Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Super Bowl XXXVII

3) Super Bowl XXXVII: Tampa Bay 48—Oakland 21

With the league’s #1 offense led by league MVP Rich Gannon and a roster loaded with experienced veterans, the Raiders were the consensus favorites to with their fourth Super Bowl. Bitter playoff defeats ended the Raiders’ two previous seasons and the team knew this was probably their last chance for the title given age and looming salary cap considerations. At the end of the previous season, the Raiders allowed their coach, Jon “Chucky” Gruden, to leave for Tampa Bay in exchange for an unprecedented amount of high draft picks and 8 million bucks. A controversial move to be sure but Al Davis looked like a genius as his team advanced to the Super Bowl with new coach Bill Callahan. Unfortunately, the Raiders’ opponent would be the one team that knew their every weakness: the Jon Gruden-coached Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During the game a microphone caught a Bucs linebacker expressing amazement at how everything the Raiders offense ran was a play the Bucs had practiced against during the week. As for Mr. MVP, Rich Gannon played like the journeyman QB he was thought to be prior to his Raider stint. No, that’s being too generous. Gannon carved a special place for himself in the annals of suck (a preview of his broadcasting career). After a slow start, the Bucs cruised to a 20-3 halftime lead, all but ending the game (no team in a Super Bowl has ever come back from that kind of deficit). The Raiders' humiliation continued into the second half as a Gannon INT returned for a touchdown turned the game into a 34-3 laugher. However, a Jerry Porter TD, a blocked punt returned for a TD, and then a bomb to Jerry Rice with 6:41 left closed the gap to 34-21 and gave Raider fans the briefest illusion of hope. But Gannon’s 4th INT, and 2d returned for a TD, shattered that illusion and emphatically ended the dreams of Raider Nation for good. Raider-haters everywhere, most notably Jon Gruden, laughed hysterically as Gannon threw a 5th INT (also returned for a TD—what a surprise) in the final seconds, the final exclamation point on the Bucs victory. Craig Morton, John Elway, Drew Bledsoe, and Kerry Collins especially shared in the good times as Gannon’s last INT erased their 4-interception Super Bowl efforts from the record books. Many speculated that the loss, with Gruden hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy, would kill off Al Davis yet he remains among the living as of this writing.

The Oakland Raiders' Top 10 Toughest Losses of All-Time:

Tenth Toughest Loss
Ninth Toughest Loss
Eighth Toughest Loss
Seventh Toughest Loss
Sixth Toughest Loss
Fifth Toughest Loss
Fourth Toughest Loss
Third Toughest Loss
Second Toughest Loss
Toughest Loss

2 comments:

Mike said...

Oh wait. I wont say, but does number one involve a "tuck rule"?

Shawn Thomas said...

Oakland Raiders lead series 19-16-1
against the Fins! Further more when was the last time Miami won a SB? Let alone been to a SB which was back in SB 19. Also to mention the Raiders ended that same team that went that Miami team with the Sea of Hands game. You are free to HATE the Raiders... but we ARE still better than MIAMI ever will be!