Tuesday, July 27, 2010

R.I.P. Jack Tatum

“I like to believe that my best hits border on felonious assault.” - Jack Tatum

Jack "The Assassin" Tatum, a true Raider legend and iconic figure in the Raider Nation, passed away today at the age of 61 due to a heart attack.

Tatum was drafted by the Raiders in the 1st round (19th pick) in 1971 out of OSU and became notorious for being arguably the hardest hitting safety to ever play in the NFL. During his tenure with the Raiders (1971-1979), Tatum earned 3 Pro Bowl trips, racked up 37 interceptions, and helped the Raiders win their 1st Super Bowl.

Tatum's intimidating presence, ultra-cool swagger, and menacing stare gave the Raiders defense an original identity and place in football lore. The "Soul Patrol" of Tatum, George "The Hitman" Atkinson, Skip "Dr. Death" Thomas, and "Old Man" Willie Brown were a riveting group to watch.

Six years ago I had the good fortune of meeting Tatum and getting his autograph at a Raiders fundraiser for FB Steve Smith. I knew that I would only have a minute or 2 to say a few words to Tatum since there was a huge line of Raider fans behind me. I ended up simply saying, "It was an honor and privilege to watch you play for the Raiders, Mr. Tatum. Thank you." Tatum, grey dreadlocks and sunglasses on, sitting behind a desk, handed the picture back and gave me a subtle nod.

Here's a classic video of highlights showcasing Tatum & Atkinson. R.I.P., Mr. Tatum.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

He Just Doesn't Get It

JaMarcus Russell has no sense of humility, comportment or simple common sense. The guy appears before a court judge facing a serious crime for possession of a controlled substance and decides to wear a suit with the flashing monogram of "JR"?

Only a complete knucklehead with a severe case of entitlement would be foolish enough to sport such an inappropriate "get-up" to a court appearance. Yeah, JR you are suited and booted ... for flushing a once promising life down the drain. Congrats!

Make A Wish, Jalen

Here's a very heart-warming, inspirational video worth a viewing.

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Big Dummy

JaMarcus Russell was arrested today in his Mobile Alabama home for possession of a controlled substance (codeine syrup aka "Purple Drank") as part of an undercover narcotics investigation.

"Purple Drank is an illegal recreational drink popular in the Southern United States rap community, whose main ingredients originally consisted of prescription strength cough syrup, containing codeine and promethazine, and either a carbonated soft drink (generally Sprite) or fruit juice. The purple-ish hue of Purple Drank comes from the dyes in the cough syrup. Recently, the term has expanded to cover mixtures including over-the-counter cough syrup and vodka in place of prescription cough syrup. Other terms for Purple Drank include Barre, Oil, Purple Tonic, Lean (or Southern Lean,) Drank, and Syrup (which is sometimes slangly pronounced as Sizzurp.)
The active ingredient of purple drank is codeine, an opiate medication contained in prescription strength cough syrups due to its antitussive properties. Some prescription cough syrups also contain anti-histamine medications, such as promethazine, which have a mild sedative effect. When taken in large quantities, both medications can lead to sedation and altered levels of consciousness."

Here's a guy who at the ripe old age of 21 was given a golden ticket to a wonderful life that included fame, fortune, and playing a sport he loved. All he needed to do to punch this golden ticket is be a good teammate and a good citizen. Is that too much to ask?

Russell was notorious for being late to meetings, being unable to handle the entire playbook, showing up to mini-camps out of shape and ill prepared, and with his recent release from the Raiders, as the biggest draft bust in the entire history of the league.

Is there any doubt that the "purple drank" was a significant part of the equation in Russell's failures the past 3 years? After being booted from the Raiders, Russell had a second chance to get his life and career back on track this season or next if he simply dedicated himself to his craft. Oh well. The Big Dummy should be able to afford a good attorney and continue to piss his life down the drain.