Dear Al Davis:
You are one of the legends of the NFL. Under your watch, the Oakland Raiders were one of the most dominant teams from the mid-1970s to early ’80s. You have done many, many things correctly as owner and general manager of the Raiders, from cultivating the most iconic fan base in all of sports, to bringing the team back to Oakland after everyone realized what a pit Los Angeles is, to not messing with the jersey and logo, sticking with a brand and look that works.
The problem is that all of your good decisions are now at least 5 years old, and after an extended period of hilariously incompetent management, the Oakland Raiders are arguably the worst franchise in the NFL.
The success has gone. Oakland has been bad enough to draft in the top 7 in each of the last five seasons (they traded the #7 pick in 2005 for Randy Moss, and lord, did that ever go perfectly), and they have so little to show for it that they’ll probably end up right back in that top tier of the draft board. Robert Gallery, supposedly the “safest” pick in the 2004 draft, has more position changes (two) than Pro Bowl appearances (zero) in his career. Fabian Washington, for whom you traded up twice in 2005, has already been shipped off to Baltimore. Michael Huff just got benched for some guy named Hiram, and that offense that features Jamarcus Russell and Darren McFadden, just racked up 77 yards in an entire game (the Raiders, shockingly, lost).
Then there’s the issue of DeAngelo Hall. Hall was released halfway through his first season with the team, ensuring that you got absolutely nothing to show for his time other than $8 million fewer dollars and two fewer draft picks. Even trading him for, like, Koy Detmer would have been more beneficial than an outright release.
And oh good Lord the coaching carousel. What an epic disaster. Do you realize how traumatic it is for a team to get a new coach and start from scratch two or three times a year? Winning is impossible like that.
I beg of you, Al Davis, one single request: Stop. Stop. Stop. You are making things so much worse than they need to be in Oakland. Your management style has gone from cutthroat to retarded. This is like finding a hole at the bottom of a boat, and trying to fix it by shooting at it. Stop shooting.
I know you want to be like Jerry Jones and have your fingerprints all over a successful franchise, but seriously, the Oakland Raiders are horrible. They will continue to be horrible unless you hire a real general manager and stop making all the decisions yourself. They need consistency, not hysterical, hair-trigger overreaction.
Oh, and fix your teeth or something, because you seriously scare the living hell out of me.