Raiders not the team Incognito thinks they are

Raiders not the team Incognito thinks they are
March 21, 2014, 12:15 am
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Incognito is operating on the theory that the Raiders are still renegades and children of Al Davis.
Ray Ratto

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North Dakota State’s overtime win over Oklahoma not only freed the Panhandle State for spring football practice, it also reduced the number of states who have never enjoyed an NCAA Tournament victory to four. We’d give you the answer later, but frankly, you give exactly as many damns as we do, and you have even less patience. They are Maine, South Dakota, Alaska and Delaware.

Now draw down. Your bracket is finished anyway.

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Richie Incognito is in no position to turn down any softball question about where he’d like to play, but Michael Silver of NFL.com gave in to the bad angel inside his head and asked about the Raiders anyway.

“I’m 100 percent into that,” Incognito told Silver. “I think that would fit my personality the best. It makes so much sense. I know (offensive coordinator Greg) Olson and (offensive line coach Tony) Sparano, and I’m a loyal guy, and I’d love to play for them again. And, of course, the Raiders have that aura.”

Ignoring the fight he had with new Raider Antonio Smith last year, Incognito is operating on the theory that the Raiders are still renegades and children of Al Davis. Those days are done – as are the days when those renegades thrived. In other words, Incognito may be interested in Oakland, but it surely isn’t the Oakland he thinks it is.

Again, not that he can be choosy, but still . . .

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This is not a statement on Silver, but another league-owned media growler, MLB.com, was outed by a team public relations director for being what it has always been accused of being – a mouthpiece for the company.

Joe Jareck of the Dodgers told a Sydney PR conference how the team prefers to get its news out -- by publishing on its own website, Dodgers.com, because then “we can spin it any way we want. You can tell the (in-house) writer, ‘Here, do this’ and they'll do it.”

He later backtracked, but for the last few naïfs out there, the pants are off the legs with MLB. We expect denials galore, but then again, who’s to say they all weren’t told “’Here, deny this,’ and they’ll do it.”

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Rick Pitino of Louisville did what any defending champion does – he complained about his first-round matchup with Manhattan. Not about his seeding, his matchup.

Then he backtracked, maybe when the voice inside his head told him “You sound like a whiny little grade schooler, or the Australian kid on the Internet who threw a tantrum until he got a foul ball from one of the Dodgers.”

Pitino: “But the selection committee is very fair, very honorable, very honest people, so I can't protest too much because they're doing the best job that they can do. Maybe they're a bunch of soccer ADs. I don't know.”

Good one, Ricky. That didn’t seem snivelly at all.

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Major League baseball is now selling custom Fender guitars with major league teams on the front. This is a good thing, because you can never really know if the musician in your neighborhood is a budding genius or, in this case, a total and complete tool.

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The Chicago Cubs traded minor league outfielder Trevor Gretzky, the son of You Know Who, to the Los Angeles Angels for infielder Matt Scioscia, the son of Angels manager Mike Scioscia. Yes, Gretzky’s kid got traded to a team that got rid of the manager’s kid to get him.

In case you’re wondering, the metrics don’t matter in cases like that.

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Ron Wellman, the athletic director at Wake Forest last seen vainly trying to explain the NCAA bracketing on national television Sunday as the NCAA Tournament committee chair, won some friends Wednesday when he fired basketball coach Jeff Bzdelik after four years of .400 basketball.

Maybe not in the Bzdelik family, clearly, but with the student body at Wake, which celebrated by toilet papering the entire quad.

Then again, you know the old adage – when you want to give the very best, give streams of unsoiled pulp.