Back in 1998, I was into the Raiders, but not super-into them like I am nowadays. Back then, Jon Gruden had just become our head coach, we had Jeff Hostetler as our QB and well, I wasn’t paying attention much to the draft or free agent pickups or anything. But we drafted the Heisman Trophy winner, Charles Woodson as our cornerback.
By the time I was paying attention two or three years later when Gannon was the QB, Woodson had already established himself as a very talented but partying player. So when he left for the Packers when his rookie contract expired, I didn’t miss him much.
Apparently, his free agency woke him up. He was astonished to find that no one wanted him, despite his obvious talent. And he quickly surmised that it was his partying ways that shied people away. So he changed. Which is how he became the G.O.A.T. – Greatest Of All Time.
A few years ago, in the midst of our rebuilding, Reggie McKenzie convinced Charles Woodson to return to the Raiders after the Packers rejected him and basically told him he was too old. During his tenure here, he got to pick off Peyton Manning finally, become the first person ever to have over 50 interceptions and 20 sacks. Every year Raider Nation expected him to retire, and every year he gifted us with another year. Until this year.
Retire well, Mr. Woodson. You’ve earned your time to rest. I was a cynical bitch when you came back to us, thinking that you were here mostly for the publicity. You proved me wrong then made me eat my words. Thank you for that.