Hope you got all your NFC North love juice out of your system, because now it's time for an AFC West trainwreck with the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders. And who shall share this endeavor with us in the ESPN booth? Why, it's three Mikes, all with mikes. Mike & Mike's Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, along with football's Mike Ditka. Mike, mike mike mike — mike mike! — mike mike Mike? Aw, hell, that's all I can type now. Mike mike mike jump mike mike mike. * * *Fourth Quarter 1:16 — Greenberg: "JaMarcus Russell hasn't looked bad tonight." Oh? 1:15 — Touchdown, Raiders. And nobody could be happier than ol' timer
Billy Slater Mikey Ditka. 41
141:13 — Lo and behold, footage of Ditka as said tight end. And he finished the play resting on his back. Oh, the levity! 1:10 — Regardless of the score, Ditka will throw down a "hells yeah" to a completion to a tight end. It's like he has an innate affinity for them or something. 1:08 — A slight w00t emanates throughout the Raiders fans as Justin Fargas makes a few moves in the middle of the field to scamper 41 yards for a just pwecious widdle wun. Who's my widdle twooper? 1:06 — Ditka is stunned at the score. "Nobody saw this coming." It's the same words and tone, it should be known, that sportswriters across the country used when they heard about Tom Brady's injury. 1:03 — On the goalline stand, Michael Pittman can't be stopped by eleven men wearing black that have already been written off as bad football players and terrible human beings. The game now resembles Al Davis's face after a full night cramming for a chemistry test. 41
71:01 — Yes, it's past 1 a.m. and I see a baseball field. But I don't see Dan Uggla bobbling the ball. 1:00 — News flash on the bottom ticker: Joe Flacco will start next Sunday's game for the Ravens. Good thing they told us that. I was afraid Troy Smith was going to give a rather persuasive speech to John Harbaugh this afternoon, convincing him that a rookie quarterback who won the first game of the season would be better spent on the sidelines. 12:58 — They're in full video game mode. Going for 4th and 1 way inside their own territory, Fargas gets ddddddrrrrrraaaahhhhhhdddddeeddsstlkja;sfd for a loss of a yard. Turn that baby over. 12:58 — No, there will be no first downs on this drive. We appreciate the encouragement, though. 12:54 — I think we can all survive 10:03 of football left. Just nobody go out of bounds. Not even to piss. 12:51 — Well, they scored again. 34
7Looking back at my scorecard, I'm quite certain I missed a field goal in there somewhere. Wouldn't surprise me. 12:51 — Well, they're about to score again. 12:48 — Yep, anyone can run 1,000 yards in the Broncos. EVEN OLANDIS GARY. Please mark that shit up. 12:46 — So this is how bored I've been all second half. I decided to, in honor of three people named Mike in the ESPN booth, make a collage of Influential Mikes Throughout History. Take heed, world.
12:43 — And aww, how adowable! A widdle touchdown! Ashwey Wewee's such a BIG BOY NOW! 27
712:42 — I remember in high school, when our intramural team was seeded eight in an 8-team league, and because the muscleheaded TA-slash-intramural director, the ref, felt bad for us, he gave us some kind of encouraging statement anytime we made a first down. "All right, that's positive yardage That's good!" That's exactly what Mike Force is doing with the Raiders on this drive. Third Quarter 12:36 — "That was a great 2-yard run." They really are reaching for positives on the Raiders offense. Y'know, after a three-man tirade of chewing up the players, the coaches, the front office, and everyone who buys Oakland Raiders NFL apparel. 12:34 — The third quarter is still not over yet. 12:33 — That's a solid point by OneOfTheMikes. The Raiders have had countless high draft picks, all on this team. Here's a thought. Maybe they just ... chose poorly. 12:27 — Cutler runs for a 1st and 10 first down, and Andre Hall repeats the feat. Although I do think the Raiders showed a lot of heart in this game, and I wish them well as they continue their Division I-AA season. 12:24 — I think Ditka has already written off the Raiders season. Through three quarters. I think that's fair. Although remember how bad the Browns looked in Week 1 last year, and they were one tiebreaker away from the playoffs. 12:22 — I'm not sure the Raiders understand the game is still going on. Did they even practice? Did they even look up football on Wikipedia? There are four downs. Do you know what a down is? 12:13 — MIchael Huff tackles Darrell Jackson with the fervor of a movie theater security guard. "Nope, you don't have any bombs. Enjoy Bangkok Dangerous." Darrell Jackson virtually prances into the end zone and increases the lead by 24 points, or 23.78 of the CFL's "Pouints." 24
012:11 — Eddie Royal: 8 catches, 128 yards. The following play, it's an endaround WR pass. Sheesh. Royal shows he's a better quarterback than JaMarcus Russell by throwing the ball away. 12:10 — There's that guitar riff again. Seriously. Now I want to quit the live blog and start playing Uniracers. But I won't. Because I'm a professional. 12:06 — Russell's third down throw goes between two Broncos defenders. I'm looking at his #2 jersey, then I look at his stats. I'm gonna take a wild guess and say he didn't earn the right to pick his own number. 12:04 — Note to self: an actual yellow line on the field will screw with the fake yellow line. Russell to Justin Griffith goes for another first down, and the Raiders have learned what a good offensive possession looks like. (Hell, they've seen enough of them from the defensive side. They oughta know how to do it by now) 12:02 — Lane Kiffin joked to Suzy Kolber by asking if she had any answers for the team in the second half. No, that might actually work. Be seriouser next time. 12:00 — A perfect way to start the quarter. Higgins misses the kickoff, but it still results in a touchback. It can only get better. Halftime Male Nudity Entertainment 11:55 — This just dawned on me. I finally found the difference between Chris Berman and me: I only use the same bad joke once, maybe twice. The video AJ wanted me to use tonight was a little more risque than I'd like to share, since this is after all a family website. Although in all fairness, of the last 19 homosexual porn clips AJ has e-mailed me, at least that most recent one kept the majority of the farm animals out of the foreground. So you get this. Click to view Second Quarter 11:46 — The misery of the first half ends with about eight false start penalties. 11:44 — Nnamdi Asomugha certainly plastered Cutler on that 3rd down scramble. You think you can comprehend how horrific that tackle was? You don't know Nnamdi, man. You weren't there. 11:43 — Ed McCaffrey still plays? That's unbeli... oh, it's Brandon Stokley. 11:41 — Cutler fires accurately to Royal. Interesting mentality Cutler's using here. He's pretending the Raiders d-backs are blood sugars. 11:40 — There's a punt, and Denver has a chance to make the game largely less interesting than when it began with more points before halftime. Switch to footage of the Raiders cheerleaders. The way they're all spaced out like that probably gave the Raiders offensive line their ideas on how to line up for most of their pass plays. 11:36 — Two minute warning. The MNF music comes on, and Ditka tries to sneak in another cogent football point. Hey, it was worth a shot. 11:35 — Ditka just barely got that blazer buttoned in time. All right, camera's off you, coach. Let loose now. 11:34 — Higgins' endaround gets bumbled and bobbled, prompting a loss of about twelveteen cubits. 11:33 — Fargas runs off tackle left and flips head over toesies, landing on Gene Upshaw's memorial square. Double the yardage, first down. 11:32 — Justin Fargas was right. JaMarcus Russell was going to throw to Curry all night. He said nothing about completions. I guess you can't nit-pick about accuracy, Son Of Huggy. 11:29 — Much like the inverse of Sunday's Bears-Colts game, the team that as supposed to pull away is doing just that. Touchdown, Orange Horses. 17
011:27 — Kory Lichtensteiger, a center, was the fullback on that play for the Broncos. It's always worth mentioning them BGSU alumni.
11:26 — Ditka is in love with the route Royal just ran. DeAngelo Hall gets another personal foul for tackling Royal when he's already on the ground. Hey, it wasn't a penalty in Tecmo Bowl, so why start calling it now? 11:24 — Mike, Mike, and the other Mike: If I wanted to hear three people talk over each other, I'd schedule a corporate conference call. 11:23 — NBC has the Candy Corn Replica virtual first-and-10 marker. ESPN responds with the Crayon Replica virtual market. Perhaps CBS can find another item I stopped caring about after second grade and use it in their NFL programming. 11:22 — How do you get a nation to stop hating USC? Have them play Ohio State. 11:20 — The Broncos need nobody else but Eddie Royal touching the ball, really. 11:18 — Raiders get called for a delay of game, giving the 101st Flying Mikes more time to yammer. 11:16 — Mike Golic briefly steps out of radio jockey character as he reminds us that at one time, he did play professional football rather well. 11:13 — The Broncos offense stalls, so the field goal is attempted and made by hey you're not Jason Elam! 10
011:12 — I'd imagine these guys are not the three carpooling mates you'd want on a cross-country trip. Pauses are not a bad thing on Monday Night Football Deux. 11:10 — Jay Cutler did his "waiting for a bus" impression. Even though he threw a TD to Royal, the penalty nullifies any and all fantasy football points. 11:07 — Huge throw by Cutler to Tony Scheffler, and he went about 60 yards. The Tri-Mike cheering is remote at best. 11:06 — It's probably not true, but I'm inclined to think that the music behind the live-motion replay of Jay Cutler was from SNES's Uniracers. Please keep me in this fantasy. 11:04 — And there's the punt ... is it a touchback? Or did they keep it outside the end zone? I don't hear any cheering in the booth, so I'm inclined to believe it was just marginally close. 11:03 — Golic had $75 on that catch. "AWWW MAN!" First Quarter 10:58 — That's the end of one quarter, and we're all reasonably still alive. And now for a special message from SportsCentre. The anchor just showed a Brewers highlight, calling J.J. Hardy "Yankee McBallbreaker." (I think.) 10:55 — Golic is a little excited about finding the block in the back call on the return. It seems like Any Given Mike enjoys finding where the penalty is called after watching the replay. Perhaps it's a contest to spot it first. Maybe they're so bored out of their minds, they came up with a side game akin to Sportscaster Thought Bingo, and Liveblogger Thought Cribbage was to difficult to organize. 10:54 — The SuperMikes3 team is still fawning over being right on that official review. Jesus, that was two plays ago. 10:52 — By a bipartisan democratic vote in the ESPN booth, the spot was overturned. 4th and Inch High Private Eyes. 10:50 — A generous spot by the referees gave the Broncos the first down, but that was just the officials speeding up the game by circumventing the inevitable offsides penalty by Oakland. Actually, Lane Kiffin's going to challenge the call. 10:48 — They're talking about Jay Cutler's struggle to handle his diabetes while maintaining his career. It was kind of sad, actually. For a while, the doctor's diagnosis on Jay Cutler's weight loss was "he's not John Elway." 10:45 — Greenberg gave us close enough to "north-south runner" as we're gonna get tonight. Bing it. 10:43:45 — Just in case you thought you were watching ESPN Classic and the Raiders' Super Bowl year, there's a red zone turnover. We'll be back after these important words from the Medicine Hat Dental Association. 10:43 — Mike³ is also a referee. That was totally pass interference. 10:41 — Mike Ditka would go for it on fourth down here. The hilarious part is, I don't believe anyone asked him. Somebody misses actually working in football. Russell sneaks it on fourth down and makes it. 10:38 — Justin Fargas gives away the Raiders playbook by saying in the startling lineup cutaway that JaMarcus Russell will be throwing to Ronald Curry all night. Way to go, Geraldo. 10:36 — ANTICIPATINGLY AMAZING debut carry by Darren McFadden. Eight yards. That pace can't be maintained. 10:35 — Johnnie Lee Higgins returned that one beautifully, way past the 50-yard line. Who did he assassinate again? I forget. 10:32 — A Cutler-to-Royal touchdown quashes any and all sidebar discussions about Brandon Marshall's suspension. Say "personal conduct" again, dammit. SAY "PERSONAL CONDUCT" AGAIN. 7
010:30 — I'd love to riff on the commercials here, but since I'm presently in Canada and watching the TSN feed, I'm afraid only Gourmet Spud will understand the jokes. Factor in the slim range of jokes he understands to begin with, and it's absolutely not worth it. Although — I shit you not — the other day I saw an ad for a backbacon cheeseburger. And you try not to perpetuate the stereotypes. Then they go and do that. 10:27 — They should keep the GU logo on the grass for when the Athletics play their next home game and impose Rock 'n Jock rules. If Bobby Crosby catches a popup on the UpshawSphere, it's worth two outs. 10:26 — Selvin Yong presents us the starting Broncos lineup, and in textbook Jacob Silj fashion, never once changed voice inflection. 10:25 — For the Broncos, '80s pop star Eddie Royal has touched the ball in the first two possessions. And off they go. 10:22 — Raiders fans counter with a plastic severed head of a Broncos player, riddled with bullets. At least I think it's fake. Has anyone seen Bubby Brister lately? 10:20 — Shot to Denver fan holding up a license plate that reads: 1DNVRFN. That might be overdoing it. Hey, I enjoy "Country Roads" as much as the next guy, but come on.
Pre-Game Babble The San Diego Chargers blew a lead in dramatic double-zero fashion. The Kansas City Chiefs rushed the quarterback in such a fashion that set all sportswriters' ledgers at half-mast. C'mon, Denver and Oakland. Those are both tough Week 1 acts to follow. But here's to hoping that something goofy happens in the game, while the rest of the East coast is asleep and/or incarcerated. I like it when breaking news wrecks their sleep cycle. Prediction? 0-0, with Denver winning the game on penalty punts. You ask for it, you got it. Bingoyota.
Keep in mind, this is an After Dark edition of Deadspin Liveblog LLC, Ltd.. As is tradition — which means I just came up with it — the Bingo postage stamp rules are in full effect. Four boxes will count as a bingo. Postage stamp wins are also applicable on any week in which the US raises their price, provided I remember this stipulation when it happens.