Last night's "debacle" on MNF was just another football game to most longtime Raider fans. It is curious to see the national media going haywire over what has come to be expected on any given Sunday by the Raider Nation.
From the Immaculate Reception, to the Rob Lytle fumble, to the no flag on Tony Sarragusa's pancake job on Rich Gannon, the Raiders are no stranger's to questionable officiating. The "Snow Job", AKA "Tuck Rule", is another classic that Raider fans and players will never forget.
All four of the above games occurred in the post season with more at stake than a week three prime time match-up.
Speaking of the post season, last years Raiders missed the playoffs by one game. They had their opportunities and overcame a tremendous amount of adversity. Janikowski missed a 30 some yard field goal to win it against the Cardinals early last season. In Buffalo, Denarious Moore was involved in a play nearly identical to last night's hail mary. Guess who got the call in that one?
For years Raider fans have seen the officials step in the way of a potentially game changing or momentum building play for the Raiders with some sort of soft bias. A turnover quashed by an inadvertent whistle. Enforcement of a rule so obscure even the play by play and color analysts are at a loss for words. Hearing a longtime announcer ask a colleague if he has ever seen such a ruling is not uncommon during Raider broadcasts.
Raider fan's are no stranger's to hearing an announcer compliment the research team for digging into the depths of the NFL rule book in order to explain the inexplicable.
For years, most of the NFL has dismissed these plays as just more bellyaching from Al Davis and a crazed fan base.
Lost into the abyss of inconsequential plays in the history of the NFL is a fumble recovery by Marquez Pope late in a deluge at Husky Stadium.
On December 17th, 2000, the Raiders were leading the Seattle Seahawks 24-19 with 2:40 to go. Seahawk running back Ricky Watters busted out for a 53 yard run which concluded as he was caught from behind and stripped of the ball at the Oakland five yard line. Aided by a rain soaked field, Raider safety Marquez Pope pounced on the ball and his momentum carried him into the endzone. What should have been a game ending turnover turned into a safety as Pope was ruled down by contact in the endzone!
Not only did this close the score to 24-21 Seahawks, it gave them the ball back! You guessed it. The Seahawks rally, score and put the Raiders away 27-24. This was neither the first or last time Raider fan's would see the announcer's patched into a league official for explanation of the obscurity within the rules that only seemed to surface during Raider games.
This rule has since been changed. However, it would not preclude the Raiders from being victimized by the Tuck Rule two years later in the post season against New England.
Raider fan's will never forget Randy Moss entering town after being traded for by Al Davis in March of 2005. They will also never forget his lackluster performance. The one thing I remember most about Randy Moss the Raider was the incredible number of offensive pass interference calls he accumulated. I had never seen, nor have I since, so many offensive PI calls in my entire life.
Moss left town "washed up" only to set passing and receiving records with Tom Brady in New England.
Is it a coincidence that the Raiders only seem to commit penalties on third and fourth down? Surprisingly, it hasn't happened that much this year on any down.
In 2012 the rest of the NFL get's to learn first hand what life as Raider has been like for the last 40 years.
Meanwhile, Oakland is rolling out the red carpet for the replacement officials.
This current state of affairs immediately reminds me of one of the many eulogies I heard last year for Al Davis.
"Al Davis- July 4th, 1929-October 8th 2011. Currently negotiating a deal between Heaven and Hell".
One has to think that Al has Lucipher and The Holy Ghost on a time out right now.
Negotiations will resume if and when the "real officials" ever come back!