Years ago in a playoff
game, the Oakland Raiders trailed the Pittsburgh Steelers by nine points with
less than a half minute to play. They had the ball on third down fairly
deep in Steeler territory.
The Raider head coach, John Madden, to the astonishment of many, decided to kick a field goal. Even more astonishing, his 48-year-old placekicker, George Blanda, boomed the ball through the uprights for three points. It was now a six point game.
Madden's next move was no surprise: an onside kick. The kick went towards Steeler John Stallworth, who had caught a touchdown earlier in the fourth quarter. But he couldn't bring the ball in and Raider Marv Hubbard recovered on the Raider 48. Oakland now had the ball with just seven seconds left on the clock.
Quarterback Ken Stabler threw a long pass to wide receiver Cliff Branch near the sidelines. Steeler defensive back Mel Blount let Branch catch the ball and then tackled him before he could get out of bounds. The game ended and Curt Gowdy, the sportscaster said, in reference to the Raiders' perennial frustration in the playoffs, "John Madden, disappointed again."
I keep playing this clip, which is on YouTube:
As an Oakland Raider fan, I shouldn't like the way the game ends, but their comeback attempt inspires me. I keep thinking how the Raiders could have pulled this game off. If Branch could somehow shake free of Blount and get out of bounds in time, or if Branch could have somehow out-maneuvered Blount and the Steeler defense and made a run for the goal line"or maybe Madden and Stabler come up with the ultimate trick play, like a surprise draw with Clarence Davis going fifty-two yards up the middle"
Sometimes I feel like the fight to get the truth about 9/11 out to the public is a situation similar to the one the Raiders faced. It seems like those of us who question the official story are asked to provide a lot of proof (i.e. points) to a skeptical public in a short period of time (hard to believe, but very soon it will have been NINE years since September 11, 2001). Who is to say another big controversy won't knock out what little media and public attention the search for 9/11 truth gets?
I wonder what a victory is in terms of 9/11 Truth. Does it mean indictments and convictions of those who acted in the plot? Or does it mean that a majority of the public tell the pollsters they don't buy the official story? How close to the "goal line" do we need to get in order to "score" this victory?
The only way to play any game is to play to win. But when circumstances make it impossible to achieve victory in the literal sense of the game, the real victory is to vindicate our character by refusing to give up. The big game clock may show zero on it, but our commitment to truth will outlast any time frame the critics can give us.
By completing as many pieces of the puzzle of 9/11 as we possibly can, we may show the reality of the nation in which we live to future generations. Our moral victory may not show on the scoreboard but it can inspire others.
And we can remember that John Madden was not forever disappointed: the Raiders, having suffered a tough defeat in 1975, came back to win the Super Bowl the following year.