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Woodson the class of 2009

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, August 8th, 2009 at 10:40 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Sometimes we come at these things from our own selfish points of view.

I remember Rod Woodson as the guy who graciously allowed me to ghost write a story in his name for the 2002 Super Bowl program, one of the most remarkably down-to-earth superstars I’d ever met.

I remember Woodson as the Raiders season fell apart the following season. His career was over because of a knee injury. Yet Woodson never became bitter, although he could relay what he was thinking with a Cheshire cat grin and dry wit.

After Bill Callahan had droned on following a 23-13 loss to the hideous Detroit Lions about the quality of the opponent, Woodson sat in the locker room a day or two later and made it clear the problem was the Raiders, and not the Lions.

“I think we’re OK, because the Detroit Lions are a good football team,” Woodson said. “That’s what our coach said, right?”

Woodson was the author of the single biggest play since the Raiders came back to Oakland in 1995, a 97-yard interception return against the Denver Broncos.

Although his he has been gone since 2003, his legacy exists through one of his mentors. Spend a few minutes with Nnamdi Asomugha, as I did for a story running in Sunday’s papers, and it’s clear the Raiders wouldn’t have the best corner in football had it not been for having a mentor in Woodson.

Asomugha seemed like he was above the fray from the moment he got here, but it’s obvious Woodson’s influence has been considerable.

After Woodson had retired and gone on to the NFL Network, I was working on a Randy Moss-Terrell Owens story heading into the Raiders-Eagles game in 2005. Our phone connection was awful. We got cut off three different times. My own line in Alameda wouldn’t allow me to call out. He called back every time, finally asking me, “Do you have everything you need?”

I’d count on one hand the amount of times that happens in a lifetime of being in the media, but I don’t have to, because it doesn’t happen. Especially from slam-dunk, first-ballot Hall of Famer.

So it came as no surprise when Woodson’s induction speech was heartfelt and touching, including a thanks to Al Davis for allowing him to finish his career as a Raider.

Woodson played only one full season with the Raiders, and maybe he seems bigger than life because they haven’t had a playmaking safety since he left. Or maybe what’s most impressive is that Woodson doesn’t consider himself bigger than life, and never has.

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  • Norco Bob

    BFD

  • He Hate Me

    TWO!!!

  • He Hate Me

    Yea!!!

  • He Hate Me

    So satisfying!!!

  • He Hate Me

    Post Up…! Then read the article! LMAO

  • He Hate Me

    YEEEHAAAAA!!!! I Love Me Some ME!!!!

  • He Hate Me

    All By My Self…Dont Wanna Be, All By My Self…LMAO

  • He Hate Me

    I would say, Go Go Garcia!!! But did you see how he trailed behind today when the QB’s were announced?

  • He Hate Me

    Another Hall Of Fame Raider!!

  • He Hate Me

    So quiet in here now… And they didn’t even serve alcohol today at the RNC.

  • DarthPirate

    Thanks Jerry.

  • He Hate Me

    Rack Me… OUT

  • DarthPirate

    He Hate Me, did you go to the RNC?

  • DarthPirate

    *yawn*

  • Dmac20

    Norco Im assuming you didn’t get an autograph either???lol

  • Dmac20

    If I could have just got that darren mcfadden rookie card signed man… Thta would have been it for me. Happier than a kid toys r us.(:

  • priesttj

    I read DMac20′s post on the last thread. If the Raiders really want great attendance at that RNC, they have to let the fans mingle with the players on the field after practice and get signings. Let them touch the players and rub shoulders with them at least that one time a year and fans will wait year round for that. They should start off a Raiderette routine of say 15 minutes followed by a lively practice and then just let the fans down on the field and just mingle with players for an hour or so.

    Once a year that cannot hurt. But it would spread a lot of good will amongst the Nation and give young children a few minutes with their favorite players. As long as it’s organizatined and controlled to some extent it wont get out of hand. If a player wants to stay longer it’s up to them. But one hour with the Nation would draw fans from all over and give them an experience of a lifetime.

  • priesttj

    They do let some of that take place but they should open it up to entire attendance for an hour or so. The experience would be great and the attendance would soar.

  • DarthPirate

    One guy on here got Super Mario’s autograph, and Morrison’s and a couple others too. Must have been lucky.

  • RaiderMario420

    Woodson’s induction speech is 27:36 minutes long. The Raider part begins at 19:50.

  • Norco Bob

    TJ?

  • Norco Bob

    NO DMAC,..DIDT ATTEND,…I dont go to events that dont sell beer.

  • He Hate Me

    So that’s why they were hosing down the grass, just inside the 5 yard line, on the South endzone. To find Kirk Morrisons’ diamond earring! I saw a dude staring at the grass, and I thought it was a little odd. Makes sense now.

  • Dmac20

    lol norco. But yea I think it sucks they only have one fan appreciation day/ open practice a year. They should let you on the field and make stations so you get a better chance at getting the autographs you want and autographs period because they’d be more organized. But its o.k another opportunity will present itself im sure.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # KoolKell Says:
    August 7th, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    The Trip was cancelled, not enough people booked.
    ————————————————–

    Actually, tons of people booked. But once they found out you were on board, they cancelled faster than Michael Jacksons life insurance company.

    Good for Woodson. He deserves to be there, he was a class act from day one and was a major cog in getting us to the last Super Bowl.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    The Raiders will continue to suck as long as Al is running the team, and Oakglenn and his troll aliases will not change that. Let me know when the team wins 6 games in a season, Oakglenn. You know you’re not going to see that day again.

  • RaiderMario420

    To all you clowns who call yourselves “Raider” fans, yet talk bad about Mr. Davis need to get of the wagon. Mr. Davis is the Raiders.

  • He Hate Me

    All Hail the Great Al Davis!!! Just Win Baby!!!

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    Oh yeah hof game 2 day. Its not the raiders but its football.

  • Pingback: The RaiderCast | Woodson the class of 2009

  • http://Raiders.com RaiderTW

    Congratulations Rod Woodson, I’ve wanted to see you in the Silver & Black since your 2nd year with Pitts. Goes to show with Uncle Al your wishes might come true even if it is several years later.

  • Chris in NY

    Woodson’s a cool guy.

    He’d make a tremendous coach if he ever wants to go that route.

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    so what time can we expect a fix???

  • jhill

    RaiderBeatRicky Brown back with first team at middle linebacker.

    —————————————————-

    Ok, there is A LOT of smoke here! Will Kirk be cut or traded?

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER
  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    Morning Jhill..

    Kirk isnt going anywhere @ least not this year…

  • jhill

    Wassup 408,

    You’re probably right about that, but wassup with him being with the 2nd team?

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    everything I read says they (coaches) are trying to make our LB’s interchangeable in case we have an injury.. The next guy steps in and we dont miss a beat… Its a good thing IMO