This is on Mark Davis.
You remember the party, right? It was 297 days ago.
Mark Davis took center stage. He looked into a crowd full of proud, former Raiders and impressed media members. Beyond that was a local and national television audience, watching the return of Chucky.
A bold, peacocking Davis grinned and proclaimed: “This is a big f-ing deal.”
Today, it is a big f-ing mess.
Jon Gruden, the object of Davis’ affection for the six-plus years that he took over as the Raiders’ owner after his father Al died, has been an absolute disaster.
When hired, we all wondered if the game had passed Gruden by after a 9-year absence. Eight games into his run and the beginning of his 10-year, $100 million contract as the Raiders coach, Gruden has failed. I’m not sure if its because the game passed him by. It’s just that he has been completely unprepared and overwhelmed by his position.
He has pushed back this team years with his decisions. He is disguising it as a rebuild. But that wasn’t the plan when he was introduced 10 months ago.
The Raiders were going to win.
They have. Once.
Now, it’s time for Davis to stand up. Look, I have no problem with Davis. I’ve enjoyed my times with him, but standing up when it counts is not his strong suit.
It was a bad look when he fired Jack Del Rio last New Year’s Eve, about five minutes after the end of a 6-10 season because he already had Gruden locked in. Davis then left the stadium, leaving Del Rio to announce his own firing.
The next we heard from Davis was during his coronation of Gruden.
Owners need to be there at bad times. This is bad times.
His franchise is in a crisis.
Gruden looks lost. The team is much further away from competing than it was a year ago. The team is on its way to Las Vegas in 2020. It doesn’t even know where it’s going to play next year. There may be just four more games in Oakland. Why should people even go the rest of this season?
What is there to be excited about? The Raiders are mess from top to bottom and they hit rock bottom with Thursday’s unimaginable loss to the Mighty Nick Mullens.
This is the worst it’s been for this franchise in a 16-year stretch full of bad memories.
Davis brought Gruden back. It could still work, but it’s as bad as it gets at the moment. Davis has to step up and explain himself and give the fan base some type of hope.
He can’t be a guy who only shows up in good times. Because for Raiders fans, those times are very rare these days.