Late-arriving Russell hears it from fans


It couldn’t be, it shouldn’t be, but it was.

If on some level I thought the Andre Ward-Allan Green WBA super middleweight title fight would be a temporary diversion from all things Raider, I was wrong.

Unlike the last Ward fight, which took place during the season in November, there wasn’t a Raider to be found at or around ringside Saturday night at Oracle Arena.

Then, with Ward having his way with Green throughout to the thunderous cheers of the home crowd, came a familiar figure.

Walking right past the press area where I sat near the aisle with columnist Monte Poole, I looked up as Ward was doing his work and saw . . . JaMarcus Russell.

He was wearing a University of Alabama red leather jacket and a new red Alabama hat. He was wearing sunglasses. Maybe Russell thought nobody would recognize him, given that he went to LSU and that sunglasses aren’t necessary in an arena.

Boy, was he wrong.

The boos started growing as an usher helped Russell find his seats. A Raiders fans wearing a crisp, new Rolando McClain jersey (No. 55), stood up and began taunting Russell, asking him for his money back on his season tickets. He’ll have to get in line, given that Al Davis wants $9.55 million of money he paid out to Russell as part of a grievance.

Russell attended the Nov. 21 fight between Ward and Mikkel Kessler, and although he got booed there as well, he stuck around and posed with sympathetic fans.

After Ward completed his 12-round shutout of Green, Russell heard the hoots again as he departed, with many fans standing and waving their hands in derision. There were a handful, however, that greeted Russell warmly, and one that even gave him a hug.

It was at the same time surreal and predictable.

Surreal that Russell would show up in Oakland at all. Surely he knows he’s well atop the list as the most unpopular ex-Raider.

Predictable that when Russell did get to the fight, it was two-thirds over.

It brings to mind one of the first qualities wide receiver Louis Murphy identified about Bruce Gradkowski when he took over for Russell last season.

Gradkowski, Murphy said, was punctual.

A strange appearance to be sure, but a remarkable contrast. Ward is earnest, serious about his craft and does little to draw attention to himself. Punctual, too.

Russell? None of the above.

Not sure whether Russell having the nerve to walk into that environment is something to be admired or pitied.

Green must have been OK with it though. For a couple of minutes at least, fans were diverted from the beating being administered by Ward.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • RaiderRockstar

    interesting to see if TK gets cut.

    You always seem to have that one vet who gets cut that is a suprise. TK would be in the fold, along with JLH or THoward.


    the tag on Seymour and the drafting of Houston REALLY makes Tommy Kelly expendable. if Desmond Bryant can prove himself to be at least equal to Kelly, TK will be gone.

    Kelly needs to take a massive paycut and step up his game to even earn a roster spot imo

    JLH = lock for the 53

  • Just Fire Baby

    The Raiders have this weird way of handling the vets on the fringe of the roster in preseason.

    I think both Howard and JLH will rarely be on the field during preseason. Would be suprised if JLH even returns one punt.

    If there replacements do well, they will be cut. If not, Howard and JLH will stick.

    It is almost out of their hands at this stage.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Higgins is a receiver. Ford is a return man

    Jerry Mac even said in his last live chat that guys like Ford, Miller, Watkins, etc aren’t a challenge to JLH … he’s not going anywhere

    Howard got an original round tender, the lowest possible. we actually TRADED for 2 guys and moved our sack artist to OLB. not to mention Brown got a 2nd round tender and was a starter for the past 2 years at SLB (when healthy). If Howard can’t add pass rusher & special teams ace to his resume along with pass coverage skills, he’s out. simple as that.

    we already know he’s a liability vs. the run

  • Just Fire Baby

    You’ve almost convinced me that JLH will stay on the 53


  • Just Fire Baby

    Brunell declares bankruptcy, with only 3.3 million in debt.

    How can that be? You telling me between his house and investments, a former Pro Bowl QB doesn’t $3.5 million worth?

    What the freak did he do with his money? How does he not own a 4-5 million dollar house?

  • RaiderRockstar

    When Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell, who played quarterback for the team after Brunell, was asked what player he learned the most from in his career, Campbell said it was Mark Brunell. Campbell said “a nice tribute about how the man he replaced helped him become a better person off the field.”

  • RaiderRockstar

    Brunell’s daughter Caitlin won the Miss Virginia’s Outstanding Teen title in 2007 and then the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2008 in a national pageant held in Orlando in August 2007. She now attends Providence School in Jacksonville, Florida. Caitlin won Miss Teen Jacksonville USA on February 28, 2009, and competed for the title of Miss Teen Florida USA in July 2009.

    Brunell has been credited in establishing numerous Whataburger fast food locations around the Jacksonville area.

    3x Pro Bowler. won a Super Bowl ring backing up Drew Brees last year …

  • Just Fire Baby

    Let’s hope, for Jason’s sake, that THAT didn’t include investment and financial advice.

  • Just Fire Baby


    Way to really push the envelope on your business creativity there Mark!!!!

  • Just Fire Baby

    AI is one of the most overrated players in the history of the NBA.

    Great scorer, crappy everything else, including human being.

  • LT DAN

    anybody else here

  • djohnnyg

    “AI is one of the most overrated players in the history of the NBA.”

    C’mon man; Al Davis never played in the NBA.

    He was however a great bob-sledder.