Sunday, October 29, 2006

DE Derrick Burgess - The Autumn Wind Indeed

October 29, 2006

McAfee Coliseum

Oakland, California

Attendance: 62K+

By now the entire Football World has heard about the Oakland Raiders upsetting victory over the defending superbowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Everyone is wondering if the Raiders Defense is as good as it looked in stopping the Steelers offense time after time when it mattered most.

Time became a huge factor at the end of the game with the Raiders leading by seven and Pittsburgh marching down-field on quick offensive gains. But the NFL's 5th ranked defense going into this weekend's contest proved true to their ranking by denying Pittsburgh a taste of the endzone on four downs beginning at the 10-yard line. The Raider Defense's game clinching goal-line-stand helped beat the clock and the Steelers 20-13.

On a day that began with setting clocks back an hour, the Oakland Raiders treated a sellout crowd to throwback Raiders Football by imposing their Defensive Will on an opponent's offense. I wasn't there to be a part of those Raiders of Old games but I've heard many stories from oldtimers who did witness the magic. Everthing these diehard fans have talked about and passed down over the years was witnessed by us new generation fans in the Oakland Coliseum (McAfee Coliseum) on Sunday. From the fan noise to the dominating defense scoring touchdowns on the field to the opposing Pittsburh Steelers fans waving "Terrible Towels" throughout the stadium, it all seemed like one big throwback gameday. And of course the Autumn Winds of late October were rollicking and sweeping along the stands, sending chills through those unprepared or too sober to fend off the late cool afternoon breezes.

Except in this game there was no Immaculate Reception to thwart the Raiders Victory. No Franco or Fuqua to cause a frustrating and controversial outcome. A Pittsburgh Hail Mary completion at the three yard line as time expired was close, but the Raiders defense had played too great a game to allow any breakdowns at this stage. They stuffed the desperation play and swaggered boisterously off the field as Victors.

Play of the Game: Chris Carr's 100-yd interception return put the exclaimation point on the Defensive Unit's dominating day.

The Home Crowd Noise without question wins the 12th man award. It felt so good to see, hear and feel the rumble of the fans shaking the Coliseum once again, and not with fist-fights but actual screams, chants and whistles in support of our team. As a matter of fact, though I'm sure there were some incidents of disruptive fan behavior Sunday, I did not witness any encounters of fan disturbance. The many many Pittsburgh fans that showed up wearing their colors were treated with much respect and football brotherhood. I guess the action on the field kept us all too focused on the football action to consider any attacks in the stands. The fan rivalry was as good if not better than what I saw at candlestick park a few weeks ago against the Niners. Well, maybe not, but when you win all seems right and wonderful in the world.

To sum up the day of Victory for the Oakland Raiders fans who couldn't be at the Coliseum Sunday, I give you this word: PRIDE!

Our team, though not perfect as a team yet, made us PROUD to be Oakland Raiders Fans. The Autumn Wind is a Raider!

Final Score
Raiders 20
Steelers 13

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