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Raiders rookies to get Hall of Fame history lesson

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

This Sunday, the NFL will hold its annual Rookie Symposium in Aurora Ohio. Each year, with the exception of last year during the lockout, the NFL holds its rookie symposium. This year they are doing something a little different. While they will have many of their usual events and featured speakers to teach rookies about their new life as NFL players, they will also give them an up close look at the place they will all hope to be enshrined when their playing career is over-- the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

For these young players, few have a true sense of the game and its long history and what it truly means to have his name and bust forever enshrined in those hallowed halls in Canton Ohio.

All drafted Raider players will attend the four day event. That is third round pick Tony Bergstrom, fourth round pick Miles Burris, Fifth round picks Jack Crawford and Juron Criner, Sixth round pick Christo Bilukidi, and seventh round pick Nathan Stupar. They will see the many legendary players who donned the Silver and Black over the years.

Last season, the NFLPA held their equivalent to the Rookie Symposium and most rookies attended. The NFL version is mandatory for all drafted rookies, however the NFLPA version was not. Those not in attendance last year were second round pick Stefen Wisniewski, third round pick Joseph Barksdale, and fifth round pick, Denarius Moore.

It is a valuable seminar for these young players to attend. Most speakers at the event had gone through difficulties of their own in their time in the NFL and want these new players not to make the same mistakes.

Among the speakers this year are Michael Vick, Pacman Jones, Terrell Owens, LaVar Arrington, Devin McCourty, Jamie Dukes, Aeneas Williams, Antonio Freeman and Luther Elliss.

Hall of Fame players Michael Irvin and Carl Eller will also meet with players. Panel discussion topics include "Transitioning to NFL," "Self Regulation," "Are You Bigger than the Game," "Staying in the Game," Expectations of an NFL Player," and "What Defines Success."

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