Week 2 of the NFL and yet again, there is a ton to talk about. So many different places I could start. Like Denver shutting down Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys. Atlanta dominating Green Bay. Or Gronk, 69, and groin. Of course those three words were going to be in the same sentence: Gronk, 69, and groin. That joke practical writes itself. Except, this isn’t a joke. This time, he hauled in his 69th career touchdown reception and then hurt his groin and left the game. And while he says it’s not a big deal for a guy who gets hurt as often as he does, any injury is worrisome.
But as good as all that was, there was nothing better than what happened on the field in Oakland.
Actually, make that what happened off the field in Oakland. The Raiders had their home opener against the Jets, which meant a couple of things were going to happen. 1 – The Raiders were going to win. 2 – The Jets were going to get destroyed. And 3 – Marshawn Lynch was going to make his official home debut. And he made it memorable. 12 carries for 45 yards and a touchdown is nice.
But what he did on the sidelines made it legendary. Because that was where good went to great and great went legendary. With the Raiders up 35-13 in the second half, the PA started bumping “Oakland,” Marshawn starting dancing and it was incredible.
And when they threw Marshawn up on the jumbotron, the entire stadium was dancing with him. And the love wasn’t just felt in Oakland, it was felt around the world.
Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie in the locker room: “It was just joy. So much fun. And it was all natural. It just happened. Football needs more fun like that.”
LeBron on Instagram: Man I love this dude!! Straight up. #beastmode #townbitness
Jim Rome on his radio show: Awesome. Simply awesome.
That was one of the all-time great moments and a reminder, yet again, of how did this league survive without Marshawn. And the dance was almost as good as the excerpt from the Raiders post-game press conference transcript:
Q: Was it what you imagined it would be like in your head?
Lynch: (Nods head yes.)
But not everyone loved it. The New York Jets, for one, didn’t seem to be huge fans. Like linebacker Jordan Jenkins: “It irks my ever-living nerves. When I saw it happening, it was infuriating. …That pissed me off. I’m an old-school guy. I don’t like when things like that happen. That was embarrassing, losing like that and having Marshawn dance like that. Great player, but seeing that happen, that should infuriate the whole team. It should infuriate everybody and we should have a good response coming into next Sunday.”
I’m actually kind of glad to hear that from Jenkins, because otherwise, I’d be wondering if any of the Jets had a pulse. Or an ounce of dignity left. And no, it’s not going to “infuriate the whole team.” They’re not going to use that as fuel for their game against the Dolphins. Why not? Because they’re the Jets.
Marshawn dancing wasn’t embarrassing. Being the Jets is embarrassing. Allowing more than 400 yards for the second straight week is embarrassing. Starting out 0-2 is embarrassing. Marshawn dancing is not.
Linebacker Darron Lee: “It’s their house — they can do whatever they wants — but as a competitor, as a defender, you don’t like to see that type of stuff. It’s demoralizing, but we have to bow up and keep fighting.”
Darron, respectfully, demoralizing isn’t Marshawn dancing. Demoralizing is playing for the New York Jets. When you throw on the green and white in 2017, you’re already telling us that you’re demoralized. I don’t need to see Marshawn dancing to know that you’ve had your pride ripped out and your heart stomped on.
Nose tackle Steve McClendon also weighed in: “We’re upset because it seems like he was rubbing it in our face. But he’s winning, man. He can do whatever he wants to do.”
Truth. Which is exactly why I’m not going to go with that tired, lame, played out cliché of “if you don’t want him dancing, don’t let him win.” Oh, and he wasn’t rubbing it in your face. If he was rubbing it in your face, he’d have done it on the field. That dance had nothing to do with you. Do you think Marshawn even gives a crap about the Jets? You’re the Jets. He wasn’t dancing because he was beating the Jets, he was dancing because he’s back in Oakland. Because that was a special moment. Beating you had nothing to do with it. If anything, it might have taken away from the moment. He might have preferred to beat an actual NFL team instead of an assortment of castoffs and tankers.
Rubbing it in your face? I can’t stress to you enough how little this story or his dancing is about you or the Jets. You’re a non-factor in this story, just like you are in the season, so when you complain about it being demoralizing or how it irks your “ever-living nerves” you’re just embarrassing yourselves and reminding us that you’re even around.
If anything, this was a chance for you to slip under the radar. The whole focus of this game could’ve been on Marshawn’s dancing and we all would’ve forgotten who he was playing against. Honestly, that would’ve been a win for you. The record would still be 0-2, but nobody would’ve remembered that you were on the other sideline when he was dancing on his sideline.
But then guys in the Jets locker room start whining and make it about themselves and we’re reminded that there was another team in that stadium and they were terrible. You had a chance to actually slip out the door and disappear into the night, but you started complaining and made it about you and made it worse. How Jets of you. Just when you thought the Jets couldn’t possibly be any more embarrassing, they are.
Trust me, Marshawn probably didn’t even know who he was playing. So stop making it about yourselves, losers.