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Oakland Raiders Players Weigh In On North Bay Fires

Posted Oct 12, 2017

The effects of the North Bay wild fires have been felt throughout the state, even touching the Silver and Black.

The effects of the deadly Northern California wildfires have been felt across the state since they first flared up in the early hours of Monday morning.

From the thousands of people who have been displaced by the historic blazes, to the firefighters and first responders battling to quell the fires, it seems as though people all throughout California have been impacted in some way – big or small – by one of the biggest disasters in state history.

The Oakland Raiders have not been immune to the effects of the fires; albeit it in a miniscule way compared to those who have either lost their homes, or the first responders attempting to limit the catastrophic damage.

With sub-par air quality in the East Bay, the Silver and Black have not only had to change up their practice schedule the past several days, they’ve also limited their time outdoors, cutting practice in general short compared to their usual routine.

And while athletes famously thrive on routine, kicker Giorgio Tavecchio doesn’t anticipate any adverse effects from the sudden changes.

“Yes, we are rooted in a pretty specific, organized, well-run, oiled machine, the routine, but things happen, we have to be flexible,” said Tavecchio. “That’s part of it, part of the training is to be able to be prepared for the unexpected.”

The ferocity of the flames is certainly unexpected; with nearly 200,000 acres already burned, the fires already rank as one of the most-destructive in California’s history with no definitive end in sight.

The impact of the fires have also hit close to home for the Raiders; former wide receiver Cliff Branch lost his home in the blazes, and the team just wrapped up its 22nd season hosting training camp in Napa, so Wednesday afternoon, the Silver and Black announced that they – along with the other Bay Area Sports teams – had made a cominbed $450,000 donation to the fire relief efforts.

Amidst the business of the NFL regular season, and the highs of winning, and the lows of defeat, linebacker Tyrell Adams saw the collective effort by the teams as a sobering reminder that life is indeed bigger than first downs.

“The season is seven months long, so you kind of forget everything else that’s going on around you sometimes,” Adams said. “When I saw the post from the [Raiders], I was like, that’s amazing. We all came together, all the Bay Area teams, to help support this cause with what’s going on up there in the North Bay.”

“My heart really goes out to the families though,” quarterback Derek Carr added. “When something like that happens and then someone tells you what it really is, you just sit there and think you’re fortunate, you’re blessed. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families that have lost houses, loved ones. That kind of stuff, that’s real life. That’s hard. Being 2-3 is not hard when we really think about it. Doing that kind of stuff, that’s what’s really hard. Our prayers are with them that they can have peace and encouragement.”

With minimal containment of the statewide fires, the situation in the North Bay remains urgent, but Tavecchio is hopeful that not only will the flames be corralled, but that those in harm’s way remain safe.

“It’s unfortunate that it takes such unfortunate circumstances to bring us together, but they say when these situations happen, they bring out the worst and the best in people,” Tavecchio said. “So let’s hope we can continue to bring out the best, and support our brothers and sisters up in Napa who are struggling.”