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How billboard drive got started

The amazing thing is Jared Staszewski never saw the Raiders win a Super Bowl.

Never saw Ken Stabler play quarterback.

Never witnessed Art Shell and Gene Upshaw blotting out the right side of the opponents’ defensive line.

He’s 22 years old. It was enough to watch from Pennsylvania as a teenager and watch the Rich Gannon-Jon Gruden Raiders win a couple of AFC West titles before giving way to Bill Callahan’s conference champions in 2002.

The Raiders like to say they’re global. They at least made it to Erie.

Stasewski’s never even been to California, but somehow silver and black permeated his being and now he’s organizing a drive which led to www.messagetoal.com and a bill for a billboard at I-880 North at High Street at the Coliseum, with a plea for Al Davis to call for a general manager.

If he’d have sat with my dad as I did and watched the Raiders drive the length of the field to beat the Dolphins in the Sea of Hands (and not been afflicted with becoming a sportswriter), no telling what he’d do.

I’m too much of a skeptic to think the plea of Staszewski’s grassroots plea will do any good. Colleague Monte Poole, in his Wednesday column for Bay Area News Group papers, obviously feels the same way.

I may be older and jaded, but it’s hard not to to applaud the effort. The plea and press release were made with obvious passion for the team as well as respect, not to mention their own pocketbooks.

When I talked to Staszewski this afternoon, he stressed the story wasn’t about him. He said along with another Raider fan who wishes to remain anonymous and is currently living in Mexico organized the effort. He claims 21,000 signatures, is looking for 50,000, and said nearly $2,000 of the $5,000 cost has been raised for the billboard. (A credit line was received to pay for it). The Raiders have spawned a vast network of Internet message boards and fan sites, with www.raideroutlawz.com playing a role in promoting the effort.

Recent efforts at Raiders games, according to Staszewski, secured donations ranging from a dollar to $200.

The billboard will probably be up a month, approximately when the season ends, in full view of those heading I-880 North and those rubberneckers heading south. Staszewski, who saw his last Raiders game in Week 3 last season in Buffalo, hopes to attend his first Raiders home game against the Ravens in the finale.

By that time, the number of signatures on the petition may outnumber fans in the seats.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • 24

    So does Cable get fired after the year or does he get another chance?

  • Silver-n-Smac

    Well. . . . .I’m a little late, but, I’d like to throw out my 2 cents on this:

    I think this protest stuff is nonsense when it involves entertainment. And that’s what football is: ENTERTAINMENT.

    Hell, what’s next? Are you gonna put up a billboard, begging Al Pacino to stop playing in totally stupid movies like he has in the past decade?

    There’s a simple solution to this: If you don’t like Al Pacino’s movies over the past decade, what do you do? Well, you don’t buy that ticket. Pretty simple if you ask me. And if you like him enough, you wait until he gets his act together and plays in a good movie again. And then you buy another ticket.

    So, if the Raiders’ performance, (and Al Davis’ poor performance in particular) has you fed up, then just turn off your TV. Don’t buy the ticket. Pretty simple fellas.

    And if you’re in the minority, like myself, and feel that Al will turn this team around again, then you keep enjoying the games until they do. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t watch it.

    I agree, as much as anyone, that Al needs help. He needs a GM and good football people around him. But, all this protest crap isn’t going to alter anything he does.

    If he makes changes, it will always be on his own terms. That much I know for sure. Al’s been talking about hiring a GM and I think even HE is gonna realize that he needs one for certain.

    Personally, I think we’ll have a GM next year and it won’t have anything to do with some billboard on I-880.

  • Trolls 35 Raiders 0

    4eva :cool: must be praying to the porcelan god this morning :lol:

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    vegas raider Says:
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:01 am

    MR,

    Kind of hard to hammer all this out, when you are posting at 2am to an empty audience,

    …………………

    Empty audience? The comment is still there, for the “audience” to read, and will remain there for anyone who happens up on this blog entry and is interested in reading the comments, today, and in the future.

    And, you did in fact define a fan. “We have to keep the faith, because that’s what fans do”. That is a clear attempt to define. You’re laying out your standards as to what a fan is, and according to those standards, a fan has “faith” in their team even when they know the team can’t win with it’s current owner, and of course, you’re wrong. It is not necessary for a fan to have faith in a failing system. Fans have been protesting poor ownership/management in pro sports for years.

    The true comedy in your comment is that you close by revealing you have no faith in the team yourself. You predict the Steelers will win Sunday, although you’ll be rooting for the Raiders! At a way to throw your chips down, Mr. Faithful fan.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw Raider75

    I think the billboard thing is funny.

    Don’t think it will change anything but its still funny.

    I would like to see the fans at the stadium hold up a huge sign that covers an entire section that simply reads “Step Down Al”

    He could read it from his box.

    Wouldn’t be that hard to get together. Only about 200 people at the next game probably.

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    24 Says:
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:46 am
    So does Cable get fired after the year or does he get another chance?
    ________________________________________

    Hell we wasted the past seven years…might as well stick with Cable and waste 2010 too right?

    sheesh

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    The ESPN rumor mill is putting Shannyfart with the Bears next year.

    Shanny+Cutler=TRUE LOVE

  • Mistabrown

    Cable should hire Jeremy Brigham if he doesn’t get canned.

    “Haggerty told the Bay Area News Group that the incident began innocuously when he came to his son’s practice at Foothill High School in Pleasanton.

    Haggerty had been an assistant team coach until Brigham fired him for missing a film session a few days before.

    After the practice, Haggerty said Brigham told him that an opposing coach said Haggerty had given away the team’s plays. Haggerty said the coach must have been joking and that he didn’t even know the team’s plays.

    Haggerty claimed that Brigham knocked his BlackBerry out of his hand, bent him over a four-foot fence, then punched him in the back of the head”

  • M Lonetree

    Fact is we have here a situation in which a team, an enterprise was basically built from scratch nearly a half century ago (beginning when A.D. arrived) to become a global phenomenon. It has been his labor of love, no one else’s.
    Could he have done things better at times? Sure. Could he do things in a better way now? Certainly. But it is not up to a 22 year old in Pennsylvania, nor any of you to decide.
    Perhaps the Raiders are a great venue for karmic catharsis. Seems as if plenty of folks here vent all manner of emotional responses from frustration and vitriol to joy and hopefulness. The outlet is real.
    As for Al Davis, I doubt any of you are 80 years old holding onto what you yourself built and what you see as your life. Who among you has the wisdom to say what karmic aspects Mr Davis is working on and through in his own existence with the Oakland Raiders.
    Most of us have attempted to hold onto something beyond reasonableness whether it was a possession, a relationship or a job. No matter what anyone else says we have all had to figure it out for ourselves.

    Raider on.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw Raider75

    # 24 Says:
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:46 am

    So does Cable get fired after the year or does he get another chance?
    …….

    He’s gone.

    Was unable to get Russell on track (Al will blame this on Cable).

    Was not able to get McFadden going (Al will blame this on Cable)

    Was in the news for punching (allegedly) coaches and women. (Al will blame this on ESPN)

    Embarrassed Al by getting blown out in Dallas in front of national audience

    Will end the season with 5 or 6 wins at most. This will make it 7 straight years with double digit losses (Al will blame this on Cable, Kiffin, Shell, Callahan, etc…)

    2 Things can save Cable’s job…

    1. Win out
    2. Al can’t find anyone else stupid enough to take the job

  • Mistabrown

    AL hasn’t fired Hanson yet, correct? Still on the payroll?

    If Cable stays and AL forces Hanson on Cable yet another year Jeremy Brigham could do Cables dirty work on the down low!

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    How sweet and thoughtful M!

    Still…

    Al FIRE YOURSELF FOR CRIPES SAKE!

  • DKnight007

    wishbone Says:
    December 2nd, 2009 at 8:42 am
    Al doesn’t give a rat azz about a billboard. He also doesn’t care about winning. He ONLY cares about doing things his way. He is an old, stubbon, selfish idiot who would much rather keep losing than to win with someone like Gruden calling the shots. Only way Al give up any control is by death. Went from being the winning team in professional sports to the biggest joke. Thanks AL. JUST DIE BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ^^^^^^^^Yep!

  • Mistabrown

    I bet OJ is so proud of T Woods for cheating on his white wife he pissed himself in jail.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    Silver n Smac, you can’t be serious.

    Football isn’t scripted, like Al Pacino’s movies. Fans want to see their teams win. And they can’t win when they have an owner who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Football is a form of entertainment, obviously. But it is not the same type of entertainment that cinema is, which is entirely scripted. Football’s entertainment centers around real, live competition. It’s the appealing factor to those who are fans.

    But, it is nice to know that according to you, the Raider Nation is nothing more than a bunch of teenage girls fawning over their Jonas Brothers poster. I couldn’t insult Raider fans harder if I tried.

  • M Lonetree

    Dakota,

    Firing oneself. Delightful concept that the human ego has little interest in obeying. Still, Julius Nyerere did it in Tanzania to help out his country, so it is possible. :)

  • http://www.rentindianmovies.com Raydahz

    Raiders @ Steelers news, please.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    MB, you’re comparing Tiger Woods to OJ? Tiger was the one who was attacked by his wife. A better comparison would be between Tiger’s wife and Lorena Bobitt. That white girl is nuts.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    M Lonetree Says:
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Fact is we have here a situation in which a team, an enterprise was basically built from scratch nearly a half century ago (beginning when A.D. arrived) to become a global phenomenon. It has been his labor of love, no one else’s.
    Could he have done things better at times? Sure. Could he do things in a better way now? Certainly. But it is not up to a 22 year old in Pennsylvania, nor any of you to decide.

    …………..

    Evidently, it is. And the decision’s been made. Seen the billboard? It’s absolutely beautiful.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    MistaBrown, have you come up with a name of someone considering running for president in ’12 who could beat Obama?

  • Mistabrown

    MR/Drama Queen

    I didnt compare Oj to T Woods. You have a reading problem. Go read again.

    Just like when I said Obama would find a way to blame Bush for the cop killings. You turned it around and said I said Obama told the cops to kill the officers.

    You are half wit nimrod that looks for an argument but cant get the FKN facts straight…get out my way Drama Queen.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    Al Davis stole the Raiders from Wayne Valley, anyway. So, as long as Davis worshipers here are going to get all sappy about this and wax poetic of how Al built the Raiders from scratch…

    Everyone knows Ron Wolf built the good teams of the ’70s and early ’80s. It’s common knowledge in NFL circles. Yet, Wolf is hardly mentioned anywhere on the Raiders website. I did a search on the website once and all that came up with an interview with a former player who gave Wolf props. Al Davis is a fraud. He built absolutely nothing. People who’ve worked with the Raiders will be the first to tell you, Al Davis does not built, he destructs. He’s a human fruit fly.

  • Mistabrown

    MR/Drama Queen,
    You make Oakglen look like a rocket scientist.

    Seriously, when you learn to read get back at me..

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    M,

    The Japanese know how to fire themselves…

    …Al can take the less drastic approach as far as I am concerned, although if he chose to fall on his sword I wouldn’t try and talk him out of it….

  • 24

    Raider75 – I’m sure Al will blame Cable on not getting DHB the ball enough as well. Great offenses generally have a great QB, RB and WR to go along with a solid offensive line. I don’t think our O-Line is great but its had solid games in my opinion. Our QB play has been below average, our running game has been average and would be better if they would give Bush 20 carries a game and our WR play has been poor due to the injury to Schilens and the dropsies of DHB. It would be worse without Miller as our TE.

  • M Lonetree

    Dakota,

    from now on I can call you Seppuku-san.

  • DKnight007

    As they say on DEADLIEST CATCH…..never scorn a crazy Norwegian woman!

    haha

    They say Tigger messed around with two chicks….the one from NY and one little girl from San Diego?

  • DKnight007

    AL DAVIS SUCKS!!

  • DKnight007

    If Al Davis really cared about winning he would hire Mike Holmgren as the General Manager and Head of Personnel.

    Then hire Jim Harbaugh or Jon Gruden as Head Coach.

    Then Al needs to stay the hell out of the way and let them turn the ship around!

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  • Michael

    Al Davis needs to go. As long as he is alive the Raider will suck…. This is a real tragedy as they have some great players. The problem is that no decent coach will come to Oakland unless there is strong GM. So the Raiders are destined to be a crappy team for at least a few more years.

  • CaptainBlack

    AD certainly does not suck! The man is running an NFL organization at 80. Look around and see who else is doing that? None! Hell, at 45, I couldn’t do it. If Al wants to keep the organization small, find some folks he trusts and who know football and talent evaluation.

  • DKnight007

    Michael Says:
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:10 pm
    Al Davis needs to go. As long as he is alive the Raider will suck…. This is a real tragedy as they have some great players. The problem is that no decent coach will come to Oakland unless there is strong GM. So the Raiders are destined to be a crappy team for at least a few more years.

    ^^^^^^^
    Exactly!!

  • AbusedByAl

    The billboard is a fantastic idea, I’m all for it. I signed the petition and I would have donated a few $$$ but as I read the website, they have already received the $5500! Fantastic!