What Mark Davis, Jon Gruden, Raiders players will remember about playing in Coliseum

Thoughts from some Raiders on what it meant to play at the Oakland Coliseum

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis, right, signs autographs to fans prior a preseason NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. (Ray Chavez/Staff Archives)
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OAKLAND — Some thoughts gathered over the past couple of weeks about what it mean to be a Raider for their last game Sunday at the Coliseum:

Owner Mark Davis: What I remember was a Thursday night in the rain against the Kansas City Chiefs. We were 0-10, and the fans came out to support us. We won the game because of them, and it was an example of why Raiders fans are the best in the world.

Coach Jon Gruden: I guess in a lot of ways I was raised here. I just love it here. I think some of them are crazy like me, so we have some common ground. I had my first son here and I have a lot of history here and some of my friends are in the Black Hole. I get emotional talking about it. We’re excited about the future, but we’re also very respectful of where we came from.

Quarterback Derek Carr: To be able to play here, on the same field as those legends and to actually know some of those guys, call them a friend, it’s kind of weird but a real cool thing . . .our fans make it (unique). You don’t go to any other stadium and see something like that. It’s not just a football game, and our fans make it that way.

Guard Brandon Parker: It’s got soul. There’s nothing like playing in the Black Hole with those fans. Nothing like it. The fans, they bring it every week, no matter who we’re playing. They even take over other arenas. There’s something about the fan base I love.

Running back Josh Jacobs: Being here, being drafted here, it’s obviously a special city, a special history that’s been going on here. The fans embraced me. It’s definitely going to be a crazy feeling after the game knowing this is the last one. The atmosphere is crazy in the stadium. Just hope all the fans support (us) when they leave.

Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst: I guess it’s kind of hard to understand it unless you’ve actually played here. I knew a little bit about the Black Hole before coming here, but I didn’t know it was like this . . .It has so much history and so many great games have been played here, so many great players have had an opportunity to play on the field  The fans are one of a kind in the NFL. I want to send them off the right way with a win.

Tight end Darren Waller: This is where I got back on my feet as far as my career, where I learned to work, get better and set goals for myself. I’ll always remember this place for giving me one last chance to straighten things out and have fun playing football and play in front of people that accepted me for who I was and what I’ve been through . . .the fans accepted me and I never felt any negative vibes. With my past, it was a great fit for me.

Tackle Kolton Miller: The fans have always been great, they’ve been courteous, always showing their support. The tailgates here are out of this world. My Pops is with them. And a lot of teams don’t like playing at our stadium, which is good for us. They don’t like the dirt field, they don’t like anything about it.”

(About Raiders fans being courteous: “Well, they’ve been courteous to us.”)

Linebacker Tahir Whitehead: There’s nothing like the energy they bring in the Coliseum. You see the costumes, the makeup, you’re driving in the parking lot and seeing them go crazy. They’re amped up, week in, week out. Win, lose or draw. When you lose, that’s when they’re on your case, but at the end of the day it’s warranted . . . we just got to go out there with a bang this Sunday and show them we appreciate them.”

Cornerback Daryl Worley: Amazing place. For it to be an outdoor stadium, you would think its indoors, the way that it rocks. From the Black Hole, to the costumes, its definitely a wild place. It’s a legendary experience.

Safety Dallin Leavitt: .Oakland Raiders football is such a dynasty and an important thing to the Oakland community. It’s something I’ll look back on in 20 years and say I played in the last game at the Oakland Coliseum.


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