During an interview with Financial Times earlier this month, Donald Rumsfeld talked about his new memoir, Known and Unknown, and his tenure with the Bush administration. The former US Defense Secretary also talked football. Namely, the Oakland Raiders. Who, it seems, are evil.


As we get ready to part, we resort to the standard topic for male banter - sport. The Super Bowl - the most important game of the American football season - is being played that night, and Rumsfeld asks if I will be supporting the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Green Bay Packers. I say I like the Steelers, because I have memories of watching them play some epic games against the Oakland Raiders, in my first visits to the United States in the 1970s. “Oh nobody could support the Raiders,” he says, “they’re evil.” At this the retired boss of the Pentagon laughs heartily, and strolls back to his office and his archive of documents.

Not sure what, exactly, he means when he calls the Oakland Radiers "evil" - when it comes to athletes, football is an overall ethically-challenged sport - but SF Weekly speculates, "the Raiders have maintained a wild, outlaw image dating back to the 1970s, with eccentric oddball players, including Jack 'The Assassin' Tatum."