The Jets meet the Raiders in Oakland for the 7th time in 5 years this Sunday.
When I saw the Jets 2003 schedule posted my eyes became fixated on November 9th. How does the Guy Fawkes song go? Remember, remember the ninth of November? Pack your bags boys we're going to California to see the Raiders.
If I am not mistaken this is something like the 43rd year in a row that The Jets are once again on their way to Network Associates Coliseum to play against the insufferable silver and black. When was the last time they won on the road against The Raiders? 1962? Why can't we see just once the Raiders come to our house? What does the NFL schedule makers have against the Jets to bestow upon them one automatic loss a year? Can we just skip this and start the season in week two at 0-1?
Do I really need to sit through another late Sunday afternoon mid-season game and watch this team of geriatrics pound and punish my team again? Can I get a pass from my friends for skipping out on the game and walk around that day taking in the foliage? Would anyone blame me?
Will I watch Rick Mirer have the game against us we wished he could have in 1999 when he played for the Jets? Maybe Jerry Rich catches a touchdown while in his wheelchair? What is the average age of their defense? 42? I think Al Davis drew up a contract this off-season for Jim Thorpe but decided against it when his assistants informed him that Thorpe was dead.
My rule of thumb was always that as long as I was younger than the oldest player in pro sports I could still consider myself a young man. Well as long as the Raiders are around I will be pulling all-nighters around the same time I have my retirement party.
And what about the torture that this team has exacted upon the Jets over the years? You can start the list with Namath's jaw and end it with a ridiculous in game celebration for Tim Brown. Congratulation Timmy…you’re number three. To this day I hold that idiotic celebration as the sole reason why the Jets lost that game. I will not debate this.
I can't stand The Raiders. I now hate everything related to Oakland. Scratch that; I hate everything California now. I can't listen to Counting Crows songs because of all of the California references. (Well, that and the fact that I don't think they are very good. And what is the deal with Adam Duritz? Is it just me or has he dated every hot chick in Hollywood? How is he considered a tortured songwriter with the list of names in his address book? Am I digressing?)
I am pretty sure that I have seen the Jets lose in everyway possible to the Raiders over the last few years. I have seen games end on interceptions, last minute field goals, late fourth quarter touchdown drives, and of course the occasional blow out.
Now I know some of you may be thinking, "Wait a minute...they beat them in the last game of the 2001 season and got in the playoffs!" Now I agree that was an exhilarating and amazing moment in Jet history, a great accomplishment. But who really thought they were winning that game? Seriously? Anyone? Were they committed at the time? And what was the reward for winning that pivotal game? That's right...another trip back to Oakland. And what did we witness? That's right...another gut wrenching loss and elimination from the playoffs. Thank you Oakland. You are too kind.
Well now after getting ousted from the playoffs two years in a row by this Raider team I for one hope that the players and coaches feel the same bitterness and desire for redemption as I do. I hope there is some sort of angry intensity on display against this now weakened and injured team. I want the Jets to twist the knife into the Raiders’ throats deeper than they could have imagined possible and kill this team off. I want to see the Jets play with a chip on their collective shoulder. I want hard hits. I want to see Bill Callahan shaken and depressed on the sidelines. I want linemen in silver and black huffing and puffing there way through the second half. I want this Jet team to show me that they will no longer put up with being pushed around by the Raiders. I guess what I want most of all is for them to "just win baby"! Just win.
Well now the Raiders are ripe for a beating of legendary proportions. They are so consumed with inner turmoil and embarrassment that makes my heart sing. Nothing feels better than looking at the highlight of Raider games every week. Now it is the Jets turn as Detroit passes along the beating stick to them. The Jets are set up to win one in Oakland. It should happen finally after all these years of torture whenever the Jet were “goin’ back to Cali…” and even though if the Jets win to most it will be a meaningless game for two dead teams my response would have to be, “Uh, I don’t think so….”
Picks Week Ten
So here I am, ten weeks into this little experiment of mine that I am probably the only one paying attention to. Where do I stand after all this time? 14-12. I am two games over .500. Not exactly a dominating performance but if I were an NBA team I would be thinking playoffs right now. What does the week ahead bring to the NFL? Not too much to be honest.
Game 1: Tampa Bay at Carolina
My pick: Buccaneers
The coin: Panthers
This is probably the best game scheduled for the week. It should be a great contest between an up and coming defense and a more seasoned and successful squad. I really think this game is up for grabs. We could see something along the lines of a 17-14 victory but knowing how many turnovers these teams cause it could actually be a little higher. I don’t think Carolina is up for it. George on the other hand is a wuss, and all wusses take the home team.
Game 2: Miami at Tennessee
My pick: The Titans of course
The Coin: The Titans
Hopefully Steve McNair is ready to prove once again that he is the best quarterback in the league. Something he does every week and has done every week since 1999. He means more to his team than any player I have ever seen since I started watching football. He is that good. Forget the new younger breed of uber-athletes and skilled completion artists. As far as I am concerned put any other Quarterback on this Titans squad over the last two or three years and they would have taken this team nowhere. Face it folks…McNair is a football god.
Game 3: Philly at Green Bay
My pick: Packers
The Coin: Eagles
This is the “where are we going to go this year” game for both teams. Whoever wins this game will make a final statement to everyone that they are here to compete. I only give the Pack a slight edge because Brett “Fav-ra” has looked like a little kid again. Whenever he gets that gunslinger mentality going and runs around blocking defenders and jumping up afterwards good thing normally happen in cheese-land. George has to go with Philly or be disowned by many of his older friends. You know the guys. White powdered wigs and petticoats. Those guys.