Thanks a lot Raiders. Or maybe I should say thanks a lot Raider fans. Enough of you bought tickets that the blackout was lifted, and we got to watch the Raiders-Jackson Jaguars game Sunday. What a thrilling matchup, an inept team against a more inept team, with fans that remind you of something out of a Mad Max movie. It's not like there was a better game on or anything. Oh yeah, there was.
In what was primarily a national telecast, CBS stations in most of the country gave you the Denver Broncos against the New York Giants. Denver's quarterback is Peyton Manning. New York's is Peyton's little brother Eli. It was dubbed the Manning Bowl. But did we get to see it? Noooooo. The Jacksonville-Oakland game was the only other game in that time slot, and because we are considered to be in the Raiders home area, we got the pleasure of having the Silver and Black foisted upon us.
Now you've got to believe that even Raider fans in the East Bay would rather watch the Mannings and check for periodic updates rather than turn on their televisions to see if new coach Marty Allen (I mean Dennis Allen) made the right choice by going with Terrell Pryor under center instead of Matt Flynn (no relation). They are the Mannings for crying out loud, everyone wants to see that.
It could be worse. You could be living in the Jacksonville market and had the Jaguars forced on you. Orlando CBS affiliate WKMG actually ran a crawl across the bottom of the screen apologizing for carrying the Jags game. Much like Sacramento and Chico are to the Raiders, Orlando is considered a “secondary market” for the Jaguars, and are required to carry Jacksonville's road games. At least in Sacramento and Chico (we get both stations in Marysville), you could at least hope for a blackout. We weren't so lucky.
By the way, the Raiders beat the Jaguars 19-9 in a game that saw an early touchdown, followed by seven field goals. Denver (Peyton) defeated New York (Eli) 41-23, with the Mannings combining for 669 yards and 3 touchdowns. Poor Eli had 4 interceptions, but I had to hear about that later.
Thanks a lot Raiders. Thanks a lot Raider fans. And muchas gracias to CBS and the NFL, too. I ended up watching the Dodgers lose to the Giants again.
Fantasy Football: I know this doesn't happen to real general managers, but I don't think I can handle any more fantasy football. Last week, my quarterback (the one that won the Manning Bowl game that I couldn't watch) threw for 7 touchdown passes, and my team lost (opponent had Colin Kaepernick and Vernon Davis). This week, I lost by .04 points! That's less than one rushing yard. My team has to be the best 0-2 in the history of anything.
Grievous Omission: In my ramble last week about the top ten iconic stages in sports, I neglected to submit Augusta National for consideration. Home of a tradition like any other, The Masters. In giving it some more thought, the home of the green jacket still wouldn't have made my list, but I would say that Augusta and Churchill Downs are on the same level with Indianapolis Motor Speedway—all the most important (and iconic) stages in their sport. The nod goes to Indy, though, for the history of the event, and the number of people that watch in person and on television.
No Milestone Matchup: While the next few days will likely be the time the Houston Astros lose their 100th game, we were hoping for a different way to look at the series. The 'Stros are home to the Cincinnati Reds, and this could have been the first time two former Gold Sox could have faced one another—Reds pitcher Curtis Partch vs. Houston catcher Max Stassi. Stassi, though, remains on the Disabled List with a concussion. Since the Astros are now in the American League, they won't face the Reds again for three more years.
Max Update: This from Yahoo! Sports today, “Stassi (concussion) caught another bullpen session Sunday. It's the third one he's caught since landing on the DL. Stassi also took batting practice Saturday and remains hopeful of returning late this season.”