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Only wins can avoid fade to blackout

So long as the NFL believes the sanctioned extortion of non-paying fans to be one of the bedrocks of its popularity, the only way the Raiders will be able to avoid embarrassing blackouts is to improve the product on the field.

There was a nice buzz to the Coliseum during last week’s 13-9 win over Philadelphia, one that went beyond the after-effects of, ahem, pregame tailgate activities.

The defensive play was emotional, inspired and mandatory, coming as it did after the previous week’s roll-over-and-play-dead effort in the Meadowlands against the New York Giants.

The Coliseum was as loud as its been since the first three quarters of the Week 1 loss to San Diego, and frankly, the parking lot was more full when I arrived than I expected.

Since the Raiders took over their own ticket sales, an operation driven primarily by CEO Amy Trask, having only two games blacked out in in each of the three previous seasons was quite an accomplishment considering the product on the field had a record of 11-37. But it’s clear there are as many people protesting with their checkbooks rather than utilizing their right to boo.

As it is, the Raiders might need to do something remarkable to avoid a run of blackouts to close out the season.

None of the remaining home games _ Kansas City, Cincinnati, Washington and Baltimore _ are particularly inspiring to the ticket-buying public unless accompanied by some sort of Raiders revival on the field.

Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear the league is beholden to the blackout policy despite an economy that makes it more difficult to get fans to the stadium.

“Absolutely. You know, it’s a very important balance in attracting people to our stadiums and continuing to make our games (available) on free television,” Goodell said in an interview on Sirius Satellite Radio. “And it’s been done for several decades. We’ve been through a couple of recessions in that period of time.

“And the blackouts are extremely minimal at this point. I think we have seven in the first 103 games. You want all of our games not to be blacked out but that’s not possible. And we’re the one sport that’s been able to stay on free television and we’re proud of that.”

Seven in 103 games. And three of them are in Oakland.

If it’s an Oakland problem and not a league-wide problem, the blackout policy will remain intact.

Fans have seen the occasional surprise like the one they got last week against Philadelphia. Then all too often it’s been followed up with a resounding thud. Coach Tom Cable believes he’s got the flat-lining thing corrected.

“As I told them, I’m going to assume now that you will bring the fight every Sunday,” Cable said.

Short of that, those fans in the Bay Area who watch the home games on television will be left in the dark.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • jhill

    DHB – 2 catches

    Crabtree – 1 catch

  • jhill

    Of course Singletary came out and called a nice bubble screen for Crabs. Can’t say we’ve seen Cable call that for DHB.

    Hmmmm!

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Rickashaw-a crappy vehicle used to carry around Oakglenn by a lying moron who is an idiot, a tool, and a loser. Not only do I go to every home game, I go to a bunch of away games. Why don’t you meet me in the stadium today, rick-a=shaw??? I’ll be there.

  • jhill

    Well that didn’t take long!

    Crabtree is NOT slow!

    DHB 2 catches

    Crabtree 2 catches

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    You are losing it rick-a-shaw. Seriously. Go check yourself in, before we read about you in the morning papers.

    Jhill remember, it is not how you start, it is how you finish. See Sanchez, Mark. Now, let’s smash that rich kid!

  • jhill

    Wassup Oak!

    Look bruh, I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t want Crabtree. Specifically, I didn’t want a WR.

    But I can tell you right now after seeing 1 qtr of Crabtree FRESH OFF THE STREET, he would be right behind Chaz as the best WR on the team.

    JMO!

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Poor poor rick-a-shaw. She’s just pissed because her whiner team is getting it’s ass kicked AGAIN!!!

  • jhill

    WOW!

    SF is getting their ASSES handed to them!

    LMFAO!

  • radraider

    same # catches 16 less yrds.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    I didn’t want Crabtree either. I wanted Eugene Monroe the offensive lineman taken right behind us by Joke-sonville. Crpatree will probably be a solid player. The point I made is he seems to be a pain in the ass, and if he is a pain in the ass now, just imagine what happens when he starts playing well. (See Owens, Terrell. Ocho Cinco, et al)

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    See you guys in the Stadium!! Expect to Win!!!!! Smash the Rich Kid!!!!!!

  • alisgod

    where’s sackofshyt…rakolambs at? lmfao. Who cares how many catches crapa$$ gets. It’s all about the W’s.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    +240 for the Raiders to win outright. Going to the Hilton here in a few, probably throw a few bucks on it.

    Special teams, and 3rd down D, that’s how we are going to win. It’s time JLH!!!

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    Sucks that you guys have to watch the Niners game, I got Minny-Pitt, and NE-Tampa right now, with Cowboys-Falcons in the afternoon.

    Vegas coverage is the best for the NFL. Always the best games (but Raiders are only a few times, and Niners are NEVER on)