Greg Papa is an employee of the Oakland Raiders, and like most announcers he seems to consider himself part of the team. He also hosts a show from noon to 3 pm with a very giggly host named John Lund on 95.7 FM “The Game.”
It’s really too bad that 95.7 only podcasts certain segments and interviews and not entire shows, because that means I’m going to have to go off memory. I’d rather quote Papa verbatim, but am unable to in this case.
Today’s show kicked off with Lund asking Papa if he was upset about traveling all the way to Baltimore to watch the Raiders get spanked by the Ravens, and Papa dismissed that idea, saying it wasn’t about him. Then Papa’s bitterness began to show when he and Lund touched on Ravens running a fake field goal with a 24-point lead and over 9 minutes left in the third quarter yesterday.
Again, I’m paraphrasing. If “The Game” wants to provide me with the mp3 so I can review exactly what Papa said, they know how to contact me. They sure know how to reach me when they balk at the Arbitron ratings posts we run every month.
Papa, who like many Raiders fans was very unhappy with John Harbaugh’s decision to take advantage of the Raiders’ poor coaching and execution, mentioned how perhaps the concussion Alex Smith suffered yesterday against the Rams was karmic retribution for Jim Harbaugh’s brother showing poor sportsmanship earlier that day.
Let’s go over this again.
1. Jim and John Harbaugh coach different teams on opposite sides of the country. Their respective teams faced each other last season, and neither coach let up in any way to protect a family member. If anything, Jim looked more upset than ever after losing to his older brother.
2. Since Jim has experimented with Colin Kaepernick all season, Papa deemed Smith’s concussion as a “you wanted it, Jim … now you got it” situation in regards to the 49ers’ quarterback rotation.
3. In Papa’s mind, Smith’s concussion could be considered a good thing, or at least something that had some sort of karmic justification.
I’ll probably get some flack for this post from Raiders fans still seething after that fake FG. When I mentioned Papa’s thoughts on Twitter, a Raiders fan responded with these two comments before blocking me so I couldn’t respond:
Let’s have a moment of silence for “Larry,” who is going to have to visit the chiropractor after shaking his head all afternoon.
I think Papa is one of the most talented play-by-play men in the country. I thought he was great announcing the Warriors before Bob Fitzgerald took over that gig (a well-known Bay Area media controversy), and what Papa does on the radio calling Raiders games is something I could never accomplish, even if I trained for ten years.
However … I don’t care how much Papa loves the Raiders or whatever grudge Raiders fans hold against the Ravens and their head coach, who made a bad loss feel a little more painful. You simply cannot take satisfaction in a person getting concussed on a football field, especially with how much we continue to learn about the long-term damage concussions cause.