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There is Fly On Al Davis' Internet Wall

By Jerry "OregonRaider" Cardoza

Raider fans, ever wonder what goes on inside Al Davis office, or just what is turning at the training facility in Alameda ? Well you need not wonder anymore if you have access to the internet. There is a webstite called Silver and Black Cyberspace at hosted by Eric Nilson. Here you will find the Silver and Black Cyberpicks, a weekly contest picking the winners each week, editorials, schedules, the Raider Logbook, Raider of the Week and links to other sites. The number #1 feature though is "Otto, the Fly on Al Davis' Wall", affiliated with Otto is the single most popular Raider page on the Web. Daily updates of "inside information" from the Raiders that the media does not get make this page the #1 Raider page for Raider fans.

When Silver and Black first started about 4 years ago it only had a news section. You could find transactions, and daily news from the media but nothing on rumors or inside information. After some thought Eric created the mythical Fly on Al Davis' Wall. Said Eric" I had a lot of requests to do something different so I came up with the idea of the fly." After running a contest for the name Eric decided to go with his on choice of "Otto". He has not looked back since going from a few hundred hits a day to 3,000-4,000 hits per day now and on a "hot day" over 5,000 hits is a common occurrence. In the early days the main source was the Argus, a Fremont paper that is a sister paper to the Oakland Tribune. At that time it was it was the only local paper not found online so Otto had a source others online had no access. Otto would also throw out rumors off the local radio station always pointing out they were unconfirmed. Otto's purpose then as it is now is to give information to the "geographically challenged" Raider fan. When the Raiders were in LA it was very difficult to obtain information in the Bay Area and when Eric saw how many people came to his site he knew how much more difficult it had to for them to keep up with the latest on the Silver and Black.

As time went on sources began approaching Eric with information. A former Oakland Tribune beat writer fed him information from time to time before moving to Tennessee. Otto now has various sources with ties directly or indirectly to the team. The closest ties, from a source known to all Raider fans that visit Otto, is named "The Grapevine". The Grapevine is an employee of the Raiders and gives Otto inside updates on a regular basis, information that never gets to the media. Information on possible deals, the latest happenings at training camp or practice injury reports, what the players are doing and plenty more. The identity of the Grapevine is a closely guarded by Eric and only known to himself. Many fans have tried to figure out just who the Grapevine is but no one had been able to figure it out. It has to be kept a secret of the information would stop and Raider fans would lose the best source of Raider news Eric used to spend hours each day updating his page but thanks to new improvements in software programs it takes less time now than it did 3 years ago. Eric used to worry about other updates but with so much duplication on the web he now concentrates on Otto. Who wouldn't having the hottest Raider page found anywhere on the web. So if you really want to know what goes on behind closed doors, or just what the Raiders are up to or going to do next "Otto" is a must for any Raider fans bookmark on the web.

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