The Raiders’ Absent Defense

I awoke a bit later than usual for a Sunday morning, just before seven o’clock.  I watched a segment on Bruce Springsteen on the CBS Sunday Morning show.  I didn’t know that he suffered from depression.  I would go on the Internet to watch the interview with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.  Ringo sure looks younger and healthier than Paul these days.  I went to the coffee shop to have a strawberry-banana smoothie, and then I took the 6 bus and the 1 bus over to the Fruitvale BART station.  I shouldn’t have taken my sweatshirt because it turned out to be a hot afternoon.  We had parachutists landing on the field before the game, and a rock guitarist who drew some boos for messing up the national anthem.  Pete Banaszak was around to light the torch.  We heard that it was the 50th anniversary of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, and we were introduced to two current employees who were there from the beginning.  It would be awfully sad if they have to witness the departure of the team to Las Vegas.  Not a lot of Atlanta Falcons fans showed up for this game.  Neither team scored in the first quarter, which went by rather quickly.  The Falcons scored the first points of the game with a field goal.  The Raiders took the lead, 7-3, with a run from Latavius Murray.  The Falcons scored the next ten points with a 21-yard pass and a 20-yard kick.  A long punt return helped them out.  Sebastian Janikowski was beginning his 17th season with the Raiders.  He tried a 58-yard field goal kick in the final seconds of the second quarter, but he was way off the mark.  During halftime, we saw a ceremony for the late Ken Stabler in which his Hall of Fame bust was unveiled.  We saw John Madden, Jim Otto, Ted Hendricks, Dave Casper, Ray Guy, Art Shell, Willie Brown, Peter Banaszak, and Mike Haynes.  Whoever put Mike Haynes’ name on the video screen got it wrong as “Mike Hayes.”  I was surprised at how John Madden had aged.  It looked like he couldn’t walk across the field and he’d lost weight, and his voice was weak.  I shuddered a little bit as I thought of how everyone had gotten older over the years.  In the third quarter, Derek Carr threw a touchdown pass to Clive Walford, giving the Raiders a 14-13 lead and giving the fans the thought that the team could win again.  Atlanta, however, came back with a touchdown pass of their own.  They went for the two points and made the score 21-14.  In the fourth quarter, Carr threw another touchdown pass, this time to Michael Crabtree, to tie the score at 21-21.  However, the Falcons back came with another touchdown pass to go ahead, 28-21.  This one was a batted ball that somehow ended up in one of the Falcons’ hands.  The Raiders thought they had tied the score with another touchdown pass, but Amari Cooper had stepped out of bounds before the catch.  The Raiders tried a fourth down play, but it didn’t work.  The Raiders defense hadn’t stopped the Falcons, as their pass defense looked especially bad.  Needless to say, the Falcons drove to a backbreaking touchdown, making the score 35-21.  Derek Carr would throw a third touchdown pass, this time to Andre Holmes, but at the end they had only two seconds left to score a tying touchdown.  The razzle dazzle didn’t work, and so it was a 35-28 loss and a 1-1 record after two weeks.  The Raiders’ defense had allowed 500 yards for the second consecutive week.  The Chiefs had lost, but the Chargers had won.  Checking the baseball scores, the A’s beat the Rangers, 5-2, with Khris Davis hitting two home runs to reach forty for the season.  I got home and listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN.  He played songs from the Concert for Bangladesh and No Nukes albums.  The Columbo episode on Me TV was “A Stitch in Crime,” with Leonard Nimoy and Will Geer.  This episode was from 1972, just three years after Star Trek went off the air.  Some of the people who died on September 19 include James Garfield (1881), Robert Casadesus (1972), Gram Parsons (1973), Hermes Pan (1990), Orville Redenbacher (1995), and Ann Doran (2000).  Today is a birthday for Trisha Yearwood (52), Lita Ford (58), Twiggy (67), Jeremy Irons (68), Randolph Mantooth (71), David McCallum (83), and Adam West (88).

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