Posted: Wednesday September 28, 2005 10:25AM; Updated: Wednesday September 28, 2005 8:02PM
Raiders fans soon may replace the Tony Gonzalez dummy with a Norv Turner dummy.
I am filing this story a little late because my 3-year-old son had a quarterback tryout with the Jets. It didn't go so good. The Jets staff told me he didn't seem to read zones as well as he should. I informed them that he is only three and can't read at all. They said, "Neither can Vinny Testaverde -- he went to Miami!"
Brace yourself Jets fans, the Brooks Bollinger era is upon us! It could be uglier. We could have bet on the Jets to win the Super Bowl. Or even worse, we could all be Raiders fans.
I was in Las Vegas last weekend, and as is my custom I spent a fair amount of time in the sports book at a casino. I had some dough down on the Ducks of Oregon. I was getting 21 points against the Trojans, and with the Ducks leading 13-0 late in the second quarter I went upstairs to take a nap. I had a little more than a half hour of football and 34 points to work with. I was counting my money as I drifted off. When I awoke an hour later I realized what a fool I was. Twenty one points or not, I had committed a cardinal sin -- I bet against USC. Talk about a team being able to turn it on when it wants to! The second half of that game was like a fireman opening a hydrant. I lost. I lost a lot. I did, however, have all of Sunday's NFL games to make it back.
I didn't. I took a few bucks and spread it around. It seems that whenever I bet on a team, a memo automatically gets distributed to those players to immediately forget everything they ever knew about football, including how to hold onto one. As I sat in disbelief at how terrible I was at handicapping, I wondered to myself, Who could have it worse than me?
That, my friends, is when I discovered I was surrounded by Raiders fans. I should have realized they were around me by the stench alone. The oh-so-familiar smell of unbrushed teeth and whiskey was overwhelming once I began to come out of my own misery. What The Jerry Springer Show is to television, Raiders football has become to sports. But after Sunday's 23-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, dealing with Raiders fans has become more tolerable. A little bit of their swagger is gone. They have lost a little spring to their step. Of course, losing a little spring to their step to a Raider fan means they are just slightly less likely to scream "RAIDERS!" in your face at a urinal.
Watching Sebastian Janikowski miss not one, but two field goals, made me downright giddy. To be fair, Janikowski is a very good kicker as well as the perfect Raider. The guy has been arrested almost as often as Bobby Brown and looks like he just walked out of a clan rally in Ojai. This guy isn't just scary-looking for a kicker, he is scary looking for an inmate! I guess they don't have much time to practice place-kicking in holding cells. How else to explain him missing two gimmes. On the other side of the field on Sunday, in stark contrast to Janikowski, stood David Akers. Akers looks and acts like an NFL kicker should. He makes field goals and does it with the flair of a door-to-door Mormon. I found it poetic that in a game decided by a field goal, the good guys won. I never have referred to the Eagles as the good guys before, and unless they work Al Qaeda into the schedule, I never will again. But playing against the Raiders makes everyone a good guy by comparison.