I'm not an Internet superstar.Sure my site does some decent traffic, and I've been fortunate enough over the years to pick up a number of regular readers (who I'm honored to have), but thus far I've not reached a level of infamy where people all over the world annoy each other by forwarding links to their friends featuring my stuff. Nor have I had the chance yet to become one of those "accidental web sensations" whose hilarious/unfortunate "personal moments" get caught on tape, posted on YouTube, and then emailed all over the world with taglines like "You've Got to See This" or "OMG ROTFL WTF!?"
Case in point -- How frikkin' sweet was the Bronco's win over the Raiders Sunday? I mean, anytime my Broncos win I'm happy -- but when you get right down to it there is absolutely nothing better for a Denver fan than when we punk Oakland. If we lose every other game in a season and beat Oakland twice -- I'd still consider the season a successful one.Why not?Probably because no one's ever filmed me watching football on TV.
For two quarters of the game we were able to move the ball up and down the field, leading to a comfortable 17-3 lead at the half. But then we start making mistakes, turning the ball over, and giving up points -- leading to a place where the Raiders looked like they might make a game of things -- bringing the score to a much more worrisome 17-12.Lets be clear about something -- I hate the Raiders more than I hate
Jimmy Buffet, Notre Dame, okra, and the IRS combined.
The best I could manage was watching another regional game (hoping for highlights) while constantly checking NFL.com for updates. And even with all the advances in web technology that allow me to keep up with the game while it's going on, there's still a delay from the time the things happen on the field to the moment that it updates on my browser.But here's the thing -- the game isn't actually on in my area.
So what at the beginning of the game was me keeping an eye on the score updates on my TV screen and occasionally checking my web browser to see how things were going, occasionally nodding in approval and saying things like "Alright, looking good" eventually morphed into me pacing up and down the halls of my apartment, hitting the refresh button a million times in a row hoping for any sliver of information I could get while shouting coaching tips and angry admonishments to our defense to no one in particular.
At this moment I realize I hate the web. I hate that a second ago my team is driving down the field looking to run down the clock and hold on to their 4-point lead, only at the touch of a button to find out we're suddenly in danger of giving a game away to our most hated rival in our own stadium. I hate the web because these are the only facts I have. I can't see the a receiver almost catching the ball. I can't see the oncoming pass rush.Especially in the 4th quarter when Thomas Howard returned an
interception for a touchdown -- giving Oakland a 3-point lead.
Suddenly I'm furious, cursing and yelling -- especially at the local CBS station that refuses to show me anything other than what I wanted to see. And sure I guess I could have gone to a sports bar -- but it was a hangover Sunday, and all I really wanted to do was sack out on the couch, drown my headache in delivery pizza and cold beer from the fridge, and catch a little NFL action on the tube.All I know is that one minute we're winning, and then the next we're fucked!?
I even started to try and figure out the closest place that might have Sunday Ticket so I can at least see the people I'm cussing out -- when suddenly something magical happens.
The Bears/Chiefs games ends, and CBS switches their coverage to the Broncos game.OK -- Forget the Star Wars kid. Get away from me with your Numa Numa or that Dick in a Box nonsense -- because if there had been a camera close enough to catch me the footage would easily be the new object of ridicule on Kimmel the way I was suddenly jumping up and down on my couch and shouting in excitement.
It's no secret that I get revved up for sports. I've been known to shout and scream at my share of sports bars while watching FSU games or Stanley Cup finals. There was a night last year during the NBA playoffs where Kevin basically shut the place down so we could watch game 6 of the Detroit/Cleveland series and cheer or boo at the top of our lungs.
It's just that things like this usually happen when I'm in large groups where everyone's invested in the outcome.
It should also be noted that the walls in my apartment are pretty thin. I can hear lyrics whenever my downstairs neighbor listens to his stereo (not to mention the names his girlfriend calls him when they fight -- which is ALL THE FRIGGIN TIME). If I got out into the hallway I can tell you what TV program Slammy (the really scary fat guy who lives in the other downstairs apartment -- so nicknamed for his continual habit of slamming every door whenever he comes and goes) is watching at any given moment -- So I know for a fact everyone in the building heard me threatening to curse Brandon Stokely's name every chance I get if he drops another pass.But this was just me in my apartment trying in vain to get
two uninterested housecats to chant "Defense! Defense!"
Long story short -- Stokley catches the pass, Cutler mans up, Travis Henry and Javon Walker find the right spots and with just over two minutes left we tie up the score at 20 a piece.
There really is (nor should there be) any such thing as a field goal celebration dance -- but I start doing one anyway, which had to look ridiculous, but luckily wasn't seen by anyone else in the world. In fact the only thing possibly more embarrassing than that homage to the funky chicken was the arm waving hokey-pokey thing I started doing when cornerback Dre' Bly handed Jake McCown his 3rd interception, effectively cutting off Oakland's last drive and sending the game into overtime.
Overtime goes back and forth for a little while, followed what might be the coolest 3 minutes in Bronco/Raider history ever -- all due to the pure evil of one man and one man only,
Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan.The fact of the matter is that despite the fact that I'll always be a Denver Broncos fan, even after all these years I still find myself with mixed emotions about the man who's coached the team for the last decade. Don't get me wrong, the guy's an amazing coach -- and I'll always love him for finally getting us over the hump and bringing the team it's two Superbowl championships.Better known to the rest of the world as Bela Lugosi.
But even so it's kinda hard to escape the fact that despite all of his success, the guy comes off a bit smarmy. Most reports have it that while preparing for his role as the domineering head coach in the Oliver Stone film Any Given Sunday actor Al Pacino studied hours of film and actually spent some time hanging out with Shanahan. But that's only the tip of the iceberg.
But despite it all I still love the guy, if only for the simple fact that he hates the Raiders even more than I do.Possible Reasons I Might Have to Dislike Mike Shanahan
- He's a raging conservative republican
- He routinely tortures Fantasy Football owners (especially me) with his roster moves.
- Steve Spurrier is one of his best friends.
Seriously -- If Raiders owner
Why? Mainly because back in 1989, then first time NFL head coach Mike Shanahan actually was the coach of the Raiders. Davis, one of the NFL's most famed megalomaniacs did what he always does, and handcuffed the young coach in every facet of the game, leading to a losing season after which Davis fired Shanahan from the team -- and apparently stiffed him out of $250,000 that he was contractually owned. The feud over the money continued for years, even to the point where the league's commissioner ordered Davis to pay the money (which he didn't).
I may not know much about politics, but as anyone who ever thought it would be fun to go hunting with Dick Cheney can tell you – if there’s one thing you don’t do in this life – it’s steal money from a Republican.At one point Shanahan actually offered Davis a compromise where he could take the 250 grand and simply donate it to Oakland's public school system (after all, it's not like Shanny needs the money) -- and the old man still refused.
Because ever since that day, Shanahan has made it a point to beat the crap out of the Raiders every chance he gets."But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid."
"That's 'cause droids don't pull people's
arms out of their sockets when they lose."
Flash back to Sunday, the game going into overtime – and after a series of close plays and missed tackles, Oakland sets up to try and kick a 52 yard game-winning field goal. Their kicker (former FSU star Sebastian Janakowski) has a monster leg, and apparently kicked a 65-yarder in practice earlier that day. It had been a back and forth game, but now it seemed after this emotional roller coaster, everything would come down to nothing more a gimme for one of the better field goal kickers in the league.
Or it would have been, if my team’s coach wasn’t a Nosferatu with an axe to grind.Because literally a split second before Oakland snaps the ball to kick the winning field goal Shanahan takes advantage of a recent rule change in the league and calls a time out from the sideline.
The ref heard it (probably because Shanahan had bitten him on the neck so he could transmit the command to stop the clock telepathically), which makes it official – but no one else did and the play went on, and the ball sailed right through the uprights -- seemingly giving the Raiders the win.
Oakland starts celebrating, it all seems hopeless, I’m cussing up a storm standing on top of my couch – all before the referees get on the microphones to explain and the TV commentators figure out what’s going on.
The clock is reset, everyone gets back on the field, and they have to try the kick again.
The look on Shanahan’s face is priceless –- because he knows that after his sneaky little gambit gave them a second chance after apparently losing the game, the entire Broncos team has essentially turned into vampires -- literally coming back from the dead to walk on the field again.Which they do, except that this this time around the ball
sails left, hits the upright -- and bounces harmlessly away.
Nine plays later we kick our own field goal to walk away with a 23-20 win that not only puts us at the top of our divisional standings -- but completely digs the knife right into the ribs of Raider nation.
Which is when the really embarrassing dance moves kicked in over at my place.