Road to the Draft: Chicago!

Photos from Greg Ditmer and Will Telfer's 2015 Road to the Draft.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

By Will Telfer

Raider Nation, we've made it!

After thousands of miles on the road, we've just arrived in Chicago, home of the 2015 NFL Draft.

We headed out of Omaha pretty early this morning because we just wanted to get on the road and get to Chicago. We drove halfway across the country all for Draft Day, so we were really excited to finally get there.

Most of our day thus far has been spent in the car; we drove through the entire state of Iowa, and so it's definitely been a long day of driving.

We made a few stops for gas and talked with people we ran into about the NFL Draft.

Everyone seems really excited and is looking forward to seeing what prospects their teams select.

We were both really excited to get to Chicago for the Draft, but we're also excited because tonight we're going to the Chicago Cubs game. We're meeting our event staff and the four Raiderettes that are going to be here through the weekend, and we're all going to Wrigley Field to take in a ballgame.

It's been an incredible journey across the country, but now we're ready to get to work in Chicago.

Tomorrow is the NFL Draft and we'll posted up across the street from Auditorium Theater at Roosevelt University in Grant Park.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

By Greg Ditmer

Hello once again, Raider Nation!

We present today's installment of our Road to the Draft blog from an hour outside of Lincoln, Neb., on our way to Omaha for the night.

While we've enjoyed every stop on our Road to the Draft so far, today was especially gratifying because we were able to channel our inner community relations once again.

We started our day in Denver, Colo., meeting up with Alex McMahon and his family at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, home of the Denver Broncos.

Alex was one of our Make-A-Wish kids last year, and we were able to grant his wish of meeting the Raiders and, in particular, FB Marcel Reece. Not only did Alex meet his hero, but he and his family also had the opportunity to watch the Raiders beat the San Francisco 49ers 24-13 during Week 14 of the regular season.

It was great to catch up with them and hear that Alex is doing better.

After we left Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium we went straight to the veterans' hospital and met up with the Colorado Soldiers Booster Club. The members of this booster club volunteer their time going to the Colorado veterans' hospitals and we were lucky enough to follow them around for the afternoon.

The highlight of the day for us was to see all the good that these folks do in their local community.

We accompanied them as they passed out gift bags to many of the veterans. It was great to chronicle how Raider Nation isn't just in the Bay Area. It's everywhere. These people aren't just Raiders fans – they're trying to help better the community and bring the Commitment to Excellence to everyone that they encounter, and show that they have a passion for helping other people.

After we took pictures and finished up our visit at the hospital, it was a long drive through Colorado. We took a picture at the Colorado/Nebraska border and also stopped at Memorial Stadium, home of the University of Nebraska Huskers.

We'll spend the night in Omaha tonight and then Will and I have another long day of travel tomorrow, as we get closer and closer to arriving in Chicago.

Monday, April 27, 2015

*By Will Telfer

**Hello from the road, Raider Nation! Greg and I are just outside of Denver, Colo., at the tail end of our nine-hour drive for the day. It's been a long day, but it was another great day on our Road to the Draft.

We arrived in Salt Lake City really late last night, but got up bright and early to check out the University of Utah.

After we arrived at the university, we met with Head Coach Kyle Whittingham and took a tour of the football facility, even getting a chance to see his office which has a view of the mountains as well as the football field.

During our time with Coach Whittingham we spoke to him about Keith McGill and Tony Bergstrom, both current Raiders who played college football at Utah.

Coach Whittingham had nothing but good things to say about McGill and Bergstrom, and stressed to us that both of them were leaders both on and off the field during their time in Salt Lake City.

As great of a time as we had touring the university, the best part of our time in Salt Lake City occurred right before we hit the road.

Towards the end our interview, Coach Whittingham asked to see the Raiders van, so naturally we obliged.

As we were walking out of their facility, we were bombarded by a group of Raiders fans. These members of Raider Nation were decked out in Raiders gear – hats, jerseys, the whole nine yards, and they were so excited to see us.

We were all completely surprised. It blew us out of the water and Coach Whittingham was really surprised too, and was really impressed by the fact that Raiders fans were showing up in Salt Lake City.

After that though; it was time to drive.

Like I said earlier, it was a nine-hour drive, most of which was through Wyoming, but even there, members of Raider Nation found us.

At our first stop in the Cowboy State to refill the van with gas, a man ran over to ask what we were doing in Wyoming and to tell us that his wife is a huge fan of the Silver and Black.

That seems to be the theme from our trip so far; Raiders fans come out nowhere and you don't expect it. They always have big smiles and they're just excited to see you.

We're scheduled to spend the night in Denver tonight and then we have a full day once again tomorrow, with scheduled appearances and more driving.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Greg Ditmer

Greetings, Raider Nation!

Will and I are coming to you today from Utah, on our way to Salt Lake City, our third stop on the Road to the Draft.

Since the start of our journey Friday, Will and I keep saying that we're on a hot streak because we couldn't have scripted anything better. 

Everything that's happened in Fresno, Visalia, and Las Vegas – it was exactly how we drew it up.

While we were in Fresno, we connected with former Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica, and arranged for him to attend the Carr Elite Camp. While he was there, we were able to interview him and then Derek himself actually interviewed "The Mad Bomber."

From there we continued on to Visalia, where we met up with the Steering Committee of the Booster Clubs of the Oakland Raiders (SCBCOR) at their tailgate party.  We donated several items to them which raised money that was put back into the local community.

Before we left Central California, we made our way to Fresno State and had the chance to spend time with Head Football Coach Tim DeRuyter. During our time with Coach DeRuyter we spoke about the Draft, and in particular, Derek Carr's career and his journey to becoming the quarterback for the Raiders.

From there, it was time to get to Vegas.

After a late-night arrival Saturday, we were up bright and early Sunday to head to JT the Brick's house where he recorded a podcast with formers Raiders running back, Napoleon McCallum.

Unfortunately we couldn't stay too long because the road was calling, so we got back in the van and headed northeast to Salt Lake City.

We have a lot on our agenda in Salt Lake City, as we'll be meeting up with the head football coach from the University of Utah, Kyle Whittingham, as well as taking a tour of the football facility.

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