This is not a recap of Super Bowl XLIII. If by now you know nothing about what might be the greatest football game ever played, you’re either scrambling to avoid being closed off from the world due to the impending digital conversion or you’re doing volunteer work somewhere in Eastern Europe. If you need an analysis of the Super Bowl, feel free to tune into any of the cable sports networks for round the clock opinions and highlights replayed and regurgitated at such nauseam that you will feel like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day”. Instead this is a call to arms for the Raider Nation and our ever sliding legacy in the pantheon of professional football.
It was not so long ago that we could brag so proudly about those three Lombardi trophies that Al Davis would polish each morning before entering his office; making sure to check his smile in their reflection before calling in the next candidate to be interviewed for the open head coaching position. Now three Lombardis, much like Jessica Simpson, still ain’t bad but they are not as sexy as they once were.
I’m proud of our franchise. I’m a young member of Raider Nation (just made 30); in my life time I’ve seen the highs and lows. Just 10 years ago, those three Super Bowl titles placed us in a tie for, what was then, the second most of any franchise in the history of the NFL. Now, we’re locked into a 5 way tie for third place, which is a little like being involved in a photo finish for the bronze in the 100 meters while watching Usian Bolt pose for his photo in front of the new world record time while we lean at the finish in hopes of being a footnote in history. Let’s just state the facts: 3 are only half as good as 6. Now Tom Brady has three rings. David Tyree’s miracle grab last year placed the Giants into the 3 Club, Peyton Manning still has a good shot at getting another ring or two, and had John Elway been blessed with Terrell Davis earlier in his career, who knows how many rings Bronco fans would be boasting of right now.
Yup, we’re all chasing the Steelers and their 6 titles now. Even Mike Tomlin admitted that after the dramatic finish to Super Bowl XLIII that he didn’t even touch the trophy. Instead, he simply stated that, “I see 5 of them on my way into work every day and am just happy to add to the collection”. If I were writing the script for the inevitable Al Davis story, the scene for last night’s Super Bowl would go as follows: Al Davis would be alone, locked away in some cavernous room, buried in piles of scouting reports for the ensuing NFL draft. He’d look up in time to see Santonio Holmes make that incredible catch and in a fit of rage would pick up the remote, turn off the plasma and dial JaMarcus Russell. Next would be a montage of Russell training with Darren McFadden as Davis and Tom Cable look on in what would become the rise of a fallen franchise and the quest for 7 Lombardi Trophies.
In the end, this is all just the silly dream of fan turned blogger. We don’t even officially have a head coach yet and who even knows if Al Davis watched the Super Bowl. The fact is that we’re only half the franchise the Steelers are. But, hey, three is better than zero, which still makes us three times better than the Chargers. So, for now, I take pride in that.