This weekend Ken Stabler will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His induction is meaningful to Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, who grew up in the Bay Area as a diehard Raiders fan.
"He's one of the all-time greats to play here," Del Rio said of Stabler. "He did it and then he led this team, there were great teams. I think it's long overdue and I'm just happy that it did occur. It would have sure been nice for him to be there in person, but I know the family will be able to honor him and Raider Nation will be able to honor him. We're all obviously very proud, those of us that got a chance to see him play. It was special."
He shared a fun story of when he had a chance to meet the legendary Raiders gunslinger.
"Well I was at a fundraiser in Alabama where I bought a print of his and he signed the back of it for me." Del Rio continued.
"He actually knew who I was, which kind of blew my mind. [I thought] ‘Wait a minute, you don't know who I am' " Del Rio said with a laugh as if to say 'It should be the other way around!'.
"To me, just watching ‘Snake' and Coach [John] Madden on the sideline, they were just so cool and calm and collected. They would talk things through on the sideline. It was just the two of them. Now it's like everybody huddles around now and is a part of it. It was just those two guys and they'd sit and kind of talk things out and then ‘Snake' would go out and lead a comeback. It was just special to be able to see those things. Different era. Yeah, he was telling Kenny what plays he might want to call because Kenny was calling them. It was an altogether different era."