Calling the Raiders "evil" is not a terrible thing, even if former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is doing the trash talk.
Al Davis wants his franchise to be viewed as tough. Players constantly vow to "bully" their opponents. The Raiders' image is cloaked in evil: Eye patch, swords.
The problem with Rumsfeld's message — given at the end of an interview with the Financial Times on Super Bowl Sunday — is the entirety of his bulletin-board quote: "Nobody could support the Raiders. They're evil."
Nobody? The Raiders, forevermore, will have at least one supporter: Al Davis.
Now let's study 10 historial lessons that could possibly constitute evil:
1. Failing to reach the playoffs and produce a winning season (see: 2003-10).
2. Giving $39 million to a lazy, polarizing quarterback (see: JaMarcus Rumsfeld, er, Russell).
3. Deploying a weapon whose hands result in mass destruction (see: Darrius Heyward-Bey, two career touchdowns).
4. Having a coach bring a female companion on a road trip (see: Tom Cable breaking Davis' moral code).
5. Having a coach who lies (see: Lane Kiffin breaking Davis' moral code).
6. Hiring an offensive coordinator straight out of an Idaho bed-and-breakfast (see: Tom Walsh, 2006).
7. Taking a 13-year sabbatical to Southern California (see: 1982-94).
8. Sharing a decrepit stadium with the A's (but sharing a new one with the 49ers is OK, the NFL insists).
9. Going undefeated against AFC West foes and failing to win the division (see: 2010).
10. Declining to change their motto to: "The Evilness of the Raiders will continue in its future."
Look for Cam Inman's Web-only "Candid Cam" takes whenever there's a breaking sports story, or whenever Cam's got something to say _ in short, just about every day. You can reach Cam at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him at twitter.com/CamInman.