Houston Texans at Oakland Raiders

"Where you from? Oakland...smmmmokin'."
© Matt Cohen 2010

On Sunday it was back to the Coliseum to shoot the Raiders and Texans.
After the parking fiasco at the last Raiders game, I picked up a Think Tank
Airport Security rolling case so that I could be incognito on public transit.
Wearing opposing team gear to Raiders games is risking a beer shower,
so I figured a Penguins hat would be a decent compromise, and much safer
than a Steelers hat. That turned out to be true at the Coliseum, but not quite
on BART, where a crazy man talked my ear off about the original six teams
and, yes, the civil war. He really came off the rails when I told him that I
went to the University of Alabama, but luckily that was just as the train
was pulling into the Coliseum stop.

I picked up my vest, and saw a crowd of people huddling around a limo.
I was hoping that it was Too $hort, or at least Ice Cube, instead it was
Al Davis. I'm not going to put up the picture I took of him, I'll just say
he doesn't look good. At all.

Down on the field all the talk in the photo dugout was that it was breast
cancer awareness day, and that the players would be wearing certain
pieces of pink gear. Everyone was griping about how gimmicks like
this (also third jerseys etc) are bad for stock sales, but after shooting
many rodeos where "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" days are common, I
realize that it's all in the game. If I can sell pictures of cowboys in pink
plaid shirts, I can sell pictures of Raiders with pink catching gloves.

Speaking of pink gloves...

Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain (ROLL TIDE!) reads the Houston offense.
I could be wrong, but it really looked to me like the Raiders have McClain,
a rookie, calling defensive plays.
© Matt Cohen 2010

Texans running back Steve Slaton and Raiders safety Tyvon Branch
trade stiff arms.
© Matt Cohen 2010

Raiders running back Darren McFadden carries the ball (with a pink glove)
by Texans safety Bernard Pollard.
© Matt Cohen 2010

After Houston got an early touchdown, the Raiders were able to drive
deep into Texan territory, and QB Bruce Gradkowski (412 represent!) fired
the ball to Darrius Heyward-Bey who was tightly covered by Texans
defensive back Kareem Jackson. Heyward-Bey made a great effort to jump
back and grab the ball behind Jackson's back, but just couldn't hold on
after contact.
© Matt Cohen 2010

© Matt Cohen 2010

© Matt Cohen 2010

© Matt Cohen 2010

The Raiders eventually punched it in on a much less dramatic play.
Oh well.

The Texans got some momentum on a long drive that ended with tight
end Joel Dreessen running over Raiders safety Michael Huff for six:

© Matt Cohen 2010

Dreessen's reward for scoring was a screaming hug from tackle Eric Winston. © Matt Cohen 2010

Towards the end of the first half, Raiders running back Marcel Reece took
a short pass from Gradkowski into the end zone:

© Matt Cohen 2010

Reece then celebrated Green Bay Packers-style by jumping into the stands. © Matt Cohen 2010

Raiders tight end Zach Miller copied this approach after he scored in
the fourth.
© Matt Cohen 2010

The first half was pretty busy, and I wasn't able to get many pictures of
the Raiderettes. Then in the second half, they came out of the locker
room decked out in some really questionable pink hoodies. Here's one
from before that travesty:
© Matt Cohen 2010

Gradkowski kept the Raiders in it by scrambling and hitting for two
touchdowns, but his two second-half interceptions were too much to
© Matt Cohen 2010

Here's Texans safety Troy Nolan celebrating the first of his two interceptions: © Matt Cohen 2010

After the Texans ran out the clock, even more pink gear appeared. Here's
Raiders wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins wearing a pink Gatorade towel:
© Matt Cohen 2010

Raiders head coach Tom Cable and his counterpart Cary Kubiak meet
on the field after the Texans' 31-24 win. Maybe I'm reading too much into this picture,
but it really looks like Kubiak thinks Cable's days are numbered. I don't
think that's the case, but with a half-full stadium and a 1-3 record, Al
Davis must be getting restless when he isn't asleep.
© Matt Cohen 2010