Going into yesterday’s Denver-Oakland game, three things were clear: the Broncos were circling the drain. The Raiders needed a win to stay alive. And Michael Crabtree had some unfinished business with Aqib Talib.
You’ll recall that the Raiders receiver and the Broncos defensive back got into it in Week 17 last season, with Talib ripping Crabtree’s chain off his neck during the game. At the time, Talib explained the move as “He’s just been wearing that chain all year and it just been growing on me. I said if he wears that chain in front of me I’m going to snatch it off. So he wore it in front of me, so I had to snatch it off.”
The way Talib saw it, he didn’t have a choice last year. If Michael Crabtree was going to wear a chain, he was going to snatch it off. That’s just the way it is. Crabtree wore a chain, he snatched it off. Rulse are rules.
Which means there was no way there wasn’t going to be payback for that. The only thing is, the sequel is rarely as good as the original. It’s usually just reheating old leftovers and hoping that it tastes okay. Except that wasn’t the case here. This was Godfather II to last season’s Godfather.
And just three minutes into yesterday’s game, it was on. And by it, I mean this:
That was complete chaos. It started with Crabtree blocking Talib down the field, off the field, into a cameraman, and then into another innocent bystander on the sideline. If it ended there, it probably would’ve been a 15-yard penalty against Crabtree, but maybe a message would’ve been sent. But it didn’t end there. Because Talib was just going to accept that. Sure he wasn’t.
Instead, it was just getting started. Talib then got a reversal and was on top of Crabtree with more Broncos racing in. Bodies were flying. Punches were flying. Helmets were bouncing. Penalty flags dotted the field. Guys chasing each other.
Crabtree was tossed. Talib was tossed, and escorted off the field by Marshawn Lynch. And somewhere in the middle of that, Raiders lineman Gabe Jackson hit a referee and got tossed. Oh, and it looks like Talib might’ve gotten Crabtree’s chain again, maybe, possibly, probably.
And it turns out, it might not have started on that play, either. Broncos Pro Bowler Chris Harris Jr. said that Crabtree went after him the play before and punched him in the stomach.
“I have never seen that in the NFL. Today, he just came out wanting to fight. He didn’t want to play football. It was the second play of the game. It was a run play, I was playing man, and I wasn’t even doing anything. He just came in there, was like BAM, hit me right in the middle of the stomach and I just lost my breath.”
I’m not totally sure what Crabtree was looking to do yesterday, but based on those two plays, he was looking to send a message and then take an early shower. Clearly, he will go. And did.
But let’s take a step back, you hate to have something like that happen in a game. But if it’s going to happen, I want Kevin Harlan on the call, because nobody describes insanity better than Kevin Harlan. Let’s run that back again (INSERT fight again)
The Raiders had to have that win and they got it. And if they had to have that fight, we had to have Kevin Harlan call it. And we got that. And apparently you can adding wearing a chain in a NFL game to our list of reasons to go: you spit in someone’s face: reason to go: you insult someone race or religion, reason to go: someone insults or threatens you or your loved ones, absolute reason to go: and wearing a chain in an NFL game: reason to go: at least it is if you’re Aqib Talib.