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Oakland Raiders fans grateful for Jon Gruden fan party

By The Sports Xchange
Oakland Raiders fans grateful for Jon Gruden fan party
Oakland Raiders new head coach Jon Gruden chats with owner Mark Davis (L) on January 9, 2018 at the Raiders Headquarters in Alameda, California. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

It's never too early to have a fan appreciation day and that's just what the Oakland Raiders and head coach Jon Gruden were thinking late last week.

With two years before a scheduled move to Las Vegas, the Raiders head coach wanted to make sure everyone remembers the Raiders are still Oakland's team.

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And on Friday, Gruden and the Raiders hosted a party that involved more than 500 fans, free food and a chance to rub elbows with their $100 million coach.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Gruden was able to sneak in the back door of Ricky's Sports Theatre and Grill, only to emerge moments later to lead a "Raiders" chant to the delight of those in attendance.

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He talked football, praised quarterback Derek Carr and vowed to make sure All-Pro Khalil Mack's contract holdout would be over soon, the Mercury News said. He even poked fun at AFC West rival Kansas City.

The Mercury News said Gruden did not turn down any autograph or photo requests.

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Fans were grateful for the opportunity to get close to Gruden.

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"Especially with all that's going on, that they're going to Las Vegas, to bring that Oakland pride out here, everybody's happy," Erik Sotelo, who attended with his nine-year-old son, told the San Jose paper. "It means a lot to my son. He's just gonna see them for the next two years and then they're leaving."

In addition to Gruden, owner Mark Davis and general manager Reggie McKenzie were in attendance as well as former star players Cliff Branch and Bill Romanowski.

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