The Raiders Allegedly Sent JaMarcus Russell Home With A Blank DVD To Prove He Wasn't Watching His Game Tape
FTW- A lack of passion seemed to be the reason JaMarcus Russell, the first-overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft, crashed out of the league after only a handful of seasons in Oakland.
One story, which may be apocryphal, illustrates that fact perfectly. The story comes from Russell’s Raider teammate Warren Sapp, who relayed the story to Rich Eisen.
Here’s the story according to Eisen…
The Oakland coaching staff would routinely give Russell DVDs featuring gameplans and new plays for him to study. The coaches started to suspect the rookie wasn’t doing his homework and came up with a brilliant plot to test him. One day they asked Russell how he liked the gameplan on the DVD they had sent him home with the previous night. He said he did, but there was one problem: The coaches purposefully gave him a blank DVD. Their suspicions were confirmed.
I know, I know. I was hoping for a trustworthy source too. Unfortunately the front cover of the proverbial book reads "As Told By Warren Sapp", but I'm not going to let the fact that the story teller's mouth is an unmitigated garbage dump ruin the actual story for me. Hopefully you don't either and we can just agree to suspend disbelief, because - at the end of the day - who doesn't want to believe that every single tale about JaMarcus Russell's abortion (it was basically over before it started) of a career to be true?
And since this is definitely "true" (right, guys? ::encouragingly shakes head::), I think it's safe to say there's never been a more depressing "ah HA!!!" moment in sports history. Catching someone in the act is supposed to be at least a littttttle satisfying. Coming to find out that you're giving 31 million guaranteed dollars to an overweight quarterback who won't do homework that literally only requires pressing play is about as gratifying of an outcome as walking in on your cheating skank of a wife blowing your brother. The Raiders had a feeling their massive investment/starting quarterback was digesting the wrinkles in the playbook as efficiently as a seven year old boy digests the vegetables that's he's been feeding to the dog. To stick with that analogy, by the time they confirmed those suspicions the dog was puking up brussels sprouts all over the carpet, and their kid had to go to the hospital with a Vitamin C deficiency. In essence, their long overdue trap left them with a fucking mess on their hands anyway. That's not to say I wouldn't have loved to see JaMarcus Russell's face when they told him the DVD was blank, but getting to do so certainly didn't ease any minds in Oakland's front office.