In what has now become an annual tradition, the Oakland Raiders hosted their second annual Alumni Weekend, with more than 100 former Raiders and their guests in attendance at the team's Napa Valley Training Complex.
The alumni were invited to attend practice sessions, and participate in a variety of activities throughout the weekend including a luncheon, as well as a "Friday Night Kickoff" dinner in Napa.
"It was great to see all the former Raiders here supporting us, and obviously the military is out here today as well, but in particular the number of former players that have come back to support us , and we welcome them back," said Head Coach Jack Del Rio. "I think the organization, [owner] Mark Davis, and [president] Marc Badain, and [General Manager] Reggie [McKenzie], I think to do that, and to have those guys come back for a weekend like this, I think is awesome. Great to see them, a lot of guys I grew up cheering for, so we welcome them and are super excited to have them out here."
Some of the alumni in attendance ranged from Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff to younger players like Jon Ritchie, and the importance of getting such a large group of former players together was not lost on former linebacker Kirk Morrison.
"It's great, just to see the history of this organization, so many people really don't know and haven't seen it," Morrison explained. "For me, I'm excited just to be in the same area, the same building, the same field, as Fred Biletnikoff, Ted Hendricks – I saw Jeff Hostetler today – guys who I grew up watching. Just to be here, there's so much within this organization. It's just great."
Distinguished members of the Raiders alumni gather in Napa, California to take part in the activities of Alumni Weekend 2016.
In addition to the excitement of getting together with old friends, Morrison said half the fun is getting to watch the newest crop of Raiders up-close-and-personal.
"The expectations are now here with this team," Morrison said. "Any time you can come here and show these guys the support, a lot of these guys put that same uniform on. It's good that we can be here to give them something to look at too. We haven't won a Super Bowl here in a long, long time, and it would be pretty great to see these guys go out and do something like that."