When Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez officially retires, and he remains "95 percent" certain it will be after this season, his career will include a treasure chest of memories of playing against the Raiders.
"First game I ever won against them, my second game of the season on 'Monday Night Football,' " Gonzalez said by conference call Wednesday morning. "We won on the last play of the game with Andre Rison.
"My longest catch ever came against them 73 yards out there in Oakland. I've done pretty well against them, but they've broken my heart. We had a 17-0 lead at home; they came back and beat us. (Sebastian) Janikowski has broken my heart a couple of times."
Gonzalez, 36, on Sunday faces the Raiders for the first time in a uniform other than that of the Kansas City Chiefs. After catching 13 passes for 123 yards against the Washington Redskins, Gonzalez is the NFL's leading receiver with 39.
Having not played against the Raiders since 2008, Gonzalez admits to having withdrawals after preparing for emotionally charged games twice a season for 12 years.
"I miss that terribly," Gonzalez said. "That was a fun, fun week for me when I was out in Kansas City."
Gonzalez is the NFL's second-leading all-time receiver behind Jerry Rice with 1,188, having moved past Marvin Harrison (1,102) last season. Needing 361 receptions to catch Rice, Gonzalez has no illusions about going out on top.
"Absolutely not," he said. "I'd have to play another five years. I see Jerry every offseason, and if that subject comes up I'm always telling him, 'Your record is safe.' Even if there's a slight chance I did come back next year, that would be the last year. That record is safe with Jerry that and 'Dancing with the Stars.' I ain't doing that, either."
With that, Gonzalez left open a sliver of doubt about coming back for another season.
"I'm having some fun, but I haven't changed my mind at all," Gonzalez said. "I'm still at 95 percent. I'm never going to say 100 percent. I'm lucky enough to stick around this long. To end it like this, playing with some great players, a great quarterback, great receivers outside, it's a lot of fun."
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