I’ll get it out of the way now and say that Mike Shanahan’s calling a time out in overtime just as Sebastian Janikowski was about to kick the game-winning field goal (and it went right through) was absolute douchebaggery, a bush league move. It’s why he’s Coach Rat Fink to me about half the time.
But as far as gamesmanship goes, it was fucking genius, and since Shanahan is my team’s head douchebag, I have to go with it. Not only is Janikowski kicking from 50+, he’s always had an inconsistent streak a mile wide since his FSU days, and it was a smart move to pull that on him and get him out of his zone. I’m not even sure Shanny even pulls that out of his hat if it’s not the Raiders in the first place.
Let’s remember that Shanahan’s first head coaching opportunity after years as a Broncos assistant under Dan Reeves was with Al Davis’ Los Angeles Raiders at the age of 35 (oddly, making him the youngest coach in the League at the time). He went 8-12 in two seasons and was fired for Raider lifer Art Shell after the 1989 season. Shanahan still believes the Cryptkeeper screwed him over not only professionally, but there were also arguments over money. From the San Jose Mercury News’ John Ryan, who blogs over at Morning Buzz:
Mike Shanahan loves to tweak Al, as we all know. (My personal favorite was when he suggested the Raiders donate the money they owe him to the Oakland schools, pretty hilarious considering the Raiders weren’t acknowledging owing him a dime.)
–Mike Shanahan is a devious little rat. But the Raiders should have seen that timeout coming. After all the talk during the past week about how closely the sidelines watch each other, if the Raiders didn’t see the entire defense standing near that ref, that’s their own fault. And obviously they didn’t, since Coach Lane was well into his celebration.
So, when it comes to playing the Raiders, he will run up the score if he can and he will pull every questionable-but-legal trick in his book if he’s got it. And Broncos fans love him for it, because there’s no one we like losing to less. Kansas City is high up there, but the dislike between the Broncos and the Raiders as organizations is so much nastier.
In short, I’m not surprised Shanahan pulled that move on Lane Kiffin and Sebastian Janikowski. I would have been shocked if he hadn’t.
Photo: AP/Jack Dempsey