Davis can’t ever be fired. Ever. When you’re the owner and you make all the decisions yourself, you can stick around to make terrible trades and draft picks for as long as you like.
Sebastian Janikowski. First, let’s just point out that the Raiders took Janikowski, a kicker, in the first round of the 2000 draft, the first time a kicker went in the first round since 1979. And he wasn’t just any kicker, but one who’d been arrested and accused of bribing a cop just a few months earlier. (He was later acquitted.) A week after that court decision, he was arrested on charges of possessing GHB (a.k.a., the “date-rape drug”), and later acquitted of that, too. Since then, he’s pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of drunken driving, stemming from a 2002 incident, and was jailed for a weekend in 2003 after getting into a bar fight. But he kicked a 57-yard field goal once, totally justifying picking him in the first round.
Tom Cable. Raiders assistant coach Randy Hanson accused Cable of breaking his jaw while assaulting him during training camp this year. Al Davis sure knows how to pick a coach, doesn’t he! Cable has said that “nothing happened” between the two, but since any potential league hearing won’t likely happen this weekend, he’ll be on the sidelines Sunday if you’d care to politely express your thoughts on him from the stands.