My 2-8 Raiders fulfilled my wishes a few weeks ago in not going through this season without a win â€” something that despite my never-say-die love for them I was regretably certain had been a distinct possibility. Today they were matched up against the 8-2 AFC West Division-leading San Diego and I had hardly any hope that it would be anything but a lopsided win for the Chargers.
Much to my pleasant surprise, the Raiders, behind a stingy and tight defense, and a strangely fluid and rejuvenated offense made it a great game and led 14-7 going into the fourth quarter. Then, as always seems to happen: they was robbed!!
On a fourth down pass play deep in Raider territority the San Diego receiver caught the ball for a first down before falling to the ground. Then rising to his feet he purposefully spun the ball out of his hands in celebration at the reception. But incredibly, he had not been touched by and of the Raider defenders, which meant the play was still live and he had just unintentionally and idiotically fumbled the ball away. An alert Raider nearby fell on the pigskin and initially the officials ruled it an Oakland recovery.
Then the robbery commenced. The officials gathered and after some discussion ruled that the receiver hadn’t fumbled, but instead had committed an “illegal forward pass,” which is but a five-yard penalty. After some more conferring there was something figured out about whether the point of the infraction minus the five-yards would still give San Diego enough for a first down (if it didn’t the Raiders would recieve the ball over on downs), but even minus the fiver the Chargers still had enough for the first and then went on to score a touchdown and tie it up 14-14.
I recorded the replay off the TV with my digital cam in Quicktime and uploaded it here on YouTube if you want to share my pain or relive the indignity or both. I also tried to embed it here on this page of my site but I’m not sure if I was successful or not.
I walked away from the TV and was spared the frustration of seeing the Chargers capitalize on another bad call that awarded them a turnover and allowed them to score another touchdown. Of course they went on to win. Dammit.
UPDATE (12/01): I am just now in receipt of a notice from the fine folks at YouTube sent via email alerting me that the video clip has been removed because I infringed upon the NFL’s copyright, which is a terrorist act and thus I am to be deported to Guantanamo immediately.