Gruden Back In Oakland...for One Night, Anyway

Ivan BlancoCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2009

It's gonna take more than the return of JaMarcus Russell, a 21-point loss to the Redskins, and the tearing of both of Bruce Gradkowski's MCL's to dampen the spirits of some of the Raider faithful. For the rest of them, it's gonna take a lot more than a Jon Gruden sighting to forget the atom bomb in the backfield.

The guy dressed like a gorilla, a man with a shield where his head should be and a third with spikes and imitation armor posed for a photo with a familiar smiling face who wore a Raiders visor and a brand new No. 34 Bo Jackson jersey.

Unfortunately, the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker could not make the trip.

"Look at him,'' one Raiders employee said. "He's still a rock star.''

That's the most insightful thing the Raider front office has said in decades. Any sighting of Gruden near the Bay Area -- in Oakland gear no less -- is nowadays akin to spotting Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney caulking the Royal Albert Hall.