For Raiders fans, seeing their beloved franchise portrayed in a negative light is par for the course. Even during the greatest days of the franchise the Raiders were always known as the bad guys, the ones who would push the boundaries of what is acceptable on the football field in order to win a game of football, the Iron Sheik to greater society’s Hulk Hogan and this is an image that the franchise and fan base have embraced.
Unfortunately there is a downside to winning for so many years with what fans like to refer to as ‘the Raider swagger’ and that is people tend to enjoy seeing the team at the bottom and few have enjoyed seeing the Raiders struggle than ‘journalist’ Mike Silver.
Many of you will likely already know Mike’s history with the organisation but for those who don’t one of his biggest breaks was trusted to be given unprecedented access to the Raiders organisation by Al Davis in 1996 when he was writing for Sports Illustrated. He then used that access to write an article titled ‘Al Davis is still cutting destructive path as Raiders try to revive their proud heritage’ which was obviously far from complimentary.
This article is largely recognised as the big turning point in young Silver’s career (obviously very prophetic as the Raiders would soon be challenging for Super Bowls under Jon Gruden). That article triggered a life long feud that was never resolved with Silver writing an endless string of scathing articles and Al banning Silver from the stadium.
Whether Silver has a deep rooted hatred of Mr Davis and the Raiders born from years of the team stomping his favorite franchise as a child or he just worked out that trashing the Raiders gets a lot of attention from a passionate fan base is unclear. But regardless of the reason, he has steadily built a career largely based on writing hateful articles about Oakland.
Some thought that perhaps when Mr Davis passed on that Silver may let bygones be bygones and view the franchise with a fresh set of eyes with a new regime in town and a new beginning, unfortunately that has not turned out to be the case.
Since Mark Davis and Reggie McKenzie took over and made the decision to fire Hue Jackson, Silver seems to have gone on to overdrive with an endless stream of negativity hurled towards the Raiders and the Raider Nation. He began with his article shortly after Jackson was fired with the primary premise of the article being that Mr Davis thought his son was an idiot and that it was Mark Davis that fired Hue not Reggie. Many including Jason Whitlock would expose “Hubris” Jackson as the unnamed source, but that is a gripe to pick on another day.
Every year almost timed to a clock we get some crazy, negative as could possibly be article about the Raiders. SIlver is also the originator of the headline “Raiders owner Mark Davis puts GM, rest of staff on notice with firing of PR head” and was one of the driving forces behind the idea that the firing of Zach Gilbert was a signal of impending doom for the Raiders and the Raider Nation.
That is but a small example of the sensationalist manner in which Silver has covered the Raiders over the last couple (15+) years and clearly he has no intent of changing, as is noted by his most recent article.
It should be of no surprise to anyone whatsoever that just when the Raider Nation seems to be coming together behind Terrelle Pryor, there comes another completely unsourced report, pretty much perfectly timed mind you originating from the man himself Mike Silver.
In his most recent piece, Silver claims “there is division with the Raiders as to whether McGloin gives them the best chance to win”. Once again this wreaks of Silver attempting to stir up trouble and controversy in the Raider Nation, Silver repeatedly pokes the hornet’s nest and takes great delight in watching the frenzied reaction.
Obviously the entire premise of the report is absurd. While he looked solid as a number three QB, McGloin has hardly set the world on fire and certainly seems to smell like Silver once again trying to rile up the Nation. It is highly doubtful that anyone in the organization truly believes an undrafted rookie free agent is ready to start. Perhaps some think he has more potential, but that is an entirely different story.
As anyone can clearly see, members of the Raider Nation are not exactly big fans of Mike Silver. While it is true that the Raiders have been bad in recent years, and as a result, it is impossible to avoid negative media coverage, Silver seems to take it a step further. Rather than simply bathing in the struggles of the Raiders, which he undoubtedly still does, he also takes it further by attempting to stir up drama where there was none.
Given his history with the Raiders, anything that Mike Silver writes about this storied franchise should be taken with a grain of salt. And a rather big grain of salt at that.