Raiders

Raiders

Football in the Oakland Coliseum could be over as we know it following the Christmas Eve game between the Raiders and Broncos.

With the Raiders' future in flux, head coach Jon Gruden was asked about the possibility that Monday's game could be the team's final game at the Coliseum.

"I'm really sensitive about hearing that," Gruden said during his Monday press conference in Alameda. "It's going to be a great atmosphere Monday night, Christmas Eve, Denver Broncos coming to town. I get excited thinking about it."

Gruden was asked to name a favorite memory, but he provided a broader answer.

"Just raging in the Black Hole," Gruden said. "Rocking and raging down there after the Steelers game, after a lot of wins over the years, you know, seeing a lot of the highlights of the great Raiders teams. I get excited, I get emotional about it and hopefully we get it all resolved where we can continue to play here."

That last comment is interesting. The Raiders don't know where they will play in 2019. The team said they wouldn't play in Oakland next year if the city sued them over their move to Las Vegas. The city of Oakland filed a lawsuit last week. So now the team must figure out where to play.

It sounds like Gruden wants to keep playing Oakland.

 

"It's a real football stadium," Gruden said when asked what he liked about the Coliseum. "It's got dirt, grass, it's got tradition. It's where some of the best games in the history of football have been played. It's where some of the best players in the history of the world played football games."

When another question about the potential final game came, Gruden tried to move on before he got emotional.

"Next question. Next thing you know, I'm going to start crying about a stadium," Gruden said with a laugh.

But the questions kept coming.

"It would be weird," Gruden said when asked what it would feel like if Monday's game was the last ever at the Coliseum.

"I like the old stadiums, I like the traditional joints, to be honest with you," Gruden said. "But I'm also excited about the future of the Raiders. Who are we kidding? It's a sentimental time."

If Gruden is trying to hold back his emotions, the players certainly must know that this could be the final game in Oakland. So will the coaching staff bring it up during team meetings to try and pump up the players?

"We'll certainly talk about it," Gruden said. "Maybe the night before the game, we'll sauce up a video for the guys, get them a true respect of where they are playing."