ALAMEDA -- Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio was at SAP Center on May 12, watching the Sharks advance to the NHL Western Conference Final with a Game 7 victory over Nashville.
After last night’s clinching victory over St. Louis, they’ll play for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Del Rio was part of a massive Raiders contingent cheering the Warriors on against Oklahoma City, one that included Derek Carr, Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper.
The Raiders are Bay Area sports fans -- except the 49ers, of course -- and have cheered on local teams advancing through the postseason.
The Silver and Black hope they can add to this golden era of Bay Area sports success with a 2016 playoff berth.
“I’m good with that,” Del Rio said Tuesday. “I think that’s a great idea.”
A postseason berth is the next logical step following a 7-9 campaign and this offseason’s grand talent rush. That would break a 13-year drought and bring joy to a long-suffering fan base. It would continue a trend of underwhelming teams rising to prominence, as the Warriors and Sharks have done.
“We certainly take pride in representing this area,” said Del Rio, a Hayward native. “The fans that are here are awesome. So we want to do our part and play great football. We talked about when I got here last year in the opening press conference, talked about return to greatness, and that was the goal.”
Regardless of sport, athletes can appreciate their brethren chasing greatness.
"I think it’s inspiring for sure,” Del Rio said. “I take great pride in having been from this area. Even when it wasn’t good, Warriors had some lean years, whatever. Different sports teams have lean years, if you’re a true fan, you’re still there. But there’s nothing like it when you get it going and we’re all enjoying it. That’s what’s happening right now with the Warriors and the Sharks, and we’d love to join that.”
Del Rio was on the scoreboard at a Sharks playoff game; the players were shown at the Warriors game from a luxury suite and they also posted some video from that game. Here’s evidence of all that:
A great night of team bonding:https://t.co/QAmAQQrK3f— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) May 17, 2016