Has there ever been a sports franchise that's fallen farther, faster than the Oakland Raiders?
This once-proud team of marauders, led by its egocentric owner, Al Davis, used to eschew anything resembling the conventional to achieve the only thing that really mattered: winning.
These days, though, the only thing their unconventional approach has earned them is a new, embarrassing identity -- sniveling losers.
And the descent toward, and through, the bottom continues unabated.
Consider this story that has made the rounds in recent days...
Despite winning only 24 times and losing on 56 other occasions over the past five years, the "Just whine, baby" Raiders have relented and will not ban former quarterback-turned broadcaster, Rich Gannon, from their facilities as he prepares for Sunday's CBS telecast of Oakland's game against the Broncos.
Seems in recent years, Gannon (pictured with Raider owner Al Davis) has been highly critical of the organization he led to the Super Bowl in 2002.
"He's repeatedly said that they should just blow up the building and start all over again," senior executive John Herrera said Friday. "He hasn't done that once or twice, but has done that repeatedly. He continually attacks the owner, he continually attacks the organization in every way that he can. After listening to all of that for the last several years why would you want him in your building when all he does is attack the organization that made his career."
Some injury updates:
- With Cadillac Williams and Earnest Graham both nursing injuries, former Giants RB Derrick Ward should get plenty of carries when his old squad visits struggling Tampa Bay Sunday.
- Meantime, there are Giant injury concerns for the Bucs' 2-0 foes.
- The upstart 2-0 Jets will be without their starting cornerbacks when they host the desperate Titans (0-2) on Sunday.
- You can pretty much count Eagles's QB Donovan McNabb out against the visiting 0-2 Chiefs on Sunday. RB Brian Westbrook and WR DeSean Jackson are also hobbling about as the team tries forget last week's 48-22 drubbing at the hands of the Saints.
- The 0-2 Dolphins are hopeful LB Joey Porter and G Justin Smiley will suit up in their critical road tilt against the Chargers Sunday. San Diego will be without LaDainian Tomlinson for the second straight week.
- The 1-1 Redskins are hopeful RB Clinton Portis can go Sunday when they try to avoid the embarrassment of losing to a Lions team that has lost 19 straight.
- The punchless Patriots could be without their ol' 1-2 on the outside if WRs Wes Welker and Randy Moss can't go Sunday against the soaring 2-0 Falcons.