Sportswriters are many things but mostly they are fickle. The same ones who were saying the Oakland Raiders would win the Super Bowl last Sunday were sticking out their tongue at them on Monday. Sportswriters, although rarely original, would step on their mothers' toes to win a race. But their rhetoric can be amusing.
However, I know Raider fans and I don't want to walk into Joe Bob's some afternoon and have a noose waiting for me. I'll leave that privilege to the next nine guys.
"The No. 1 defense in the National Football League scored more touchdowns (three) than the No. 1 offense (two). Offense gets the date with the prom queen; defense gets the championship. The Raiders played like some of the old Broncos Super Bowl teams."
--Woody Paige, Denver Post
Evans' take: A few days before the game, Paige told the nation on ESPN's Around the Horn to bet the house on Oakland to cover its 4-point spread. I wonder if Paige's new house is a cardboard box on 6th avenue.
"When the talk turns to the best defenses ever, the Bucs have to be included now. They'll have to talk about Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Simeon Rice and Warren Sapp. They'll have to talk about Dexter Jackson and Dwight Smith, too. There might be Raider Nation, but it's a Buc World this morning."
--Joe Henderson, Tampa Tribune
Evans' take: Would you expect anything else from the Bucs' hometown newspaper? Rewind two years, Henderson. The Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer as their quarterback. TRENT DILFER. The Bucs only won one playoff game in six years with Dilfer.
"A billion avocados died for this? At least now we know what happens when the world's greatest offense meets the world's greatest defense. Much the same result as when the world's toughest mosquito meets the world's hardest windshield."
--Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle
Evans' take: Cute, but did the Raiders have the world's greatest offense and are they the world's toughest mosquito? The Los Angeles Clippers had more offense than Oakland on Sunday and I'd rather have silly putty on wheels than a member of the Raiders' d-line.
"This was for franchises withering in the desert and owners who can only give you the bird. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers - once among the saddest sack organizations in sports history - have won the Super Bowl.
There is hope for everyone."
--Dan Bickley, Arizona Republic
Evans' take: Everyone except the Arizona Cardinals.
"If Raider boss Al Davis had a chance today to keep Jon Gruden instead of trading him to the Bucs like he did last February ... well, he would probably still make the trade, the stubborn fool."
Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times
Evans' take: Of course he would.
"The Oakland Raiders didn't have enough tricks up their sleeves to beat Tampa Bay's defense Sunday. And when that became apparent to both teams in the second quarter, the Raiders became disheartened, the Buccaneers became emboldened and another Super Bowl rout was on. Don't be fooled by the mini-drama that the Raiders' fourth-quarter scoring created. The game was over early in the third quarter when the score was 34-3, and the Buccaneers grew so bored they fell asleep for about 10 minutes, until the defense really needed to flex."
--Mike Wilbon, The Washington Post
Evans' take: Wrong, Wilbon. The game was over at halftime when Shania Twain was the most talented person wearing Silver and Black in Qualcomm Stadium.
"What Gruden did this year was nothing short of sensational. He came to Tampa with no staff, having never had a conversation with any of the Buccaneers' personnel. Didn't matter. He took over a team that had been willing to merely contend and made it a champion."
--Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe
Evans' take: Geez, what's next for Gruden? Curing cancer and ending world hunger.
"There's no way the Oakland could have beaten Tampa Bay in Super Bowl XXXVII, whether the Raiders were at full strength or not. They were thoroughly dominated by Tampa Bay's defense, crushed by all 18 wheels of the Mack Truckaneers, and their own defense made Michael Pittman look like Marshall Faulk.
The Raiders were embarrassed.
Just wince, baby."
--Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times
Evans' take: Any defense that makes Michael Pittman look like a running back, let alone Marshall Faulk, should be embarrassed.
"They've had great careers, a lot of those guys. But, honestly, I don't know if they deserved to be on the same field with us today."
--Ronde Barber, Tampa Bay cornerback
Evans' take: Ouch.
Jeremy Evans is a Nevada Appeal sportswriter (who bet on the Raiders).