Now what are all of those Raiders fans going to do with all of the hotel rooms and plane flights they booked for Super Bowl XL in Detroit?
Raiders fans all over the country had likely fired in to Expedia or Travelocity to book flights and rooms after the team drove for a touchdown in the opening drive of the season. You could almost hear the pitter of a keyboard as the inmates scrambled to their computers to type "Raiders Rule" on their message board of choice. Raiders fans likely got so bombed on Budweiser that they missed what happened next--their team getting exposed by a Super Bowl caliber team that illustrated just how far the chasm to a championship really is.
All on prime time television. Saved by the Bell had more drama than this game.
The Raiders definitely looked like a team that had gone 9-23 over the last two seasons. It was typical Raiders football as they were penalized 14 times for 139 yards. Lamont Jordan might have reminded some people of Bo Jackson by donning number 34. Raiders fans were probably waxing poetic about the Harvey Williams as Jordan looked like a pedestrian backup running back by the games conclusion. Where was the offense that was supposed to put up points like an Arena League team? Kerry Collins threw jump balls like a bewildered college quarterback.
And do not forget about the lousy defense, either. The Patriots looked like they could have scored at will. The Tyler Brayton and Grant Irons experiment lasted a quarter. The Patriots look like a team that could win another championship. The Raiders, on the other hand, should start sending scouts to USC practices and games.
The coach also was awful. The Raiders held a lead early in the game (back when Raiders fans were booking their trips), but you knew it was only a matter of time before Norv Turner was out-coached by Bill Belichick. The Patriots made the second half adjustments, Turner turned into a Little League parent whose attitude was reflected in the team.
"I thought we played a competitive game against a championship team," Turner said.
"New England is not a C-average team," Moss said. "They're an A-plus team. For us to hang in there with them ... that's something you can really smile about."
Is that what the greatest of Raiders is all about? Being competitive against the good teams? It is hard to imagine that the Raiders acquired Jordan and Moss so they could avoid blowouts against championship teams. What happened to the Commitment to Excellence? Now the Raiders have a Commitment to being Competitive.
Even that looked shaky at times.
NEW ENGLAND BRACED FOR RAIDERS FANS
Fans arriving at Gillette Stadium on Thursday were greeted by the sight of automatic-rifle toting Massachusetts State Police, a bomb squad and bomb-sniffing dogs, as well as pat-down searches. That is something to be proud of Raiders fans.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I've already whupped up on them every time they've seen me, so I say the day they beat me is the day I retire, because I am no longer able to play this game like I should." -- Warren Sapp, 2004