Oakland Raiders: Did Barrett Robbins Really Break the Mirror?

"Well I ain't superstitious but black cat just done crossed my trail"


Words by Willie Dixon (I Ain't Superstitious)

Conventional wisdom dictates that the past seven years of Raiders history is the story of a megalomania gone wild. This notion has seeped into the minds of even those who call themselves fans of the Silver and Black. 

After looking at the last seven years, I'm more inclined to attribute the losses to Barrett Robbins breaking a hotel mirror during the week of the Super Bowl than I am to the crazy Al Davis theory. I will agree that Al Davis had a hand in things, but not to the extent the mediots would have us believe. Let's take a look at some of the myths and misses.


The Jon Gruden Myth

Jon Gruden is a source of fond memories for Raider fans. He turned a 4-12 Raider team into a championship team through tireless dedication. Some might reasonably argue that Joe Bugel is not a hard act to follow. In addition, Gruden picked up Gannon his second year and he was the best quarterback the Raiders have had since Jim Plunkett.

Indeed, the common denominator for the success of the Raiders during the Gruden era seems to be Callahan calling plays and Gannon quarterbacking. The success continued after Gruden left and took us to the Super Bowl. That we managed to play the only team in the NFL whose coach was familiar with our playcalling is somewhat alarming. But not as alarming as Callahan's refusal to change the playcalling or the audibles. We all know how that ended up.

Just as Callahan inherited a Gruden-developed team, Gruden inherited a Tony Dungy-developed team. The Bucs struggled offensively (supposedly Gruden's forte) during their Super Bowl run. They were ranked 25th in offense that year. However, the Dungy defense held and it was enough to get them through the Super Bowl.

It should be noted that Gruden was unable ...

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