All week long I had heard on the Radio, on the News, in the Papers about the greatness of the Raiders. JT the Brick, one of the biggest morons I heard on the radio, and a Raider Employee had a Huge Raider Rally in the Gas Lamp district. What he should of done was paid for the Raiders to concentrate on the Game and Play instead of rallying the fans.
I enjoyed the get together that we had; it was Denis Savage, his fiancé "T", my Friend Dave his Wife Heather, our Friend Shannon and of course me. We met up at the Martini Ranch in Encinitas to enjoy the festivities. I woke up this morning feeling good, Knowing the Raiders were going to lose this game, They Had to, God could not be so Cruel as to allow them to win in our House especially after letting them practice at Our facilities. Before the Game started, we had a fine Buffet of ribs, red beans and rice and jambalaya, nothing like spicy food for some hot action.
Kickoff came and it was not long before Johnson threw his worse pass all day, an interception to Charles Woodson, the Raider fans (all 5 or 6 of them) hollered it up. The Bucs Defense allowed them a field goal and for the next three Quarters it was all the Bucs, Dexter Jackson had 2 interceptions, Dwight Smith had 2 interceptions and Derrick Brooks had 1 interception. I am not going to write another piece on the Game there is going to be a lot of those over the next week. What I want to talk about is this Raiders team.
Bought and Paid for, Al Davis was going for the Gusto, this team is well over the Salary cap and a lot of these players will not be back with the Raiders next year. It will take a miracle for this team to be able to field a team like this one again. I do not see them having Rod Woodson, Sam Adams, or Even Mr. Raider Tim Brown in silver and black next year.
Can you blame Al Davis? No, he wanted another championship and he did it the old fashioned way, he bought it, Well he thought he did, The Raiders had the oldest team in the NFL this year, 90 percent of their starting players were over the age of 30, they were all free agent veterans that Davis gathered together to give him his championship, good strategy, wrong year. It just was not to be. Defense win's Championships and the Raiders just did not have the Defense to win, oh they had players like Rod Woodson, Charles Woodson, Bill Romanowski and John Parrella, but they did not have as strong a defense as the Bucs and that is what hurt them in the end.
The Raiders commitment to excellent and "Just Win Baby" slogan was the last thing that showed up in San Diego, the team that was on the field had a commitment to interceptions and penalties. A loss like this could not happen to a nicer team, I felt sorry for the couple that sat in the couch seats in front of the Big Screen, an older couple that were Raider Fans for 25 years that sat there and watched the game and listened to everyone cheering for the Bucs. It was a sad day for them and a Glorified one for me, for one day I was a Bucs fan, I was the Bucaholic, I enjoyed the game so much that before the game even started I bought a round for everyone.
I do not want to turn this into a Raider bashing article because that is not what I am about, but I got so tired of hearing how great the Raiders are and how no way in Hell will the Raiders lose this game, this all powerful offense will destroy the Bucs and I said I don't think so, I told Denis before the game that Joe Jurevicius would have a good game, ok he did not have as great a game as I hoped but he made some plays that was worthy. He chose Brian Kelly the DB; he should have picked someone else I told him.
We screamed and hollered for the Bucs all game, and we had a good time. To tell the truth even if the Bucs would have lost, we probably would have had a good time, but just to see the Raiders get their Butt's kicked worse then the Chargers made my Football season. Just remember one thing my momma use to say, "You always get what you paid for", and at this time Al Davis is wishing that he paid for more.
On another note, did anyone hear Al Michaels early in the first quarter when he said, ``The scariest thing all week was when the commissioner said the Super Bowl wouldn't come back to San Diego without a new stadium. They should put the game here permanently.''
I could not have said it better myself and nice to see he took a page out of my book in my letter to Paul Tagliabue: Dear Mr. Tagliabue
Tom Criswell (aka Boltaholic) can be reached at: Boltaholic
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