Sportress of Blogitude

Tony Sparano buries football during a Raiders practice because why not (video)


Tony Sparano, after replacing the recently ousted Dennis Allen, took over as interim head coach Oakland Raiders team that is essentially dead and buried as far as the 2014 NFL season is concerned.

Perhaps it makes sense, then, that in his first public display of an attempt to create an environment of unity while demonstrating that the team — at least metaphorically — is moving along after its 0-4 start, Sparano, buried a football during a team practice to symbolically demonstrate, well, something.

“What this ball represents and what this hole represents are the first four games of the season, the first quarter of our season,” Sparano said, via,  before placing the pigskin in its shallow grave. “Here’s your shovel, here’s your tool and those four games are over with. And we’re about ready to go to work here. Everybody understand that?”


Players then reportedly took turns at kicking and shoveling dirt on the football, and now the Raiders will be motivated to put the past in the past, go on a remarkable run and show how the burying a football turned everything around.

Unfortunately, while that is not a likely outcome of Sparano’s somewhat heavy-handed foray into symbolic demonstrations, it’s hard to blame him for his efforts.

Sparano isn’t even the first NFL head coach to pull this exact same stunt. Rex Ryan, who Sparano coached under as New York Jets offensive coordinator in 2012, pulled the same motivational grave gambit after a 2010 blowout loss to the New England Patriots on “Monday Night Football,” so at least he has some company.

Then again, perhaps emulating Rex Ryan’s motivational and coaching tactics isn’t the greatest idea, although folks have been insisting that Ryan’s head coaching career deserves a burial in a shallow grave in some New Jersey swamp for years now.

In any event, let’s just hope that the Raiders practice field isn’t located on top of Native American burial ground or anything. No need to have some kind of “Pet Sematary” kind of thing to happen. Things are bad enough for the Raiders already without players getting hunted down by a resurrected zombie football.