Since making it all the way to the Super Bowl in 2002, the Oakland Raiders have the worst win percentage in the NFL, and hadn’t won a game in just over a year. The Kansas City Chiefs, fighting to keep a share of first place in the AFC West, hadn’t allowed a single rushing touchdown since Week 16 of last season. So what happened when the teams met last Thursday night? The Raiders scored two rushing touchdowns, including a 90-yarder which was the longest touchdown ever given up by Kansas City, and Oakland went on to win the game 24 to 20. And here we go again….
I don’t know if the Raiders’ streak of consecutive losing seasons is an NFL record but it’s got to be close. One thing is clear. They’ve been losers so long they’ve forgotten how to be anything else. Late in the second half on Thursday, linebacker Sio Moore sacked Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. It was a big play for sure, but Moore was so busy celebrating that he forgot he still had a game to play. Can we go to the video tape on this one because it really is worth seeing. Moore, along with a few teammates, was a good twenty yards from the line of scrimmage: dancing, gyrating, and generally making an ass of himself. It’s amazing he wasn’t penalized for excessive stupidity. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking and the Chiefs were getting ready to run another play. Veteran defensive end Justin Tuck wisely called time out before Kansas City could snap the ball. And after the game, Pro Bowl safety Charles Woodson had this to say about the incident. “I couldn’t believe it. That was the first time I had ever seen somebody celebrate for a whole 40-second clock. That was ridiculous, and they know it.”
There are exactly 32 teams in the National Football League which means there are also 32 head coaches. I have no idea how many coaches each team has had. I could look it up but it’s not worth the trouble. We’ll say about 20, which is a pretty generous average considering some teams haven’t even been around for twenty years. So, 32 teams and 20 coaches per, we’re looking at roughly 600 NFL head coaches in the history of forever. With so few positions available, you would assume the rare individuals fortunate enough to hold one of those jobs would possess at least a basic understanding of the rules of the game… and you’d be wrong.
The Falcons hosted the Browns in Week 12. Atlanta was hoping to maintain their lead in the laughable NFC South. Cleveland remains in a dogfight in the crowded AFC North. Neither team played especially well, but Atlanta took advantage of three Browns turnovers and, late in the game, had the chance to kick the winning field goal. At least, that’s what should have happened.
Football, like most organized sports, is a timed affair. The team with the most points when time expires is the winner. Someone should probably explain that to Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith. If you have the lead, or at least the chance to take the lead, the wise thing is to run down the clock so the opposing team doesn’t have any time left. The Falcons, trailing by 2 and with under a minute left, moved into field goal range and immediately called time out. Uh, what? You’re supposed to let the clock run down and THEN call the time out. Smith had a perfect explanation. “If we didn’t call time out they would have.” Right! That’s the whole point! You make them use their time outs so they won’t have any left! Instead, the Falcons kicked their field goal, gave the ball to Cleveland with about 40 seconds left, played some atrocious defense, and then got exactly what they deserved; yet another loss.
By the way, if NFL head coach is one of the things on your bucket list, I suggest you apply in Atlanta. There may be a vacancy soon.
For this week’s game day recipe, we’re going with Oven Roasted Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings. If you’re looking for a somewhat healthier chicken wing, this is about as good as it gets. There’s no breading and you use very little oil. Because of the high oven temperature, it is advisable to use Canola oil. Regular vegetable oil might scorch.
2 lbs. chicken wings
1 tbsp Canola oil
1 tsp. oregano
1 dash red pepper flakes (more if desired)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp coarse ground pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. fresh basil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
Preheat oven to 425. Mix oil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes in a large mixing bowl. Add wings and coat thoroughly. Place wings on a broiler pan or baking sheet with a rack AFTER spraying rack with non-stick spray. Bake for 25 minutes. While still hot and sizzling, toss wins, a few at a time, in a mixture of minced garlic, chopped basil, parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Return wings to baking rack and bake another 10 minutes or until nice and crispy. Enjoy!
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