Like the Raiders, Woodson did two tours in Oakland, first as a precocious but ridiculously talented young star from 1998-2005 and then as a Super Bowl champion who was convinced to come back after being greeted by a throng of silver-and-black wearing fans who cheered his arrival at the team’s long-time headquarters in Alameda, Calif.
Woodson spent the final three seasons of his Hall-of-Fame career with the Raiders, earning the last of his nine trips to the Pro Bowl in 2015. Woodson is so beloved in Oakland that after his last game at the Coliseum, against the San Diego Chargers on Christmas Eve 2015 (a game that the Raiders won 23-20), Woodson was given a microphone and addressed the screaming crowd, flashed the familiar O symbol, then led the fans in a raucous chant of ‘Raaaaaaaaaaiiiideerrrs….. Raaaaaaaaaaiiiideerrrs!’
Fittingly, Woodson was chosen to light the Al Davis Memorial Torch for the final Raiders game ever at the Coliseum prior to the Week 15 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 15.
Woodson spent the days leading up to the game at the Raiders headquarters in Alameda filming a segment for the NFL Films series ‘The Grind.’ Woodson was only half-kidding when he joked with Raiders media relations director Will Kiss about running into issues getting clearance from the PR department to do so.
Before leaving the locker room, Woodson paused to talk with reporters. Although it was tempting to write a story about it, we thought it best to let Woodson do the talking himself. It is one of his best traits, something he didn’t do nearly enough of when playing. Back then he was more tuned in to playing the game. But when he did speak, it was worth every second. Just like this time.
Q: What do you anticipate the final game at the Coliseum will be like?
You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD
Log in, if you are already a subscriber
Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories, newspapers and 5,000+ magazines
READ THE ENTIRE ISSUE