Monday, September 28, 2009

Open Letter to Al Davis

Dear Mr. Davis, Ms. Trask, et. al:

I am writing to voice my extreme displeasure with the current direction of the Oakland Raiders football team and organization.

As long as I have been alive I have been an Oakland Raiders fan. I was even being dressed in Oakland Raiders apparel by my mom and dad, before I could even dress myself. The family loyalty to the Raiders organization and mystique runs incredibly deep in my family.

To see the manner in which the team performs and the organization itself acts has become a farce. People have always asked me, "You grew up in Toledo, why are you a Raiders fan?" First and foremost, it was because of my dad. Second, when I was old enough to know what the Raiders stood for, it was easy to be a fan. It was easy to support the team and the organization. It was something that ran deeper than just football. Being a Raiders fan was part of an identity. It was about being part of one of the best things in American professional sports.

I will say, without equivocation, that you have been one of the best owners in NFL history, and all of American professional sports. However, your legacy can no longer guarantee future success. New ages in American sport have required changes that the Raider organization has refused to make. This maverick attitude that has served the team and organization well in the past, has hurt the organization and team for the past decade or more. I implore that you begin to make organizational changes to give the team, players and fans the Raiders team that they deserve. I also implore that you bring the professionalism back to the Raiders organization.


- Hire a General Manager to manage day to day football operations and players/personnel; including, but not limited to, drafting, trades, coaching staff and coaching positions
- Remove John Herrera from his current position, as he has demonstrated the past couple seasons that he can no longer handle himself in a professional manner that is representative of a professional sports organization
- Allow the coaching staff to make decisions that are in the best interest of themselves, the players and the team; including, but not limited to, play calling, game planning, playing time, which players start and sit
- Return value to the organization by building a new stadium in the Bay Area to give the organization, team and fans a home that they can be proud of and that is comparable to the vast majority of other NFL stadiums and facilities
- Return accountability to the organization at all levels, including the players, and admit mistakes via immediate corrective action that shows a true commitment to excellence, winning and professionalism
- Supplement the coaching staff with proper positions (i.e. offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, etc. ) that have authority and autonomy to make the decisions necessary to win as many football games as possible
- If necessary, look into other investment, ownership or sale of ownership opportunities to allow the Raiders to continue on the legacy which you worked so hard to build
- Immediately discontinue all unprofessional behavior in regards to the media, media spokespeople, beat writers, network analysts and sports reporters

If the Raiders organization continues on the path which it has been on the past seven years, I will not be able to continue my support of the team through any monetary means whatsoever. I believe that others in the Raider Nation share my sentiments and I saw that fairly clearly this past Sunday as the Coliseum emptied out before the first half was over. I'm certain that next time, the majority of fans will not leave before half time because they will have avoided purchasing tickets altogether.

I hope that a dignified man, such as yourself, has the foresight and intelligence to see that without the undying support of the Raider fans, that the organization will never be the same and will continually operate at a less than optimum level financially. It is only in these realizations and changes that the Raiders will ever be able to return to the glory that you gave them and give the fans what is truly owed to them.

Best of luck the rest of the season.


Raider Nation

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