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SCOTT OSTLER

Bo May Want to Look for Another Hobby : Raiders Say Jackson Wasn't Ready for Seattle, but Neither Were They

October 26, 1987|SCOTT OSTLER

Let's hope Bo Jackson wasn't watching Sunday.

The new Raider running back, who just checked in from Kansas City and his summer job, was on the sideline Sunday, in uniform, as the Raiders crashed and burned.

Bo appeared to be watching the action on the field, but for the Raiders' sake, let's hope he was dreaming about home runs, or napping, or otherwise ignoring the action.

If he got a good look at the Seattle Seahawks pounding his Raiders, Bo, by now, has packed his bags and headed on to try his luck on the PGA tour or the tennis circuit.

Does Bo want to be a part of this: Seahawks 35, Raiders 13?

Flat? The Raiders were so flat, Al Davis can stick a 22-cent stamp over each player's left eyebrow and mail the whole team to Foxboro, Mass., for next Sunday's game with the New England Patriots.

The Raiders were flatter than the earth in 1491.

Flat?

"That was the flattest ever," said Marcus Allen, who was flattened all day, gaining 29 yards in 11 carries. In the second half Marcus gained 1 yard in 3 carries, an average of 12 inches per carry. "I've never seen anything like it in my whole life. We were incredibly flat."

Bo, baby, do you have an escape clause in your contract? Can you redshirt? Pull a hamstring? Can you sign up for winter baseball in the Dominican and pray the Raiders don't try for extradition?

Did you see the Raiders' blocking Sunday, Bo? Neither did Marcus.

Of course, it helps your running attack if you have a quarterback who can complete passes, who can make the plays. Rusty Rusty Hilger couldn't in the first half Sunday, so the Raiders went to the bullpen, to Marc Wilson. It's hard to judge Wilson's performance, since he only played in garbage time (i.e., the entire second half).

Wilson did manage to throw two key interceptions, one of which was dropped, but you can't blame the quarterback for dropped passes, not when he hits the receiver right in the hands.

It was enough to make Raider fans long for the good old days, when old No. 11, Vince Evans, could actually move around a little bit after dropping back, and never threw more than one disastrous interception on any given Sunday.

It's not clear whether Bo was watching Sunday. He was never asked to play, possibly out of respect for his still-intact football dignity. If Bo is looking for a hobby, better he should go for something like butterfly collecting, where he could be the one doing the sticking, rather than being the stick-ee.

Afterward all Bo had to say was, "No comment. I got nothing to say."

What could he say? "Help? I'm underpaid and I want to get traded to the Rams"?

What Bo witnessed Sunday was a low point in Raider franchise history. This is a team on the brink. Memories of old glories are fading fast, and the fabled Raider mystique doesn't seem to be intimidating many opponents these days.

You think a guy like Seattle linebacker Brian Bosworth, with hair that would scare Don King, is intimidated by a helmet or banner featuring the Raiders skull and crossbones? Boz gets haircuts from meaner guys than the Raiders threw against him Sunday.

The Raiders are a team with a lot of talented players, but no quarterback and, right now, no pride and poise.

This was one game, sure, but what have the Raiders done lately to make us think this isn't a trend? Why was Al Davis--a tough loser, granted--walking around the locker room like a zombie Sunday after the game? This is a man fighting to hold a team together.

This is a team that doesn't know where its next inspiration is coming from.

"I think the Raiders have shown in the past, when they have their backs to the wall, they can put together a string of four, five, six wins in a row," Wilson said.

More recently, like the end of last season, they've shown they're a team that can put together a string of two, three, four losses in a row and dive into a pit deeper than anything Irwindale has to offer.

The Raiders now play three straight games on the road, which might be a blessing, since the Coliseum fans' booing Sunday probably out-decibeled the Metrodome crowds. Or were they simply calling for Bo-o-o-o, Bo-o-o-o Jackson?

"It's tough to go on the road but this team has the character to do it," Wilson said.

Right now, all we know for sure about going on the road is that the Raiders have the air fare to do it.

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