Monday Jon Gruden was to have his final press conference of the season. Just as he has had the day after every game this season. Then hours before that regularly scheduled press conference, it was moved from the usual spot in the media room to the auditorium. This was to be more than his usual press conference.
On the stage in the auditorium was the three Super Bowl trophies; brought out for special occaions — and the table with three microphones. One for Mark Davis, one for Jon Gruden and, in the middle, one for the man of the hour, new General Manager Mike Mayock.
Mark Davis opened it up by officially announcing Mike Mayock as the team’s new General Manager.
From there head coach Jon Gruden spoke of the hiring of Mayock.
“I’d just like to say I’m very excited about adding Mike Mayock to the Oakland Raiders,” said Gruden. “Mike and I go back about 20 years from 1995 when I was with the Eagles. We’ve been friends and associates for a long time.
“I know a lot of people in this business that love football, that study football, but I don’t really know anyone that loves it and studies it more than Mike Mayock. And for the last several years we’ve been meeting behind the scenes on players, talking about one day maybe working together.
“Today’s a really exciting day for me personally, I think our players will be charged by this, I think the ex-players, the future players are really going to be excited about this acquisition as well. Welcome aboard, Mike, I’m really happy to have you here.”
Then Mayock had the floor to make his opening statement.
“Well, I’ll tell you what, I’ve spent most of the last 15 years behind a microphone and I got to be honest with you, I haven’t been this nervous or this excited in that entire timeframe,” said Mayock. “I think the last time I was this excited I got cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers the next day. But I’m really happy to be here. I appreciate Mr Davis. You have no idea, Mark, how much I appreciate being here and thank you for coming out and offering me this job.
“And Jon, what Jon was alluding to — 1995 — I probably have had over 300 text messages which I haven’t had a chance to get back to anybody because we’ve been working all morning. But a couple of them are like Archie Manning, Archie Manning is going ‘you guys are a great fit’ and the more I was just kind of scrolling through, all these football guys are reaching out saying ‘you and Gruden are a great fit. You guys love ball, you have a passion for it, you’re going to make it work. So, I think to just kind of highlight what this is all about is that Jon and I have talked a lot of football in the last 20 years and I think what we’re seeing is the formal unification of something that’s gone on for a long time.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here, I’m happy to be a Raider, I’m starting to understand what that means ‘Once a Raider, always a Raider’ and I’ll tell you another thing is I’m not going to get into any other interviews I ever had except for one and that was about 10 or 12 years ago. I kind of flew out her clandestinely to meet Mr Al Davis and he took me into this building and he hit me for about 8 hours and he grilled me on everything as you know. I came out of that building that day with my head spinning. Nobody really knew for a couple of years that he and I had talked about a potential job with the Oakland Raiders that long ago.
“I think the harmonic convergence of what’s happened today is kind of cool. And having said all that, I just got to tell you I’m jacked. I’m juiced, I’m ready to go, and there’s nobody I’d rather go to war with than Jon Gruden and Mark Davis.”