I know some of you dig Fantasy Football, but last time I checked, there were no points awarded for starting the dangerously delusional. In the wake of Oakland’s 23-3 loss at home to Denver yesterday, the Tribune’s Jerry McDonald sneered, “if it is truly Rich Gannon’s mission in life to say negative things about the Raiders, they rewarded their former MVP with a smorgasboard of material for the show he does for Sirius Satellite Radio.” No material more damning than the miserable showing of former no. 1 draft JaMarcus Russell (above), whose postgame comments revealed (take your pick) either a stunning surplus of confidence or residence on Planet I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck.
Believe it or not, Russell has actually had a worse passer rating than Sunday’s 22.6, bottoming out at 19.0 in last year’s 24-0 loss to Atlanta. He weathered the postgame scrutiny as he usually does, with a calm, easy manner, a half-smile that suggests he knows there are better days ahead.
And you wonder if Russell knows something you don’t know or simply has no grip on reality.
He threw two first-quarter interceptions that led to 10 points, and afterward neither play was his fault. On the first, Heyward-Bey’s feet were tangled with a defender while Russell was throwing out of the end zone, with Renaldo Hill getting the interception.
On the second, Russell said a defender turned Heyward-Bey back in, resulting in a gift to Andre Goodman.
“I try to play with no regrets and I think I did,” Russell said. “Other than that, we just didn’t show up on certain downs. We’ll continue on. The road is not over. There are a few more games to play, I think, and we’ll just continue to go out there.”
Russell wasn’t crestfallen, nor was he inspiring or particularly troubled by the boos.
“I know that the guys in my locker room are behind me,” Russell said. “When the fans get to that, it’s kind of where they seem like they’re fed up. But again, until you come out and play like I know we should and get back on track it will be a different story.”