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A Press Democrat Blog

Old School

Robert Rubino connects current sports news with the past

Harbaugh’s instant success

No matter the result of the 49ers-Ravens game on Thanksgiving, Jim Harbaugh is coach of the year. Sure, anything is possible, although a sudden collapse by the 49ers seems as likely as Jim Schwartz starting a Detroit chapter of the Jim Harbaugh Fan Club. So it’s a tad premature, so what? You know it’s a foregone conclusion: Jim Harbaugh is NFL coach of the year. It’s rare when a first-year coach guides a team to a winning record a year… Read More »

10 worst Raiders coaches

Here is the criteria: most seasons without a playoff appearance. 1. Al Davis, three seasons (1963-65), no playoffs. (Interestingly, in a recent blog, I also rated Davis sixth-best coach in Raiders history. Go figure.) 2. Tom Cable, two seasons, plus 12 games (2008-10, no playoffs. 3 (tied). Mike White, two seasons (1995-96), no playoffs. 3 (tied). Norv Turner, two seasons (2004-05), no playoffs. 5 (tied). Lane Kiffin, one season, plus four games (2007-08), no playoffs. 5 (tied). Mike Shanahan, one… Read More »

Top 6 Raiders coaches: No. 1

Strictly subjective, of course. If you disagree, feel free to submit your own rankings. In ascending order, here is my six pack of the best Raiders coaches all-time. Already listed in previous blogs: Al Davis at No. 6, Art Shell (first stint) at No. 5, Jon Gruden, No. 4, John Rauch, No. 3 and Tom Flores at No. 2. 1. John Madden. He has only one Super Bowl win compared to Tom Flores’ two; and his .763 winning percentage is… Read More »

Top 6 Raiders coaches: No. 2

Strictly subjective, of course. If you disagree, feel free to submit your own rankings. In ascending order, here is my six pack of the best Raiders coaches all-time. Already listed in previous blogs: Al Davis at No. 6, Art Shell (first stint) at No. 5, Jon Gruden, No. 4, John Rauch, No. 3. 2. Tom Flores. In nine seasons, he took the team to the playoffs five times and won two Super Bowls, one for the Oakland Raiders and one… Read More »

Top 6 Raiders coaches: No. 3

Strictly subjective, of course. If you disagree, feel free to submit your own rankings. In ascending order, here is my six pack of the best Raiders coaches all-time. Already listed in previous blogs: Al Davis at No. 6, Art Shell (first stint) at No. 5, Jon Gruden, No. 4. 3. John Rauch. Al Davis’ first coaching hire (if you don’t count Al hiring himself). In three seasons (1966-68), the Raiders under Rauch went 8-5-1, 13-1 and 12-2. Won the 1967… Read More »

Top 6 Raiders coaches: No. 6

Strictly subjective, of course. If you disagree, feel free to submit your own rankings. In ascending order, here is my six pack of the best Raiders coaches all-time. 6. Al Davis. Three seasons (1963-65), two winning seasons, no playoff appearances, .590 winning percentage. Next blog: No. 5

Was Rice rude to the Raiders?

I pointed out in recent blogs that Jerry Rice — clearly a Hall of Famer based on his years with the 49ers — nonetheless had three excellent seasons with the Raiders. And those seasons were even more remarkable for their productivity because Rice was 39-41 years old. One comment I received pointed out that Rice disrespected the Raiders by not mentioning his years with Oakland. But a transcript of Rice’s Hall of Fame induction speech from last Sunday does reveal… Read More »

When Mieuli spoke at SF State

Former Warriors owner Franklin Mieuli died on Sunday, at 89. I remember the one time I got to see, and hear, Mieuli up-close and personal. I was taking a sportswriting class at San Francisco State University in 1976, a class taught by Murray Olderman, a distinguished sportswriter and sports cartoonist. Besides being a wonderfully supportive teacher, Olderman brought in an impressive array of speakers. One day he brought in Al Davis. Another time he brought in Bay Area broadcasting legend… Read More »

Making a BASHOF nomination

It was good to see that Raiders owner Al Davis was finally inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame. I’d like to make a nomination to BASHOF: Alvin Dark. Dark managed the Giants from 1961-64 and led them to the 1962 World Series. Dark managed the Oakland A’s from 1974-75, and led them to the World Series championship in ’74. I noticed ex-Giants manager Bill Rigney is in the BASHOF, and Rigney didn’t win anything. Dark won big… Read More »