The NFL Network is now in the habit if ripping out "Top Ten" Lists every week, and last week named their all-time "Top Ten Games With Names". They named the ten most memorable games which have had nicknames slapped onto them, and the Raiders' decades-long habit of crazy, unpredictable outcomes resulted in three of their vintage games being named to the list.
Typical of NFL officiating, the Raiders were totally hosed on this and should have gotten one more.
Their 2002 AFC Championship "Tuck Rule" Game is still discussed far more frequently than several games that did make the list. The "tuck rule" continues to be a contentious issue several years later, and that one Tom Brady arm movement is still the typical reference point for discussions of whether a quarterback's arm was moving forward. Did the NFL Network prefer to avoid acknowledging that one because the officiating drew so much criticism?
The "Top Ten Games With Names" list was reprinted in the San Jose Mercury News.
An Oakland Raider game did get the #1 spot on the list, albeit a Raider loss. The "Immaculate Reception" game, wherein Franco Harris' shoestring miracle "catch" led the Steelers past the Raiders in the 1972 AFC divisional playoffs, was named the top game with a name of all time. One of the only good things about John Madden retiring is that they won't keep showing replays of that during games when he's in the booth.
The two others that made the list were spectacular Raider wins. The "Sea of Hands" game, a 1974 playoff win wherein Raider receiver Clarence Davis grabbed a Ken Stabler blooper in the end zone despite being mobbed by Miami Dolphins, was named to the #7 spot.
The #8 Spot went to the Dave Casper's "Ghost to the Post" game, a double-overtime 1977 playoff win over the Baltimore Colts. Casper, called "The Ghost" because his name is Casper, sealed the win with a 10-yard touchdown catch in the waning seconds of double-overtime. But the namesake play of the game was a 42-yard bomb Casper caught to set up a field goal to miraculously tie the game after Baltimore seemingly had it wrapped up.
The 49ers made #3 on the list, with "The Catch" win over Dallas in the 1982 NFC Championship.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who still swears that the football was in Tom Brady's non-throwing hand at the time of the hit.