Oakland Raiders Super Bowl Memories: Jim Plunkett and Other Memorable Performances
Captain Jack Rack 'em Levy – Feb 12, 2012Well, Super Bowl XLVI is over, so kids everywhere will not need to ask how to add up all those lettersâ€¦ or even ask why those letters share any importance to begin withâ€¦ ((Sighâ€¦ modern education is frightful, but I wonâ€™t start the old â€˜I had to walk uphill to schoolâ€¦.in the snowâ€¦both waysâ€¦etc. rhetoric but I digressâ€¦))
The majority of Raider fans undoubtedly are still ecstatic in seeing Tom â€˜No it wasnâ€™t a fumble, I meant to do thatâ€™ Brady and his New England Cheatriots under the tutelage of Bill Mumblechick lose yet again to the New York Giants; although it does lesson the â€˜stingâ€™ of that disgraceful call from yon day in January 2002 a bit (I mean seriously, WHO KNEW that the â€˜Tuck Ruleâ€™ existed BEFORE the â€˜Snow Jobâ€™ in Foxboro??) we all wouldâ€™ve rather have seen our Raiders playing in the game against â€˜X NFC Lambâ€™ to our Pirate Plunderer, but weâ€™ll have to wait yet another year for thatâ€¦
And how long has that been? Well, not to throw salt in the wound, but yours truly was a freshman in College at the University of Florida, just up the road from the â€˜Big Sombreroâ€™ in Tampa where the Silver and Black decimated the Redskins way back in 1984â€¦ for those counting, that would be twenty-eight years ago.
So, here is my opportunity to share with our Raider and Raiderette audience some Super Bowl memories of all five appearances by our Plundering crew, as we go over the top Raider performances in the â€˜Big Game.â€™
Super Bowl II - Green Bay 33, Oakland 14
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahâ€¦ Super Bowl IIâ€¦ I remember it well. Errrrrâ€¦ not really, as The Captain was a wee lad about two months away from his third birthday, so consequently the second installment of the game where Americaâ€™s youth even feigns interest in learning how to count in Roman numerals is the ONLY Super Bowl game involving our Raiders I donâ€™t recall seeing, only known by myself through highlight films (remember those old Sabol NFL Films presentations?) or for you younger folks, seeing the same on the NFL Network.
But since this is a Raider article, letâ€™s go over some Silver and Black Pirate highlights, and weâ€™ll start with not one but two IDENTICAL in length 23yd touchdowns thrown by the Mad Bomber himself Daryle Lamonica to Bill Miller, with the second TD in the fourth quarter only making the game-score seem closer than it actually wasâ€¦ which it wasnâ€™t.
However, if weâ€™re really going to call out an offensive Most Valuable Player aka MVP, letâ€™s give it to the â€˜original Raider Crash-Test Dummyâ€™ â€“ Pete Banaszak, who accounted for 85 of the Raidersâ€™ 315 total yards (16yds rushing/69yds receiving), or 27% of the offense. This is a higher percentage than stalwart and more highly acclaimed Raider weaponsâ€™ such as Hewritt Dixon, Billy Cannon, Warren Wells, and Fred Biletnikoffâ€¦ but at least Freddy B would be able to redeem himself later...
Super Bowl XI - Oakland 32, Minnesota 14
I remember this Super Bowl well, as MY RAIDERS were FINALLY Champions!! It seemed that they would always lose to the Steelers in the AFC Championship game, and each year my season would end with a swift kick in the ass by Pittsburgh, but NOT THIS YEAR!! After getting the better end of Terry, Franco and the boys from the â€˜burgh, the Raiders dispatched the Vikings and Fran Tarkenton â€“ hoisting the Lombardi trophy which had eluded them for years.
Of course all true Raider fans know that Freddie B, aka Fred â€˜Stick â€™emâ€™ Biletnikoff was the Most Valuable Player with four catches for 79yds, which seems rather paltry when compared to other known performances by wide receivers, but remember those catches set-up three Raider touchdowns (one by Dave Casper, two by Pete Banaszak); actually, one can propose Casperâ€™s four catches for 70yds with the touchdown, or Banaszakâ€™s two touchdowns may have warranted their MVP votes.
For those that donâ€™t remember, the Raiders couldnâ€™t have won the game had it not been for the unsung play of three Raiders â€“ one is the Captainâ€™s favorites in Phil Villapiano, who forced a fumble recovered by Willie Hall near the goal line when the Vikings were knocking on the door for the gameâ€™s first score;
Clarence Davis, who rushed for 137 yds, thereby controlling the game and effectively stalling any victory chances for the Vikings.
Defensive Backs Willie Brown and Jack Tatum â€“ Brown sealing the deal with a 75yd interception return touchdown oft heard with Bill Kingâ€™s momentous call, while Tatumâ€™s jarring blow to Sammie White is still one of the most famous hits of Raidersâ€™ lore.
Super Bowl XV - Oakland 27, Philadelphia 10
The Raidersâ€™ second Super Bowl victory is very memorable as well, coming on the heels of the release of the American Embassy hostages in Iran after 444 days in captivity, with the New Orleans Super Dome decked in a huge yellow ribbon. Looking back, I donâ€™t think the ribbon is still large enough to dry the tears that both Ron Jaworski and Herm Edwards have spewed from their BSPN pulpit for what seems like at least 25 yearsâ€¦
Jim Plunkett threw for 261yds and three touchdowns in garnering Super Bowl MVP honors, with a memorable 80yd bomb (actually a 19yd pass/catch and 61yd run by Kenny King) with Bob Chandler providing â€˜convoy escortâ€™ down the left sideline, along with a hell of a â€˜BLOCKâ€™ â€“ read uncalled Hold â€“ by Right Guard Mickey Marvin which sprung Plunkett for his throw.
However, MY personal MVP and unsung hero was linebacker Rod Martin, who intercepted a record three passes, including Jawsâ€™ first offering which was returned 17yds to the Eagle (or as theyâ€™re known in Philly, the Iggle) 30yd line. A few plays later, Cliff Branch caught a touchdown pass and the rout was on!
The Raiders D played a hell of game between Martinâ€™s three picks, Ted Hendricksâ€™ block of a Tony Franklin field goal, and generally causing hate and havoc to the Eagles all day. The fact that the Raiders became the first Wild Card team to win the Super Bowl made the victory that much more historic, along with Al Davisâ€™ post-game locker room remarks ending with the famous â€˜Just Win Baby!â€™ bringing down the house with thunderous approval, all after being given the Lombardi from Commissioner Pete Rozelle in what proved to be not as antagonistic of a meeting as some had expected.
Super Bowl XVIII â€“ Los Angeles 38, Washington 9
Just like the previous encounter during the Super Bowl when the Raiders defeated the Eagles, the â€˜Big Gameâ€™ in Tampa pitted the Silver and Black in a rematch of a team who had beaten them in the regular season that same yearâ€¦
â€¦ and when the Raiders beat the Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII, overcoming both overwhelming odds as well as a team that had handled them previously, the exorcised the Redskin demons handily mainly through the rushing of MVP Marcus Allenâ€™s (then) record 191 yards and two touchdowns, the second on an incredible reversal of field that left Washington defenders grasping at air, breaking their own ankles trying to grab the elusive Raider runner.
Although Allen got all the â€˜pubâ€™ and was the vital cog in this victory, I still put added emphasis for the win on the â€˜unsung shouldersâ€™ of Derrick Jensen, Ray Guy, Rod Martin (again), Charlie Sumner, and Jack Squirek. For those that were totally Marcus-fixated, Jensen blocked and then recovered in the end zone a Redskin punt that put the Raiders up for good within the first five minutes of the game.
Rod Martin played his usual stalwart and outstanding defensive game, stuffing â€˜the Dieselâ€™ John Riggins on a fourth and short play; what makes this more memorable was that the previous year in the Super Bowl against the Dolphins, Riggins had turned a â€˜fourth and gutâ€™ run into a clinching TD against Miami. No Washingtonâ€¦not THIS year and on THAT play!!
Guy was instrumental in at least two ways, by first leaping high to snare an errant over-the-head snap and booming his usual fantastic punt â€“ who knows how a possible turnover could have turned the game for the opportunistic â€™83 Redskins? Guy also pinned the Skins deep in their own territory near the end of the first half, which leads us toâ€¦
The dynamic duo of Defensive Guru Sumner, who remembered the Skins had flared out Joe Washington in the regular season meeting for a screen gaining 67yds, substituted linebacker Squirek for Millen SOLELY to cover that screen pass that he sensed was coming again; THIS TIME Squirek jumped the pass and strolled into the end zone for the touchdown that essentially killed the game for War-painters.
Yes, this Super Bowl IN TAMPA is undoubtedly THE CAPTAINâ€™S FAVORITEâ€¦
Super Bowl XXXVII â€“ Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21
â€¦ While this Super Bowl, AGAINST TAMPA, is undoubtedly the WORST memory that I have as a Raiders fan (save for one snowy Playoff day in New England and one equally cold Playoff day on the â€˜turf in Pittsburgh, but one bad encounter at a timeâ€¦)
Finding anything worthy of a â€˜most valuable Raiderâ€™ in this game is quite hard, as of course the fixation would be on Rich Gannonâ€™s five interceptions, still a Super Bowl record that may last beyond my lifetime.
So if weâ€™re going to find superlatives, letâ€™s go with these:
Jerry Rice, Jerry Porter, and Charlie Garner had a good game receiving the ball (when it wasnâ€™t swallowed up by the defensive backs of the Bucs) with statistics of 5/77yd/1TD; 4/62yd/1TD; and 7/51yds respectively.
In weird ironic commonality, both Raider corner backs Charles Woodson and Tory James played in the game despite severe injuries endured during the season, playing with screws inserted into their feet. Woodson would break his collar-bone in his next Super Bowl appearance, but that one was indeed happier as he won his ring with the Packers.
Finally though, as Iâ€™ve done with the other Super Bowl appearances, the â€˜unsung heroes/goatsâ€™ in this tussle were Barrett Robbins, Bill Callahan, and Jon Gruden.
BRobbâ€™s unfortunate losing battle with depression is undoubtedly more instrumental in the Raider loss, as Iâ€™ve been told that a Raidersâ€™ originally proposed game plan featuring the run (much like their plan which decimated the Bucs 45-0 in their previous meeting three-years prior with many of the same players) was scrapped when the center went AWOLâ€¦
â€¦ Which led to Bill Callahan going back to a pass-happy plan that did NOT change any of the naming convention, audibles, or other features of the offense run by the former Raider coachâ€¦
â€¦ Jon Gruden, whose major contribution to this Raider debacle was playing quarterback Rich Gannon to a â€˜Tâ€™ during the one week of practice (the last Super Bowl to ever be played with ONLY one week between the conference Championship Game and the Super Bowl itself) for Monte Kiffinâ€™s defensive stalwarts of Lynch, Brooks, and Barberâ€¦ making Super Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson an eventual payday only rivaled by that of Larry Brown â€“ ohhhhhhhhhhh Iâ€™m sorry to bring THAT name up Raider Nation!
So there it is crewâ€¦ your last â€˜Raider Footballâ€™ of the 2011 season, even if only in highlights (and lowlights) of Raider Super Bowls past.
Now itâ€™s off to Raider Super Bowls FUTURE as we endeavor to hoist that fourth Lombardi, with our Coach and Mark Davis invoking another â€˜Just Win Babyâ€™ moment as they take the prize from Commissioner Goodellâ€¦ all in due time.
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