An interception on the Tulsa Talon's first drive by Amarillo Duster's DB Terick Thomas, last night, might have been a foreshadowing of what was to come. The Dusters handed the Talons only their second loss of the 2008 af2, Arena Football, season.
The Talons loss comes the Saturday after they clinched a playoff berth with a 58-52 road win against Rio Grande Valley Dorados and on the heels of being honored with the top spot in the Coach's poll.
So where did Tulsa go wrong?
There you are, on top of the league, rolling over every opponent that comes along. Gaining accolades from coaches, reporters, fans and then all of a sudden you meet an opponent, that you should handle neatly, and your world caves in on you.
You not only lose but you lose big. It happens to the best of teams. Look at what happened to the University of Michigan when they took on Appalachian State in the Big House last season.
Still not convinced? What happened to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII against the New York Giants after a perfect season. Could it be pressure? Overconfidence? The "New York Yankee syndrome"?
The Talons QB, Derek Rasmussen, threw an interception on Tulsa's first possession and the Dusters capitalized on the turnover by scoring on a run by WR, Craig Fulton, Jr. Tulsa outscored Amarillo in the second quarter but not enough to take the lead.
At the half the Dusters lead 24-20. Amarillo then turned on their defense only allowing the Talons 13 points in the second half.
This was also the first division loss for Tulsa dropping them into a second place tie with WB/Scranton Pioneers. Both teams have an 11-2 overall record and are 5-1 in their respective conferences.
The Spokane Shock (12-1, 9-0) are now alone at the top overall as they beat the Central Valley Coyotes 56-54 last night.
Bring me home, Scotty...
The Talons get a bye next weekend and then they are home against the Arkansas Twisters (9-4, 4-3). The Twisters are in second place behind Tulsa in the Central Division and are coming off a 55-46 win against the Iowa Barnstormers. The Green Bay Blizzard are next on the schedule for Iowa on July 5th.
The hometown crowd should be a boost for the Talons. And if things go the way they've planned, this might be their last game at the Tulsa Convention Center. Next season, they will be co-occupants at Tulsa's new BOK Center. The 18,000 seat stadium will also house the Tulsa Oilers hockey team.