Nov. 1, 2010GUTIERREZ ARCHIVERAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEOPaul Gutierrez
ALAMEDA -- Fans are not the only ones tired of the Raiders 11-game home television blackout streak, which dates to the 2009 season opener. Turns out the players are growing weary of performing in front of less-than-packed houses as well.
Rookie middle linebacker Rolando McClain, who has spoken to the media just once since the season opener, was again approached by reporters today. After initially declining to be interviewed and, thus, speak to the fans, he changed his tune. Slightly.
If the fans come out and we can sell out a damn game, Ill talk to the media, he said with equal part smile and self-righteousness. Until thenIll need full fan support.
His comments have already created a stir in the Twitter-verse, some fans appreciating the rookies candor, others taking the youngster to task for his brashness.
As the Associated Presss Josh Dubow pointed out, the Raiders have sold out just as many games this season as McClain has interceptions, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries -- zero.
Sunday, the Raiders announced a crowd of 35,721 for the 33-3 defeat of Seattle and they are averaging a league-low 41,153 through four home games. Oakland has also had 80 of its 124 home games blacked out since returning from Los Angeles in 1995.
So will the fans respond to McClains challenge this weekend as the Raiders (4-4) play host to first-place (and AFC West rival) Kansas City (5-2)?