With the Oakland Raiders set to play their last game in the Coliseum on Sunday, many around the NFL have been asked their thoughts on the historic structure. Even non-Raiders like Bill Belichick have expressed their respect for the team and their fan base. The Raiders aren’t going away anytime soon, but it feels like the team is putting the past behind and starting a new era.
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch spent much of his career terrorizing Raiders offenses when he was a member of the Denver Broncos. Even he couldn’t discount the allure of playing for the legendary franchise. He was on KNBR 680 and made a surprising admission.
“Even though I grew up a Charger fan, who really did not like the Raiders, there was a side of every player that says, gosh, it’d be cool to play for the Raiders,” said Lynch.
The fact that a person like Lynch, who was born to hate the Raiders, still had that much respect for the team is a testament to their legacy.
Jon Gruden Gets Emotional Talking About the Black Hole
Sunday is set to be a very emotional day at the Oakland Coliseum and Raiders head coach Jon Gruden will probably have a hard time holding back the tears.
“I kind of have a lot of history here, and some of my friends, a lot of my friends are in the Black Hole,” Gruden said last week, via The Athletic’s Vic Tafur. “A lot of my only friends are here. I don’t have a lot of friends except the guys in the Black Hole,” Gruden continued. “I only get to see them six or seven times. I get emotional talking about it.”
Oakland holds a special place in Gruden’s heart. It was where he got his first head coaching job and where he got his second chance. He feels a special connection to the fans.
“I can say I’ve been fortunate to be in some great places, great traditional places like Notre Dame,” Gruden said recently. “I grew up at South Bend, and I got a chance to coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Green Bay Packers, the 49ers. They all have great fans, but there’s something about these people. They’re nuts.
“They’re the closest thing to me that I’ve ever seen. We have that in common.”
It should be an epic day for the Raiders, but they have one job they need to do before the celebrations can commence.
Follow the Heavy Oakland Raiders page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
How Raiders Can Win Last Game in Oakland
The Raiders absolutely need to leave Sunday with a win. Taking a loss to a losing team like the Jacksonville Jaguars would leave a very sour taste in the mouths of fans. Fortunately, it’s looking like the team will have star running back Josh Jacobs back. The Jaguars have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. Jacobs should have a field day after taking the last week off.
Jacksonville’s pass defense is slightly better thanks to the fact that they have a few really good pass rushers. If the Raiders want to leave Oakland the right way, they need to give the ball to Jacobs and let him lead the team to a victory.