The Oakland Raiders’ New Attitude

Take a good look at the picture on the right.

From the player in the photo to his hangdog expression, it is endemic of the Raiders' issues for the better part of this decade.

An underachieving player walking off the field after yet another disappointment, unable to hide his defeat; a scene all too familiar to Raider fans in recent times.

Since the beginning, Al Davis treated his stars like stars.

He has enabled them and entitled them to preferential treatment, inflated salaries, and a general all-around "do what you like as long as you perform on Sundays" attitude.

Back in the salad days of the '70s and '80s, Raider renegades wreaked havoc both on the field and off, gaining a hard-partying, no-nonsense type of reputation. They were great football players who occasionally toed the line of football ethics.

But they won, and won often. Thus, it was forgiven, and even largely ignored.

Couple this with the fact that until the mid-1990s the NFL was not as popular as it is today, the Internet was not as prevalent in reporting every single nuance of a player's life, and it was less dangerous to allow players to do whatever they wanted.

Society has changed in regards to how we view our athletes and celebrities, and a guy who parties hard in the offseason is no longer someone to be admired, but rather someone who isn't dedicated to his craft.

Although the Raiders have had few if any off-field issues during this run of futility, Davis continued to give his players more leeway than the average owner.

All Raider fans know about "scholarship" players, the pampering of superstars, and the overall lack of accountability for poor performance that suddenly pervaded our once-proud franchise.

This wasn't a problem in the past when the Raiders were winning and had uber-talented players. Now combined with an aging team that had just lost a Super...

About the Author