Raiders Attempt to Ban Gannon Fails Again

Sam Farmer

October 4, 2009

gannon
The factor that has Rich Gannon silver-and-blacklisted by the Raiders is one of the qualities that makes him their impact player of this decade.

The quarterback-turned- CBS analyst speaks his mind and stands his ground.

“I’ve talked to several players, and not one of them has any issue with anything I’ve ever said or done in reference to their team,” Gannon said in a phone interview. “But there’s certainly someone who’s not happy.

“But I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t say that the product on the field has not been up to snuff the last six years or so.”

That “someone” is Raiders owner Al Davis, and last week his club attempted to ban Gannon from its headquarters for CBS production meetings. (The league wouldn’t allow that, and Gannon didn’t arrive in Oakland early enough to make the meetings.) Last season, the Raiders were equally unsuccessful in trying to have Gannon removed from the broadcast of one of their games.

“The point needed to be made that you’ve been unduly critical far too often and too long for us to embrace you and welcome you into our building,” said John Herrera, spokesman for the Raiders, who have lost 11 or more games for an NFL-record six straight seasons.

Gannon said the attempts to lock him out surprised him.

“I’ve had absolutely zero problems with the league, any team, any owner, any GM, any coach, any players or any PR staff,” he said. “My style is never to be condescending or arrogant or judgmental. … My job, though, is to be fair and to be honest and to give my analysis of what I see.”

As a player, it was Gannon’s unflinching candor and attention to detail — along with a collection of like-minded veterans and coach Jon Gruden — that helped reshape a rudderless franchise. He was the NFL’s most valuable player in 2002, leading the Raiders to their first Super Bowl in 19 years.

“I came from organizations and systems where all I had to do is play and worry about my job,” he said. “When I came to Oakland, that wasn’t the situation. It was a team in disarray. In terms of leadership, in terms of the structure, it wasn’t what I was accustomed to. It was hard for me to function initially.”

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~ by Sactown Raider Boosters on October 4, 2009.

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