Earlier this week, Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Dan Williams made his editorial debut on The Players' Tribune, crafting a thoughtful piece on his biggest fan – his dad.
Throughout the article, Williams recounts the close bond that he had with his dad, and the support he showed him throughout his collegiate career and then when he began his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals.
"He was able to come see me play that weekend, but he couldn't make it to every game," wrote Williams. "If he could have, he would have. Instead, he came to some games in Arizona, and if we were playing on the road anywhere near Memphis, he'd pack up whatever family members he could and make the drive to the game. He never missed a game when I was growing up, so it always felt good to know my biggest fan was up in the stands watching."
While his father was overjoyed his son was drafted, in the first round no less, Williams did acknowledge that his dad's draft day wasn't completely picture perfect.
"My dad had been a Raiders fanatic his whole life," Williams wrote. "He grew up in Tennessee when there was no NFL team there, but he watched the Raiders back in the 70s and just loved the way they played. He loved the Black Hole and the whole "Raider Way". He loved the logo, the colors, everything. When I was eight years old, he got me a Raiders Starter jacket for Christmas so we'd have matching jackets."
The Raiders defensive tackle goes on to recount personal moments he shared with his dad that many sports fans will resonate with – for instance his dad paying the extra $2.00 to get the souvenir cup at football games.
He also discusses what went into his decision to sign with the Oakland Raiders this offseason, and what about the situation made it a dream come true.
With his words, Williams paints the picture of son looking to make his dad proud, and how his first game in Silver and Black was one of the most emotional moments in his NFL career.
To read Dan's entire article, click here.