It cannot, must not be fun to be part of the Raiders’ organization these days. As the curtain falls on Al Davis‘ ability to lead the organization with any coherence - oh, hell, that curtain fell five years ago, but nobody bothered to tell Davis - what’s left is merely a grotesque caricature of an NFL team, complete with stadium, fans, equipment and a schedule, but utterly devoid of the structure upon which an actual winning team is to be built.
Thus, it must have been devastating for Richard Seymour to learn of his trade from the Patriots to the Raiders. Even that he was worth a first-round pick would be scant consolation ; that’s just one more opportunity (to be summarily wasted, of course, but an opportunity all the same) to add talent that’s gone. Fortunately, smoldering rage is a family value in the Raiders’ clubhouse, which means his arrival has been wonderfully smooth and he’s fitting right in.
By that, of course, we mean that he’s drawing penalties for pulling hair and trying to pick a fight with journalists twice his age. Like we said, fitting right in.
The SANTA ROSA PRESS DEMOCRAT’s Lowell Cohn, on his COHN ZONE blog, asked Seymour why he pulled Denver tackle Ryan Clady down by his hair, drawing a penalty. What ensued was unadulterated nastiness:
Seymour: Did you see the game?
Cohn: I was there. Was it a mistake?
Seymour? It was no mistake.
Cohn: You were pissed?
Seymour: It wasn’t no mistake, brother. Next question.
Cohn: Is there something wrong with the question? Why did you do it?
Seymour: You asked if it was a mistake and I told you no. Get out of here.
Cohn: Why do I get out of here? You don’t like to talk about that.
Seymour: Get out of here.
Cohn: I’m not getting out of here.
And so on, and so forth. Seymour eventually got Cohn to leave him alone, an accomplishment he celebrated by telling the rest of the reporters Cohn “incited” him.
It’s yet another nail in the coffin of the Al Davis Era, a damning indictment of the institutional negativity that infects the organization. Though the franchise still has its true believers - they all do - that number dwindles by the day. The rats have already abandoned ship. The plague, they left behind.