Raiders Ban Rich Gannon From TV Production Meetings
Gannon threw five interceptions in a Super Bowl XXXVII loss to Tampa Bay, then suffered serious injuries in 2003 and 2004. And now the Raiders don't even want him in the same building -- according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland team officials have banned Gannon from participating in pregame television production meetings with his CBS crew, a direct violation of NFL policy.
"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."
Herrera went on to argue that Gannon has repeatedly bashed the Raiders since becoming a TV analyst, quoting Gannon as saying that Oakland should just "blow up the building and start over" -- a statement that apparently sent Herrera and the rest of the Raiders franchise over the edge.
"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. He seems to be a guy who can't get over the fact that he played the worst Super Bowl game in the history of the game and he wants to blame everybody but himself.
"I guess it's our fault he threw five interceptions."
Yeah, I can't imagine any reason Gannon would be jaded toward the Raiders ...
When the Chronicle asked LeslieAnne Wade, CBS' senior vice president of communications, about the situation, she backed Gannon: ""Rich Gannon is an objective and analytical broadcaster and he will be broadcasting the game as assigned by CBS."
NFL rules dictate that all teams must make the head coach and players available to the crew broadcasting a game for production meetings. The Raiders' decision to lock Gannon out will almost certainly lead to a fine from the league.
Sunday's Denver at Oakland game is blacked out in a 75-mile radius around the Oakland Coliseum because the Raiders failed to achieve a sellout.
(Update, Sept. 26: Because of the NFL's television rules, the Raiders decided to allow Gannon into the required meetings. "We have relented," Herrera said.)