If losing wasn't bad enough, the Lions scored an unnecessary touchdown in the last 76 seconds. What happened next really took the in-your-face cake.
Tatum Bell had scored from the 14-yard line to put the finishing touch on a 36-21 Lions victory. There, in the south end zone, before the friendly folks in the Black Hole, Bell got himself the ultimate sports shower. There was beer. There was soda. And there was, how shall we put this gently, a loogie or 20.
One of the more disgusted flingers flung his black Raiders baseball cap onto the field -- as if to say: "Here, I don't want this thing anymore."
At that point, Lions wide receiver Roy Williams rescued the hat. He picked it up, slapped it on his head and wandered off to the Detroit sideline.
Then he handed it over to Lions center Dominic Raiola. The hat went violently to the ground, was stomped on and given one of the great thrashings in millinery history.
The prime thrasher was Raiola, a 295-pound bundle of vindictiveness who was enjoying himself thoroughly as he tried to see if a pair of football spikes could put a hole in NFL licensed gear.
"I was just having some fun," Raiola said. "That's what I do."
Fun done, the hat sat alone and unloved by either Lion or Raider. It was not a day for Raiders or Raiders hats.
The ugly included three missed Sebastian Janikowski field goals, two interceptions and three fumbles (none lost, though) by quarterback Josh McCown, two additional fumbles, eight penalties.
The end-all and be-all of a bad day was what Detroit's Jon Kitna did. He passed the Raiders silly. In the first half, he had 164 yards, and he probably could have had 50-75 more if offensive guru Mike Martz hadn't insisted on running the ball seven times.
Kitna and his four horsemen receivers -- Williams, rookie Calvin Johnson, Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald -- exposed the Raiders' pass defense like a parade of nudists exposes bad bodies.
What happened to that impenetrable third-ranked secondary that had all but guaranteed mayhem on any offense that dared cross its path? The one that only needed a modicum of offensive cooperation to turn that 2-14 record on its ear?
Sunday it gave up three touchdowns -- one each to Williams (broken zone, Stuart Schweigert not deep enough), Johnson (Fabian Washington trailing) and McDonald (Michael Huff).
"Coach (Rod) Marinelli gave us the analogy that we're a tornado," Williams said. "With a tornado, you can't predict it. It's gonna come in, create devastation and get out of town."
That was the Lions. Williams was the ringleader of the unguardable four who combined for 19 passes, 232 yards and three touchdowns.
He insisted there was no advance certainty Martz's offense would drill holes in the Raiders backfield.
"The only thing we had to worry about was their front four," he said. "If we could keep them off the quarterback we knew we'd have a pretty good day."
That turned out to be no problem.
"Our offensive line played awesome ... against that defensive line and the chaos they can cause," Kitna said. "Our receivers just played great. They were where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there ... made plays when the ball was in the air. That's what this system is about."
Kitna said the Raiders' man coverage got nervous after several early strikes and changed to off coverage, which more or less defeats the purpose of man, doesn't it?
"We shocked them a little bit, and they backed off a bit, but then in the second half they started to play a little tighter," Kitna said. "Then when they felt they had the upper hand, they played tighter and we were able to back them off again.
"They play a combination of man and zone ... and they look the same at times. You just have to find the open guy, and we were able to do that with our four guys."
Despite being politically correct, Williams seemed to harbor at least something of an anti-Raiders edge. How, he was asked, could anyone hate a 2-14 team? At first, Williams deflected the issue.
"I like the team, and I love the fans," he said. "They have the best-looking uniforms in the NFL."
Swell. But then he fessed up, describing a conversation he had with Johnson before the game.
"I told him that I take this game personal," Williams said. "The Raiders should have taken me No. 2 in 2004 (instead of Robert Gallery). They passed me up. It made me mad. It was a slap in the face.
"Three years later, they should have taken Calvin No. 1. It was a slap in the face to him. So let's both take this game personal."
And let the hats fall where they may.
Contact Bill Soliday at firstname.lastname@example.org.