Fans of the World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers across America are hanging themselves after losing 27-24 to the Oakland Raiders! This humiliation for the Steelers was even made harder because of allowing Oakland’s 89 yard drive with under 2 minutes to play in the 4th quarter. The vaunted Steeler defense (minus safety Troy Palmalalu ) crumbled under the passing onslaught of Bruce Grabkowski and his batch of young receivers.
This is a great start to the annual end of year Raiders march to keep season ticket holders from mass defection in 2010. This strategy worked well last year when the Raiders finished with strong performances in their last two games of the 2008 campaign and gave their long suffering season ticket holders hope for 2009.
The Raiders must have figured since 2009 has not worked as planned why not start the “save the season ticket holder campaign” with five games left in the season. Two notable absences for the Raiders were the continued benching of quarterback Jamarcus Russell, and the injury to wide receiver Darius Heyward-Bey. To my mind their absence led to the solid play of the offense who seem to be coalescing around Grabkowski. Additionally it was the Raider Defense that kept the Raiders in the game for 3 quarters before the Grabkowski offensive juggernaut took over in the 4th quarter.
The Raiders schedule tee’s up nicely for another ”save the season ticket holder campaign.” As the team will be playing the hot Washington Redskins who lost a heart breaker in overtime to the New Orleans Saints 33-30. Could the Skins have a let down? Then a winter road game in Denver where the Raiders have a history of shocking good Bronco teams. Then it is back on the road to play the hapless Cleveland Browns and then the Baltimore Ravens at home, who if they have clinched a playoff spot will be mailing in this meaningless game.
So theoretically speaking, the Raiders could finish the season winning 3 of their last 5 games. What more could Raider season ticket holders ask for this Holiday Season. How about a federal bailout? Just get those check books out for renewals in March!
God bless the Raiders and all of the loyal fans who have stuck with this team through thick and thin. Our quest for redemption continues!
Now it’s on two the Redskins next week in Oaktown.