Rivalry Week 101
By Norv Turner, as told to Lil' Hater.
Hey HaterNation fans! It’s me, Professional NFL Head Coach Norville Turner, and boy am I excited! Woo-hoo!!
Why am I excited, you ask – especially after a demoralizing 31-17 drubbing at the hands of our fierce divisional rival Denver? Is it because we're only a seven-game winning streak away from being in playoff contention? No sireee. Is it because I'm just a few losses away from equaling John McKay’s record for long-term coaching futility? Not a chance. Is it because Wal-Mart has a special on bulk purchases of Stridex medicated pads? Probably not.
The reason I’m all hopped up on goofballs is because it's Rivalry Week. That's right, it's personally a big game for me, Norv Turner, Head Football Coach. I’m taking on the Washington Redskins, the team that gave me my first head-coaching job, but who cruelly and without provocation cut me loose after a mere seven seasons of underachievement. This is my Big Chance to prove to Dan Snyder that I, Norv Turner Head Football Coach, with a career 57-76-1 record, should still be standing on their sidelines in the Burgundy & Gold, instead of some no-name racecar dude with a 135-74 record. This is it, the time for personal grudges to be settled and chapters to be closed, mano-a-mano.
Oh yeah, it might be a big game for the Raiders, too. Whatever.
But anyway, this is a Big Game for me, and as my record shows, they don't call me Big Game Norv for nothing. Just look at the facts, jack. I’m 1-9 in the AFC West the past two seasons. Yep, for every 10 games played against our mortal enemies, I can be counted on to emerge victorious at least one time. Take that, Shanahan. Screw you, Marty. Cry over those numbers, Dick.
This record held up when I was the Redskin’s coach, too. The last seven times we played our No. 1 hated rival, the Dallas Cowboys, we came up short every game. Zero for Seven. But we came close several times, though, which in my humble opinion should have been enough to ensure my job at least another two seasons. So as you can see, if there's any man out there who does a better job of getting his players ready to play big games, I’m not aware of them.
But before I turn my attention to this big game, lets talk about the Denver loss again. Frankly, I was very, very impressed with out fan base on Sunday. They came out in force, broke parole, and pushed our team to within 15 points of victory against Denver.
But most of all, their embrace of defensive end Derrick Burgess really caught my eye. They were chanting his name from the second quarter on, right around the time that Kerry Collins started having problems completing the ball to his teammates. Here's the conversation I had with special teams coach Joe Avezanno right around that time:
"Hey Joe, is the crowd booing us?"
"No way, Norv, they’re saying “Boo-urgess."
"Boo-Urgess! That's great, Joe! We have the best fans anywhere."
So anyway, I’m going to start game planning for my Big Game against Washington in the next couple days, once I catch up watching the last season of 24 on DVD. Man that Kiefer Sutherland can act. Rest assured, I’ll continue to use my proven winning Use-Randy-Moss-Only-as-a-Decoy, Until-We’re-Down-by-More-Than-14 Points Strategy in our plans, as the Raider fans would have it no other way.
By the way, I was told to plug a few things before I get out of here. If you did not catch the man, Conrad Bain, earlier this week be sure to check it out. It is a laugh riot. He is a little bit more forgiving to the Raiders than the other fellas that run this site. I am also supposed to endorse the Hater Nation forums right here. I read Steve Bisheff often. Check him out.