I would think in this day and age, the word Integrity would mean something to so many. To be honest with you, I don't think a majority of the population really understands what Integrity means anymore. I remember growing up, there was a time when people would say, a man with integrity is a true man. He has a life of purpose and a life of true sound morals and judgement. These were the people who stood out above the rest.
Those days are long gone and the evidence of it is clear as day. Last night, I, as well a many of you watched a show on ESPN called 30 for 30. It went on and on about these STAR athletes who lost their entire worth because of bad management of their money. Well, I don't blame the man for losing the money. I blame his morals. He/She has lived a life with no Integrity. They lived as if tomorrow would never happen. And then to top it off, they make excuses as to why they are where they are and when no one is there to hand them the golden spoon, they complain and say it is everyone else's fault.
So let me introduce you to the true definition of Integrity.
1.adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2.the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition.
4. Integrating one's words with their actions.
What does this mean to the Raider Nation? You knew there was some tie in here, right? Well there is. I will ask you, who was your favorite Raider of all time? Would you say Tim Brown? Rich Gannon? How about Marcus Allen? Kenny Stabler? Jim Otto? George Blanda? Otis Sistrunk? Warren Wells? Art Powell? Ben Davidson? Art Shell? Gene Upshaw? Phil Villapiano? Daryl Lamonica? Mark Van Eeghen? George Atkninson? Jack Tatum? Rod Martin? Todd Christensen? Dave Casper? Mike Haynes? Lester Hayes? Jim Plunkett? John Madden? Fred Biletnikoff? Cliff Branch?
Do you notice something here? It's very obvious. Let me refer back to the first paragraph of this blog...... " there was a time when people would say, a man with integrity is a true man. He has a life of purpose and a life of true sound morals and judgement. These were the people who stood out above the rest."
These MEN who I listed all had something in common. It was a key element that brought to the team a mindset of Championship football. It was called...... wait for it...... INTEGRITY!!!!!!!!!!! It was the message that Al Davis created when he said "Commitment To Excellence" & "Just Win Baby". It was the cornerstones that this team was built on. It is why so many of you who are new to the Nation can gravitate to the players of old. You believed in them. You believed in their message, because they had the integrity to back it up!
You ask, how is that? Remember the "Criminal Element"? For some of you younger Raider fans, you see tapes of it. I lived through it. The Criminal Element I am referring to is what this defense was labeled by one Chuck Knoll of the Pittsburgh Steelers, because our defensive backfield was considered rough and dirty players. Guess what? That's what they wanted you to think. They wanted you to be scared as fuck to come over the middle of the field. They wanted you to challenge them and try to make a catch in THEIR backfield. Know why? Because they were going to knock you the fuck out. And when they had their chance to do it, they took it. They didn't say it and not follow up with the game to back it up. THAT'S CALLED INTEGRITY!!!!!!!!
How about Gannon and Brown? Gannon came in before Jon Gruden would get in. Sometimes 4:30 or 5 AM. While the other players were pulling buggers out of their eyes getting out of bed, these guys were breaking down tape and putting in the effort that would bring a Championship. Why? BECAUSE THEY HAD INTEGRITY!!!!!!!!!! Brown caught just about everything his way. Why? Because he said he would and he backed it up. Marcus Allen was one of the greatest of all time. Why? Because he said he was going to be the greatest and he backed it up.
Who do we turn to now Raider Nation? Who? Darren McFadden? How about Carson Palmer? Tommy Kelly? Lamar Houston? Rolando McClain? Shawntae Spencer? We are looking for ONE guy to show some integrity and that's where the problem lies. One guy doesn't win the entire game for you. It's a team game. Its an attitude that we are going to say something and back our shit up! Who is going to do that for us this year? I see guys trying. I see Marcel Reece doing HIS JOB. I see Wheeler and Burress doing their job. I see Carson play steady football. But I don't see the extra effort that it takes to bring the Lombardi back to Oakland.
I hate that these guys earn tons of money, they love being in the spot light but they hate criticism. I said it on my twitter account, these guys have no accountability or integrity and the acceptable culture is that we, the Raider Nation, should just endure the growing pains of this turnover of the team. I'M CALLING BULLSHIT ON THAT! I don't accept that culture. I don't accept losing.
Simply put, I hope somehow based on 6 degrees of separation that Dennis Allen gets this message..... Dennis..... DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT go back and look over schemes and this and that and try to reinvent the wheel at this point. It's ride or die with the choices and decisions you made before this journey started bro. To go back now shows that you do not trust the system and in turn your players will not trust you. Fuck that. You need to get these guys in a room and you need to ask every single one of them why they are there. You need to ask every one of them why they play. You need to have them tell you, the coaches and the rest of US why they deserve to wear that jersey with those colors. Their careers will come and go, but our LIVES as the Raider Nation is loyal to the team. The name. The colors. So while their careers may be over, our fan hood is still there and we deserve better. We deserve something from each and every one of those 53 roster players, an individual note to the Raider Nation as to why they deserve our continued respect and fan hood. We deserve it from you too Dennis.
No one should have a mentality of entitlement. No one. You have not earned it. You don't deserve it from the lack of Championship football you have displayed, and you are not going to get it from the Raider Nation.
Get some fucking Integrity, then we can talk!!!!!!!