Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

May 26, 2010
Raider make a wish come true for 10 year old

Perhaps Raiders Chief Executive Amy Trask expressed it best.

"There were a lot of lumps in a lot of throats," she said. And nary a dry eye.

The Raiders played host to Jailen Cooper, an energetic 10-year-old from Farmville, N.C., on Wednesday at the team's Alameda compound as part of the Make a Wish Foundation's mission. Jailen has undergone brain surgery to remove a tumor from his pituitary gland.

As part of his day visiting the Raiders, Jailen, who was joined by his mother, grandmother and 7-year-old sister, spent part of practice at coach Tom Cable's side, was given a tour of the facility, was shown his own makeshift locker in the team's locker room and presented to reporters for a makeshift media conference.

His biggest wish? To tackle running back Darren McFadden.

As soon as practice ended, the team made a semi-circle around Jailen and McFadden, who stood about 10 yards apart. The players started chanting, "JAI-LEN, JAI-LEN, JAI-LEN."

The two ran at each other and as soon as they met, the gracious McFadden went down in a heap as the team surrounded Jailen and lifted him on their shoulders.

"Hi, everybody, does anybody have any questions?" Jailen asked the gathered media from the dais as laughter erupted.

How'd the Raiders look today?
"They were O.K.," he said. "But they can work on some stuff."

Did you hurt McFadden?
"I don't think I did," Jailen said, laughing. "He might be a little bruised but I don't think I hit him that bad."

How did you help the Raiders today on the field?
"By cheering them on," Jailen said. "I think every game, they'll remember me and probably do their best to win."

Jailen's mother said the most recent MRI was clean.

Jailen's story and visit to the Raiders will air during ESPN's "Wish" series July 18-22.

More to come later on the Raiders open OTA practice....

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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