One month after a Raiders' win which several players felt had received some divine assistance, the Raiders pulled out another unexpected win yesterday where the memory of Marquis Cooper played a significant role. Cooper was a Raiders kickoff unit specialist who lost his life in a boating accident last spring.
But Marquis Cooper wasn't just being remembered in the stands. The Raiders' kickoff unit, the very squad on which Cooper played, stole the win by recovering a late fumble. Cooper was very much on the kickoff unit's mind afterward.
"He (Cooper) caused the fumble," Raiders linebacker Sam Williams told the Times. "That was unbelievable. His wife was here and his daughter was here. Before the game his 4-year-old daughter said she was excited to watch the game. She said, ‘I get to see my daddy play!'"
Cooper's family was awarded a game ball afterward by coach Tom Cable.
“I just spread the word," Williams said, "And everybody felt the emotions of that. It was special.”
Anytime the Raiders win is special. But it's an especially storybook ending that the Raiders pulled out such an unlikely win on the day they honored their fallen teammate.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who could use a little divine assistance.