OH, MY, GOD!
Greetings sports fans and welcome to another over-the-top episode of Vegas Valley Sports Beat. That spark plug of a sports column that just has to stand on its seat in the sports booth tonight and yell Holy Smokes did you see what I just saw?! I’ll just bet you have by now if you missed it the first time around.
I started watching the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the hometown Las Vegas Raiders at the final 2:00 minute warning. The Raiders were playing to a packed house at Allegiant Stadium for the first time since it was completed and the crowd was in high spirits. I was there two weeks ago for the Guns And Roses concert so I can just imagine the decibel levels were off the charts as the Raiders found themselves behind the Ravens by 3 points after the Ravens marched down to within 47 yards of the uprights where All-Star Kicker Justin Tucker sent the ball soaring through the goalposts.
Baltimore’s clock management skills left only 37 seconds on the play clock for the Raiders to go 75 yards for the win, or to get their field goal unit in range to tie the game at 27-27. This after they had already broken 3 ties during the course of the game. There was not a clear winner right down to the final buzzer in this outstanding gridiron conflict.
Some people said no way, Jose, but I said you have to believe. Believe it or not, the Raiders pulled it off in three quick plays to give their kicker a 55-yard shot at tying the game. He of course did just that and the crowd went bananas in Allegiant Stadium, and at home.
Leaving only 2 seconds to play in regulation for the Ravens to score again so the game went into overtime and that’s when things got really crazy.
But in a good way. For Las Vegas Raider fans. I’m not a Raider fan per se, but I am 100%, that is to say, we at Vegas Valley News are the biggest fan of Las Vegas and everybody that lives and plays here. Somebody has to cheer for the Dallas Cowboys, but tonight I was a Las Vegas Raider fan all the way. All the way to the bank that is. The fake bank of totally fake electronic characters, that is, but I had $11,000,000 fake bucks riding on them because I believed, and it worked out in the most spectacular fashion Monday Night Football has seen in a long time I’m sure.
Las Vegas wins the coin toss (of course) and they elect to receive. Naturally.
A few key plays later Carr connects with Renfrow who takes the ball to the Raven’s 39-yard line. On 3rd and 4, Carr goes to # 89 Bryan Edwards who put the ball over the goal line as he was tackled from behind. The crowd went wild, but the play was called upstairs for official review. The Ravens had already given up and they were looking for their car keys when the ruling on the field was reversed and the ball spotted first and goal on the 1-yard line. A touchdown would win the game.
The Raiders ran at the Ravens to gain only half a yard for their efforts. Then a false-start penalty sent the Raiders limping backward five yards. The next play saw Carr’s rifled pass go through the outstretched hands of Willie Snead. The ball bounced off the helmet of #32 Elliot, popped up high into the air, and went a good ten yards down the goal line where it was intercepted by #23 Anthony Avery who downed the ball in the end zone. By this time the crowd at home and abroad was surely about to come unglued.
Someone said that if the Ravens got the ball back they would score. Probably I said but you have to believe that however unlikely it might be it was bound to happen sooner or later, so why not now? I still had eleven million fake dollars in the game for that very reason. He was understandably skeptical when the Ravens came out of their own end zone and started back down the field toward the Raiders goal line. A fumble that was never called soon made it 3rd and 7 for Baltimore on their own 33.
Raven’s Quarterback, Jackson dropped back to pass and was hit so hard by #94 Massib that he fumbled the ball again, only this time the refs actually managed to see it and Darius Filon (sp?) recovered the loose ball well within field goal range for Las Vegas, and the hometown crowd went stark-raving bonkers. Armchair quarterbacks across America fell out of their recliners in slack-jawed disbelief. Again!?!
Trying to get closer still, the Raiders drew another false-start penalty on first down, and the offense was set back another 5 yards making a field goal attempt less likely to succeed. Then on the next play from Baltimore’s 31-yard line Carr read the blitz, dropped back deep from the shotgun formation to the 42-yard line, and lobbed a perfectly timed bomb into the waiting arms of #7 Jones at the 5-yard line and he strolled into he end zone to put a flourish on the final outcome.
Baltimore Ravens 27
Las Vegas Raiders 34
All I can say is, wow. Well played, gentlemen. I raked in $28,000,000 on my fake sports book bet because I believed in you. Onward and upward. Godspeed.