For a while in the early part of this decade, it seemed like the Oakland Raiders ripped my heart out every year.
They beat the Jets big, they beat them small. They beat them in the regular season, they beat them in the playoffs. OK, no more Dr. Seuss-like pronouncements. But basically, the Raiders owned the Jets.
That’s why Sunday was so sweet for me, and for, I’m sure, all the Jets fans out there. Sunday, against one of the worst NFL teams I have ever seen, Gang Green beat the ever-loving stuffing out of the Raiders, 38-0.
Except for one horrible injury to Leon Washington, who suffered a broken fibula and about whom a teammate said “I could see blood spurting out. I’ve never seen anything like that before” (lovely), it was a sensational day for the Jets.
They finally did what they should’ve done last week: run, run, and run some more, and throw the ball only when absolutely necessary.
Thomas Jones looked terrific, as did rookie Shonn Greene (though, unlike the Mets’ Shawn Green, I don’t think is Jewish), who replaced Leon Washington.
Mark Sanchez did just enough, though I have no freakin’ idea why he was still in the game to take a couple of hellacious hits late in the fourth quarter. Sanchez was poised, confident, and made the throws he needed to make. And really, that’s all we should ask of the kid. These Jets fans who are ready to throw him out after a few bad games are morons. The kid has now started 23 games since high school.
The Jets defense was outstanding (welcome to the season, Calvin Pace, you of your two strip sacks), and JaMarcus Russell, God bless you for being so awful. He basically gave the Jets their first two touchdowns. I was legitimately sad when the Raiders pulled him.
Losing Leon is a huge blow; his dangerous kickoff returns alone make him a big asset. But with this win, the Jets stay a game back of New England, and have a chance at some Dolphins revenge next week.
Man, this Jets team is hard to figure after 7 weeks: Three straight wins, then three straight losses, now a resounding win. Ask me around Thanksgiving and I’ll be able to tell you if they’re any good or not.
Some other quick-hit thoughts on this NFL Sunday:
**Good God the Saints are explosive. Down 24-3, they scored 43 points in the last two quarters and the last minute of the first half. Forty-three! Couldn’t happen at a better time, against the hated Dolphins. Thanks, Drew Brees. If the 4-3 Jets can beat 2-4 Miami next week at the Meadowlands, that could just bury the ‘Fins’ playoff hopes. Lovely.
**Ah, that’s the Brett Favre I remember from last season. A fumble in the fourth quarter in the red zone against Pittsburgh, returned for a touchdown, then an INT that wasn’t his fault a few minutes later.
**So someone please tell me how JaMarcus Russell is still a starting quarterback in the NFL. If he’s an NFL quarterback, I’m Manute Bol.
**Go ahead, you figure out the Cincinnati Bengals.
**As for the New York Yankees, I of course am thrilled to see them finish off those poor-fielding Angeles of Los Angeles, 5-2 Sunday night. It seems like it’s been a lot longer than six years since the Bronx Bombers have been in the Series, but that’s probably just something obnoxious Yankee fans like me think sometimes.
1. This will be a longer post this week, but the Yankee fans’ adoration of Alex Rodriguez is something I never thought I’d see. Much like with Bill Clinton, I’ve always been so conflicted about him, myself.
2. It amazes me what pressure can do to human beings. The Angels were a fantastic defensive team in the regular season. But in the pressure cooker of October, they melted like an egg on a sidewalk in Florida in July.
3. Also, memo to FOX baseball directors: We really don’t need to see a fan reaction shot to EVERY out. And why do we care if Giuliani’s at the game anymore? He hasn’t been the mayor since 2001.
**Finally, I was watching a Rangers game Saturday night through the NHL’s free preview of its Center Ice Package, and the telecast was a “Hockey Night in Canada” production. Always a good time. Anyway, I heard a promo for something that I couldn’t believe was real, but apparently it is.
There’s a Canadian sitcom called “Little Mosque on the Prairie.” Seriously. According to the show’s web site, it’s an internationally-acclaimed comedy about Muslims and Christians attempting to live in harmony in the small town of Mercy, Saskatchewan.
This brings to mind all kinds of jokes in my head (would Laura Ingalls Wilder ever go to Mecca?), but I’m sure many of them would be offensive.
Anyway, here’s a clip of the show, from the first episode: I found it interesting.