Sunday, July 13, 2008

Al and the Media

There are those who say the media is out to get Al Davis and the Raiders any chance they get. To an extent that may actually be true. It's a give and take relationship that has deteriorated over time. Al has grown weary of the media turning on he and his team and not showing enough love. As a result, the Raiders have become a franchise that is not forthcoming with details about anything, however small a news item it may be. He has stated several times that he wishes things could be different with the press but they remain at odds most of the time.

In Al's defense, it's a tough thing to do year in and year out; to be courteous and grant interviews, allow people to see the real you and then you get publicly ripped to pieces by the people you just invited into your world. That is what sports writers are to team owners - parasites who you have to treat royally, allowing them into your practice sessions, your facilities, basically talk to whoever they want to collect nibbles of juicy storylines. You even feed them. Did you know there is someone at Raiders HQ who is responsible for making sure there is catering at Raider press conferences? It is a normal feature of teams and the media.

In response to the walled off nature of the Raiders organization the press find ways to chip away at Al's castle. The bottom line is it's the job of sports journalists to hold team owners accountable for every decision associated with your franchise. It so happens this includes the good news as well as the mistakes. That's the business newspapers are in.

What I find interesting is Al typically resists the temptation to display a knee-jerk reaction to an issue. He seems deliberate, slow to respond. He's a deep thinker and shrewd planner YET, when he does respond, it's the same as if he did respond immediately - with blunt decisiveness.

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