Entries in Raiders (99)


S.F. Examiner: Raiders trudge forward into playoffs

By Art Spander
San Francisco Examiner

You’re a Raiders fan, and you wonder what else can happen. The team finally gets out of its decade-deep hole, one that’s silver as much as black, and the owner wants to sneak it over the border.

It has a quarterback worthy of the chant, “MVP, MVP,” and not only does he get hurt, a broken leg no less, but so does his backup.

Read the full story here.

©2017 The San Francisco Examiner


S.F. Examiner: Matt McGloin inherits Raiders’ starting gig again

By Art Spander
San Francisco Examiner

A little bit of a chip on his shoulder.

That was Jack Del Rio’s succinct description of the man who, unexpectedly — and because of the situation, unfortunately — is now the Raiders’ starting quarterback: Matt McGloin.

Read the full story here.

©2016 The San Francisco Examiner


S.F. Examiner: Bay Area legend receives due credit

By Art Spander
San Francisco Examiner

Yes, Holy Toledo! What else would we say? What else could we say? Except that those who vote on the Ford Frick Award for broadcasting excellence, a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame, got it right at last.

They’ve chosen the late — to add great, would re redundant — Bill King.

Read the full story here.

©2016 The San Francisco Examiner


S.F. Examiner: Raiders continue to soar when they need to

By Art Spander
San Francisco Examiner

The decibels were building, 16, 17, 18, according to numbers on the scoreboard, the fans trying to emulate a jet engine, lifting off a runway, soaring.

The momentum was building, one touchdown, another touchdown, another touchdown, a ringing of the Raider bell — bong, bong — a football team lifting off, soaring.

Read the full story here.

©2016 The San Francisco Examiner


Like Kobe and Steph, Raiders find a way

By Art Spander

OAKLAND — He grew up a Kobe fan, and while that may not be what people in Northern California want to hear, the background is understood and acceptable. Derek Carr figures anything is possible in sports.

That the way Kobe Bryant brought the Lakers from behind, well, why couldn’t Carr and his teammates do the same?

Even after blowing a big lead. Even after Carr, the Raiders quarterback, the Raiders leader, injured his throwing hand and was unable to take snaps from the center in the old T-formation but had to play out of the shotgun.

Yes, the Raiders won another one on Sunday at the Coliseum, going way ahead, falling behind and then, just when you wondered if a season that so far has been magical and almost mythical was about to come apart, wondered if the Raiders were to revert to the bad old days, did their Kobe.

Or, making it more appealing, their Steph and Klay. Or more accurately, their Derek and Khalil Mack.

Oakland beat the Carolina Panthers, 35-32, a fifth straight win. They beat the Panthers after flying home Monday night from Mexico City, where Oakland defeated Houston. They beat the Panthers after building a 24-7 lead and then falling behind 32-24 — meaning Carolina scored 25 points in succession.

They beat the Panthers after proving that indeed the Raiders will offer no excuses, only persistence.

“What a great victory here at home against a really good football team,” said head coach Jack Del Rio, who sounded very much like one of the sellout crowd at the Coliseum. “Just proud of our guys for hanging in there and finding a way. That’s been a theme for us this year.”

A theme and a pattern. Five comeback victories. The team that once was unable to win, now, Kobe-like, Steph-like, Derek Carr-like, will not lose. The words of Al Davis float in the breeze, to wit, “Just win, baby.” And in nine of their 11 games this season, they’ve just won. Baby.

Such a bizarre game. Such a typical NFL game. Carolina couldn’t do anything in the first half, gaining just 89 yards total. Awful. Then the Raiders couldn’t do anything to stop Carolina.

“The third quarter was really tough,” agreed Del Rio, “and then we came back and finished.”

Carolina has been a mystery team. In the Super Bowl last season, a bust this season at 4-7, losing games but with Cam Newton at quarterback and other stars loaded with talent. The Panthers suddenly came together, with Newton throwing to Ted Ginn for a touchdown on an 88-yard play and to Kelvin Benjamin for a TD on a 44-yard play. Fortunately, the Raiders did not come apart.

“I thought there was a stretch where things were kind of unraveling a bit,” said Del Rio. “I actually tried to make sure to say, ‘Hey, let’s remember, if we keep fighting and keep believing, we’ll go from there. Then whatever happens, we can deal with it.’ I thought we snapped out of that and got our energy back.”

And got their quarterback back.

And never were without defensive end Khalil Mack, who had an interception and then a sack and recovered a fumble on the fourth-down play that, with a minute to go, would close it out for the Panthers — and thus for the Raiders.

Mack became the first player with a sack, interception, forced fumble, fumble recovery and a touchdown since Charles Woodson in 2009. And digressing, the TD off the interception was oh-so-similar to that of Jack Squirek, picking Joe Theisman, in Super Bowl XVIII in January 1984.

Asked if he knew Mack was that agile, Del Rio insisted, “Yeah, he’s got good hands. He can throw it too. He can do just about anything he really wants.”

What Carr wanted was to get back in the game after the snap on the second play of the third quarter bruised the baby finger on his throwing hand and the subsequent fumble was recovered by the Panthers.

“A lot of pain,” said Carr. “Something happened with the snap. I don’t know what. I’ll have to see the replay. Something was different from normal.”

Carr put a glove on the hand, and the team doctors gave him the OK to replace Matt McGloin, who had replaced Carr. When Carr emerged from the tunnel, the crowd bellowed approval. Carr, although desperate to play, only wanted to bellow.

“Probably the most pain I’ve ever felt in my life,” he said.

He winced, he gritted, he and the Raiders triumphed. Oakland clinching its first winning season in 14 years.

“I’m happy for the fans,” said Carr, who as a Californian — he played at Fresno State — knows the team’s history. It’s been painful, if in a different way from that baby finger.

“We’re learning how to win. I really believe that our identity is just a team that works hard and believes in one another.”

After Sunday, it’s possible to believe the Raiders are an excellent team.