Raiders Try to Ban Annoying Reporters

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Rich Gannon is no longer welcome to hang out alongside Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis.

    Yesterday's 23-3 Raider home loss to the Denver Broncos wasn't sold out, so you'd think maybe the Raiders would have wanted as many people as possible in the Oakland Coliseum.

    Actually, there was one guy who the Raiders didn't want to have in that building at all.

    Former Raider quarterback and now CBS television analyst Rich Gannon was reportedly banned from the Raiders practice facility this weekend for remarks critical of the Raider football organization, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The AP reports that the Raiders relented on the ban Saturday, and Gannon was allowed into production meetings to prepare for his CBS game-calling duties. 

    The Chronicle also reports that the Raiders asked CBS to remove Gannon from his assignment to call Sunday's game, but CBS refused.

    I wish the Raiders would have tried to ban Knowshon Moreno instead.

    And it's not just Rich Gannon. On Sunday, the Raiders also attempted to boot Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reported Lowell Cohn from the locker room. Cohn did not relent, and his account of the incident is online.

    But the Gannon banishment is surprising, because Gannon has a positive history with the team. "Rich Gannon is not welcome here," Raiders executive John Herrera told the Chronicle. "We told CBS we did not want him in our building, we did not want him to be part of our production meeting, and that's where it sits."

    Personally, I find Gannon to be one of the least Raider-hating figures in the whole national sports media. He's brutally honest, but he also consistently praises the Raiders in all the areas in which they're coming together. I bet you after six gin and tonics, Gannon would even admit that he still often roots for the Raiders.

    But man do they hate his guts at Raiders' headquarters.  Herrera insists that some of Gannon's criticisms have crossed the line, and quotes Gannon as saying that the Raiders' front office should "blow up the building and start over".

    "We think in a post 9/11 world, that's not a very proper thing to say," Herrera told the Chronicle. "It's uncalled for."

    I'm not sure that's how Gannon actually meant that remark. But the Raiders don't sound interested in hearing his explanation, or anything Rich Gannon has to say.

    Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who'd be happy to buy Rich Gannon those six gin and tonics anytime.