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Seau in Oakland was can’t miss entertainment

Some day either there will be a new football stadium in Oakland or the Raiders will leave town, but they’ll never replace the memories that only a few of us in the business had when watching Junior Seau play at the Coliseum.

Say what you will about the crumbling Coliseum, but the best thing about being part of the home team media is that opposing coaches are right next door in what is normally the home radio booth for baseball. A thin sheet of plexiglass is all that separates the visiting coaches from the press.

That was never more advantageous or entertaining than when Seau played against the Raiders in Oakland, which fortunately happened every season. It was one of the first things I thought of today when the news broke that Seau had taken his own life at age 43.

I’ll leave the heartfelt tributes for Seau to guys like Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated and Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports!, both of whom did him justice Wednesday in a way I never could. Take the time to click on the above links if you want an idea of what Seau was all about.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with bad news, and in this case, I’ll choose to remember the reaction Seau often got from his own coaching staff when facing the Raiders, because it will never fail to make me smile.

Seau played linebacker as if it were a saxophone in a jazz composition. He knew the notes, but was a firm believer in instinct and improvisation.

It drove his coaches nuts on game day. Here they had painstakingly put in a game plan, with every permutation accounted for. Only to have Seau freelance and play from the heart.

“#!%&!$#@ Junior, what the hell are you doing!,” coaches would shriek through into their headsets. “No, no, no no! . . . . Yes, yes, yes, yes!! . . . Great play, Junior!.”

It was incredible theater, listning to his coaches rip Seau for his freelancing and then in the next instant be delighted when he came up with a big play.

We usually got Seau once a year on the conference call the Chargers set up with opposing writers, and he seldom failed to disappoint. He spoke from the heart, his passion for the sport always evident.

I mentioned to Seau the things we’d heard in the press box, how coaches were besides themselves because he’d gone his own way, then ecstatic a moment later when he made a big play.

I thought I’d get at least a chuckle out of it, instead, he seemed a little disgusted.

Seau explained that perhaps the coaches never understood that perhaps his instinct came from extensive study and passion for the game. That maybe he knew what he was doing it was probably time the coaches understood that, although Seau seemed to doubt they ever would.

To be fair, there were games, particularly in the Jon Gruden years, where the Raiders seemed to be able to lure Seau out of position and his impact would be minimal. But those instances were far outweighed by the times Seau was a legitimate force. To my knowledge, there was never a time when anyone associated the Raiders ever looked forward to playing him other than having the opportunity to measure themselves against an all-time great.

There were no mixed emotions in the visiting press box, where the Seau dynamic was as good as it gets.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Just Fire Baby

    All right all you Dodger fans, reality is about to hit you in the face the next few days.

  • http://www.safc.com/page/StadiumofLightDetail/0,,10281~1706060,00.html neilb

    Damn!!

    Just missed being the 1400th post!

  • Just Fire Baby

    Once again, seems like the Semi’s are going to have to hold the water on here.

  • hwnrdr

    Good Morning Nation!!!
    JFB…why you say that? Is teh Giants playing the Doders for the first time this year?

  • hwnrdr

    Anyways…seriously? No new post? You mean…NOTHING happened over the weekend?
    Heck, post about The Avengers being a bad a** movie…anything will do… :)

  • bcz24

    Did I actually just read that someone things Reggie will be fired at the end of the year? LOL… this team could go 0-16 and Reggie would not get fired after 1 year.

  • bcz24

    *thinks too…

  • RaiderRockstar

    glad to see youre the same ol biatch youve always been.

    ***

    @ Armond

    kick rocks, clown

  • RaiderRockstar

    Did I actually just read that someone thinks Reggie will be fired at the end of the year?

    ***

    @bcz

    somebody must be sleep-typing!

  • RaiderRockstar

    How about using this as a new thread?

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/05/06/ravens-meet-with-jacoby-jones/

    receiver & return man Jacoby Jones knows Knapp, Pollack & Leinart well from thier time together in Houston.

    Jacoby Ford is a oft-injured smurf who runs bad routes and has too many drops & fumbles for my liking..

    no more scholarships!!

  • RaiderRockstar
  • RaiderRockstar

    Patriots signed ex-Colt RB Joseph Addai ??

  • Just Fire Baby

    Is teh Giants playing the Doders for the first time this year?

    *************

    Yessir!!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    anybody think Matt Simms will beat out Greg McElroy and G.J. Kinne to capture the #3 QB spot on the Jets roster??

    sorry – slow news day!

  • hwnrdr

    1413.Just Fire Baby Says:
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:02 am
    Is teh Giants playing the Doders for the first time this year?

    *************

    Yessir!!!!

    You know, it could be a reality check on both sides…just saying…
    Don’t really follow baseball untill September…

  • RaiderRockstar

    doesn’t sound like this kid will be joining Oakland any time soon..

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/05/06/eliot-wolf-rising-in-packers-front-office/

    Now the question becomes, did Ron Wolf turn Mark Davis on to Reggie McKenzie in Oakland so that his son could get promoted to Reggie’s old job in Green Bay ??

  • hwnrdr

    I think you may be right, Rockstar! That was probably the only way Eliot Wolf gets promoted, right? And possibly to succeed Ted Thompson?

  • RaiderRockstar
  • Just Fire Baby

    Now the question becomes, did Ron Wolf turn Mark Davis on to Reggie McKenzie in Oakland so that his son could get promoted to Reggie’s old job in Green Bay ??

    *****************************

    I believe that was the dream scenario for all parties involved.

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    OK,ON TO JFK & 911 SINCE WE R TALKING CONSPIRACY’S..

  • RaiderRockstar

    @ Dirt Lot

    what about Jimmy Hoffa?

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    JIMMY HOFFA LIVES ACROSS THE STREET FROM ME..

  • RaiderRockstar

    Lakers & Heat actually dropped a game over the weekend (3-1) ??

    Spurs should be able to wrap things up tonight and sweep like OKC did

    :)

  • hwnrdr

    1422.DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL Says:
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:29 am
    JIMMY HOFFA LIVES ACROSS THE STREET FROM ME..

    LOL, Pat Morita lived across me also…and he had a fishing boat!

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO ELVIS !!

  • hwnrdr

    The Knicks actually beat the Heat? Were they resting LeBron, Wade and Bosh? I know Bosh had a baby, but played that game right?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Wade went 9/18
    James went 9/21

    and the Heat only lost by 2 ??

    bwahahahahahaha!!

    the Knicks are hot garbage.

    just an off-night for the boys in black

  • RaiderRockstar

    when does Artest come back?

    Game 6 or 7 versus Denver ???

  • r8eray

    Good Morning A.M. Crew!

  • r8eray

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:47 am
    when does Artest come back?

    Game 6 or 7 versus Denver ???

    =====

    Naw man…it aint going to 6 or 7! He’ll be back the 2nd game vs the Thunder to elbow that biatch one more time!

  • bcz24

    Jacoby Ford is a oft-injured smurf who runs bad routes and has too many drops & fumbles for my liking..
    *******
    And you want Jacoby Jones? LOL… (he has 8 fumbles as a returner, and 2 as a receiver, very similar to Ford)

    Jacoby Ford has too many drops for your liking? Yet you call DHB “King Darius”.

    Ford has 6 fumbles in his career, 4 of which came on KoR, I guess we should have him stop doing that and just be a receiver. (little dudes fumble when the get smeared)

    Not for nothing, but there is a reason the receiver needy Texans let Jones walk. He is definitely not better than Ford. If anything they are almost clones of each other.

  • hwnrdr

    1430.r8eray Says:
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:51 am
    RaiderRockstar Says:
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:47 am
    when does Artest come back?

    Game 6 or 7 versus Denver ???

    =====

    Naw man…it aint going to 6 or 7! He’ll be back the 2nd game vs the Thunder to elbow that biatch one more time!

    Yup, because LA SHOULD close out Denver at home in 5…then it will be game 2 versus OKC in Oklahoma where he can come back. get a steal there coming back home COULD spell trouble for the rest of the league! But, Bynum has to keep playing and no more blow ups like in game 3 (even though Sessions made the put back…)

  • hwnrdr

    However, since you’re asking…IF it did go to 7, that is when Artest will be back!

  • Marks hair

    How about a new post? You could title it..”here’s a new post.”

  • R8ER MIKE

    lol.. the new post will say “Live Chat on Tuesday” !!

  • hwnrdr

    1435.R8ER MIKE Says:
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:13 am
    lol.. the new post will say “Live Chat on Tuesday” !!

    LOL, that is probably true, Mike!

  • RaiderRockstar

    And you want Jacoby Jones? LOL… (he has 8 fumbles as a returner, and 2 as a receiver, very similar to Ford)

    ***

    @bcz

    I’ll admit, I don’t know much about JJones. I just know that he’s available and he’s familiar with our offense (like Leinart). He’s probably cheap & young enough. WR corps is far from being set or we would not have drafted Criner imo. Even better that this kid has value on returns. Outside of Higgins, Ford & Justin Miller – our return game has been non-existant for 10 years!

    just something to talk about man. I’m not going to write you a 5-page essay of why this dude should be a Raider

  • Marks hair

    Im hearing alot of complaints about how boring the nba playoffs have been, but the games ive watched have been pretty close with some great player preformances..

  • hwnrdr

    I think the only real boring one so far is the Indiana/Orlando one…

  • r8eray

    Marks Hair Says:
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:10 am
    How about a new post? You could title it..”here’s a new post.”

    R8ER MIKE Says:
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:13 am
    lol.. the new post will say “Live Chat on Tuesday” !!

    Hwnrdr Says:
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:14 am
    1435.R8ER MIKE Says:
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:13 am
    lol.. the new post will say “Live Chat on Tuesday” !!

    LOL, that is probably true, Mike!

    =====

    I got a c-note on that!

    I appreciate the time and effort it takes to write a new post, I’m sure Jerry and Steve are working hard at it!

    ;)

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    From Peter King’s “10 Things I Think I Think:”

    5. I think I like several of new Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie’s signings of free agent marginalia. Ron Bartell may resuscitate a flagging career and could still be an effective cornerback, for instance. But the signing that may pay off most handsomely is bringing in Matt Leinart. Ask the Texans: He was just getting it, just turning around his disappointing career, when he got hurt in midseason last fall. I can tell you coach Gary Kubiak thought the Texans would be able to be offensively explosive after losing Matt Schaub, because he knew what he had in Leinart. Now Leinart will back up Carson Palmer, and though Leinart shouldn’t count on playing unless Palmer gets hurt, I count Leinart as one of the best insurance policies in the NFL. Some day he’ll get another chance, and I think he’ll be ready.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/peter_king/05/06/mmqb/index.html#ixzz1uC8I5tJw

  • RaiderRockstar

    Jacoby Ford has too many drops for your liking? Yet you call DHB “King Darius”.

    ***

    @bcz

    Ford has drops & fumbles in crucial moments of the game. bad routes, too. It’s like he’s in his own head.

    Against SF in ’10. JCamp hits Ford on a crossing route in the 4th qtr. We were down 8 points. It’s 3rd down. Pass hits Ford on the numbers. bounces off his chest. punt

    Against J-Ville in ’10. game was tied in the closing minutes. Ford fumbles the return and they get it at our 20 yard line

    Last year in WK17, Palmer throws to Ford (WTF was he thinking?) rewatch the play… with 4 minutes left in the game. Cason gets the pick. thats the ballgame.

    now show me some examples of DHB doing the same thing during key moments (4th qtr, 3rd down, etc)

  • RaiderRockstar

    the signing that may pay off most handsomely is bringing in Matt Leinart. Ask the Texans: He was just getting it, just turning around his disappointing career, when he got hurt in midseason last fall. I can tell you coach Gary Kubiak thought the Texans would be able to be offensively explosive after losing Matt Schaub, because he knew what he had in Leinart. Now Leinart will back up Carson Palmer, and though Leinart shouldn’t count on playing unless Palmer gets hurt, I count Leinart as one of the best insurance policies in the NFL. Some day he’ll get another chance, and I think he’ll be ready.

    ***

    @ Peter King

    then why didn’t they re-sign him?

    why didn’t any other NFL teams even bring him in for a visit?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Steve & Jerry are still mourning the loss of Junior Seau

    you fellas are some cold hearted bastards!!

    We’ll get a new post when camp opens later this week

  • RaiderRockstar
  • RaiderRockstar

    check out this video: Terrelle Pryor is a freakin’ beast!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLb3HwGHwlg

  • Dakota

    Why did you make me watch that play again Rockstar?

  • Marks hair

    I dont need anything new to read. I just want anew post so my phone will work faster.

  • bcz24

    I’ll admit, I don’t know much about JJones. I just know that he’s available and he’s familiar with our offense (like Leinart). He’s probably cheap & young enough. WR corps is far from being set or we would not have drafted Criner imo. Even better that this kid has value on returns. Outside of Higgins, Ford & Justin Miller – our return game has been non-existant for 10 years!

    just something to talk about man. I’m not going to write you a 5-page essay of why this dude should be a Raider
    ********
    I agree that we still need some help on WR, I was just pointing out the facts about Jacoby Jones. Trust me when I tell you, he is at BEST a clone of Ford (no where near as explosive in the return game, or rushing the ball)

    DHB doesn’t have drops at crucial times? How about the fumble late in the Detroit game last year. Everyone points to the defensive let downs that game, myself included, but if DHB doesn’t cough that ball up we ice that game right there and the defense doesn’t matter… and lets be honest, before last season’s improvements DHB would never even be looked at in a crucial moment. Ford is still young, has a ton of upside (yeah he was oft injured last year, but who the heck wasn’t… he didn’t miss any games his rookie year). You were adamant that we give DHB at least 3 years to develop… shouldn’t Ford at least be given the same?

  • RaiderRockstar