Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer was a passin’ fool in Sunday’s game against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and while his late interception took the wind out the Raiders’ sails after they had mounted yet another mighty comeback, the game’s final outcome wasn’t his fault.
No. 22 for the Bucs is running back Doug Martin and many of the Raiders defenders know that because they got good looks at the back of his jersey most of the game. The rookie left cleat marks all over the Raiders defense and the maddening thing was it wasn’t like they used some sort of trickeration. For the most part it was football 101 – run the ball straight down their throats.
The Buccaneers were the doormats of the league for many years and their emergence from cellar status coincided with a change of their logo from an Errol Flynn tribute to a rip-off of the Raiders pirate theme. To add insult to injury, they then acquired the Raiders coach who’d helped return the Silver and Black to glory . . . and then . . . and then . . . well, I still can’t talk about it.
It was bad enough to have the Bucs in town triggering memories I’d mostly suppressed of The Day Which Must Never Be Spoken of Again, but the Top Secret Raider Hater Media Cartel (stop laughing, it’s real) also arranged for former Bucs safety John Lynch to be in the broadcasting booth flashing his jewelry to twist the knife a little.
As in the Atlanta game, the Raiders showed heart, grit and dogged determination in the fourth quarter to battle back and put themselves in a position to win the game. If there was an “almost won” category in the NFL standings, I might clear my throat and sing that famous Queen victory song, but there isn’t.
I hadn’t missed a home game in years and was thus doubly bummed when, because of illness, I was not able to make the trek to Raider Mecca, but instead suffered in more ways than one in my man cave.
Now heading into Sunday’s contest against the Baltimore Ravens, a team that also triggers suppressed memories, both starting running back Darren McFadden and backup Mike Goodson have high ankle sprains. While I have to admit a post I saw that said Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie will be sure not to draft any running backs with high ankles was mildly amusing, the situation truly ain’t funny.
What do you want to bet the Top Secret Raider Hater Media Cartel will have that pork chop Tony “Gannon Cruncher” Siragusa on the sideline Sunday?
Reach Fairfield Raider fanalist, part fan, part journalist, Tony Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org.