Let's just get this out of the way now - IT WAS A LATERAL. Thank you.
For those of you who haven't watched the last 16 seconds of the 1999 AFC Wild Card Playoff game, let me just assure you that Frank Wycheck (#89 in the photo) and Kevin Dyson were aligned correctly, making the miracle touchdown that won Tennessee the game against Buffalo a legal play. It was not a forward pass, it was not a bad call. Please, I've heard enough.
That play solidified my love not only for the Titans, but for the game of football, forever. I had never felt that exhilarating sensation of pure sports magic before, but I knew that I was hooked. The Music City Miracle is the perfect example of luck, skill, determination and calmness under pressure. I'll admit that during the offseason, I watch it a few (dozen) times on YouTube just to feed my football fixation.
Yes, I know this was a long time ago, and obviously the play really has nothing to do with the Titans/Bills game on Sunday, but from the moment I started blogging about Tennessee, I've wanted to rant about it. Going to college in New York gave me my first real interaction with Buffalo fans, so I've gotten into my fair share of fights about where exactly Wycheck's foot was, why the camera angle couldn't really show the refs what happened, and how the Titans' Super Bowl run was tainted because they cheated.
So I'm using that fuel to get pumped up about Sunday. There really aren't many other reasons. Tennessee's not going anywhere this post-season, so all I can do is hope they win for the sake of team pride. Buffalo isn't having that much better of a season, so the Titans won't have fun playing spoiler to any playoff hopes. All I have are my memories and my idiotic hope that the Music City Miracle ghost will return to grant the Titans a third straight win (although this time, let's make it so no one can call them cheaters, okay ghost?).
Defensively speaking, the Titans will be challenged. Even though the Bills haven't put up great numbers so far this season, they do have deep-threat wide receivers like Lee Evans who seem to come up with big, game-changing grabs. Just because Terrell Owens hasn't made headlines doesn't mean Tennessee should count him out. By my watch, he's itching to break out - please just wait one more week, T.O.! Trent Edwards is also making a comeback, but who knows if he'll be the consistent Trent or the mistake-prone Trent (I'm really hoping for that second Trent!).
If Vince Young can keep his own mistake-prone game out of LP Field Sunday, Tennessee's offense should have a shot to do some damage against Buffalo. He really needs to be careful though, because the Bills' defense is very opportunistic. They already have 15 interceptions on the year. Plus, with Justin Gage out due to some broken bones in his back - that amazing catch last week against the 49ers came with some consequences - it'll be more difficult to get a passing game going.
However, the Bills don't have the strongest run defense (not at all actually - they're ranked dead last). I'm expecting my boy Chris Johnson to have another monster day and hold his place at the top of the NFL rusher mountain.
It won't be a blowout, and it may not be pretty, but I think the Titans can pull it out. If they lose, I really don't want to hear about the Bills getting revenge for 1999. If that's the case, shouldn't they start with the three teams that beat them four Super Bowls in a row?
Cross-published at chicksinthehuddle.com
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