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This one hurts. Really, really hurts. A deep silver and black bruise right on my heart.
I was so ready… so fucking ready for the Raiders to be back. Gave them the official stamp on the Podcast and everything.
The moment Jack Del Rio reached down into those large, throbbing balls of his to pull out that two point conversion in New Orleans, I knew the Raiders were back. Like… how could they not be? Al Davis himself (the young Al Davis who didn’t look like skeletor with AIDS) might as well have made that call. That was “Just Win Baby” football on steroi– I mean adderall. Early 80’s Raiders football that made Howie Long stand up in the Fox studios and give a nice big HOWIE DOIN? in Curt Menefee’s mug. The Raiders were back… they were just so fucking back.
But folks… there’s a reason we call it the Trent Dilfer Must Win Game Of The Week.
Week 2… Playoff picture starting to shake out… Weather getting colder… Postseason on the horizon… Folks, if you’re the Oakland Raiders, you have to win this game. You can not lose games like this and still Just Win Baby in the National Football League. If you’re really back then you have to show me how back you are and I’m sorry but a team that is back does not lose to the Atlanta Falcons at home. Can’t walk around with your giant balls and your leather jackets and your perfectly quaffed hair and lose to the goddamn Dirty Birds and Matt fucking Ryan. Can’t give the fans this much hope only to rip it away just a game later. Because next thing you know you’ve got hipsters on edibles thinking they can tae kwon doe a grown man’s glasses off without getting cheap shotted by another uninvolved fan from behind. Give a fanbase some belief that their team is back and all of a sudden they might forget they’re in the stadium-fight capital of the world and end up with a Grade 2 Concussion because Straw Hat Charles Woodson can’t believe Matt Ryan hasn’t thrown a back-breaking red zone interception yet and needs to take out some anger but can’t find any Falcons fans because people were too afraid to wear Falcons gear in Oakland because we all thought The Raiders were back.
Now I know this is breaking the rules of the Trent Dilfer Must Win Game Of The Week… but I won’t say the Raiders are dead yet. Back? No. But not yet Dead, either. I’m giving them a free pass for this loss out of the goodness of my heart. But from here on out I’m putting the Raiders on season-long Trent Dilfer Must Win Game Of The Week (TDMWGOTW) status. Must Wins from here until the playoffs. I know it seems like Week 3 is early to make that call but the last I checked .500 teams don’t make the playoffs unless they play in the AFC South and it’s a little too cold outside to recover from back-to-back losses at this point in the season. Get in a good week of practice, watch some old NFL Films clips of Al Davis, and get ready for a nice little old school matchup against perennial AFC South .500 powerhouse the Tennessee Titans.
There might be hope for you yet, Oakland.