I don’t know how many of you had a chance to watch the Hall of Fame game this past Sunday but if you didn’t see it, you missed out. As is usually the case, whenever any festivities happen involving the Hall of Fame, the presence of the Raiders is everywhere.
The highlight of the game for me was when Andrea Kremer was doing a sideline interview with former Raider and recent Hall of Fame inductee Rod Woodson. Woodson said that he identifies himself as a Steeler which makes sense because he spent the first ten years of his fifteen year career with the team. But then she asked him out of all his great years in the NFL, which play was the most memorable for him. And this was his response:
“I would have to go to the 2002 season with the Oakland Raiders. We started out 4-0 and then we went 0-4. We were playing the Denver Broncos. They were driving down to score the go-ahead touchdown really early in the game. Griese dropped back and threw it right into my hands and I took it in for a touchdown. We went up by ten. That really changed our season around and we went on to the Superbowl.”
Woodson was only with the Raiders for two seasons and was injured the entirety of his second season. Which means his only season played for the Raiders, was the Raiders last Super bowl run in 2002. And out of fifteen years and three Super Bowl appearances with the Steelers, Raiders and Ravens, his favorite moment came in the Silver and Black. That is really something special as far as I’m concerned.
Another highlight of the night was the tribute to the broadcasting career of John Madden. If you missed it, you missed a very moving tribute to a man that we have all admired for the past 40 years.
I watched this game simply because I needed to see some NFL football after so many months away. But Raider fans were treated to a bit more than that.
I only regret not seeing the induction ceremonies the day before. As I pointed out last year, it is always worth watching even if there are no Raiders being inducted. I am always moved by seeing these NFL greats take the stage to realize the culmination of a life long dream. It truly is something I hate to miss.
Thankfully, the Raiders don’t schedule anything of any importance on the same day as the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies….ehem.