Hall of Famer WR Fred Biletnikoff poses for a photo with a fan who traveled from Idaho to attend the game. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
Raiders Hall of Fame wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff signed autographs and posed for photos in Raiderville prior to the Raiders Week 16 match up with the Indianapolis Colts. Raiders.com sat down with him for a one-on-one interview before kickoff.
Raiders.com: What's it like being out here with the Raider fans?
Fred Biletnikoff: Well you know when you get out here everybody is tailgating, having a good time. It's crazy as always every game. The people are phenomenal. They have a terrific time and everybody is always nice and everybody is so behind the team on a weekly basis and they're pulling for the team today. Being out here and seeing all the tailgaters and visiting with people and talking with people and signing some autographs, it's a lot of fun.
Raiders.com: What are some of the things fans say to you when they meet you for the first time?
Fred Biletnikoff: A lot of them go back years ago to the period of time I played and it's good that they still remember. That's the whole thing that people always bring up to you and that's a real compliment to me because it's been a number of years since a lot of us have played. A lot of us have done this at Raiderville for home games so it's good to see everyone, listen to everybody and have people say Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and good luck and all that. It's good to be around that.
Raiders.com: How have you enjoyed watching the Raiders turn things around this season?
Fred Biletnikoff: I'll tell you what, it's been a lot of great games, a lot of fun being up there watching the games, and knowing that the team is in every game. Watching some nice wins, some tough wins, and some tough losses. Overall I thought the team this year has done so much better than the last few years and I think it's a good testament to [Head Coach] Tom [Cable] and the whole team and all the players. It's not easy being a head coach; it's not easy being a player or an assistant coach. Going through years where you have your ups and downs and finally you hit a good year like they did this year and win games and get everybody back interested in the community in the team and backing the team so it's really, really fun to see.
Raiders.com: Special message for the Raiders fans?
Fred Biletnikoff: Happy New Year. Hope everybody had a great Christmas. Hold on to those family members because a lot of times we miss all the members in our family that are not with us, but that are still with us in memory. Not only that, but this team, the Raiders, is our team, so keep pulling for them.