Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Shotwell learning to love Raider Nation

Kyle Shotwell is a good guy.
Before graduating earlier this year, he helped spearhead the football team’s bible study group and was a member of Cal Poly’s Block P society – whose purpose is to increase community service, promote sportsmanship and unity, and elevate attendance and spirit for Mustangs athletics.
On Sunday, the final day of the NFL Draft, he spent much of the morning at church, and during interviews leading up to the draft he first thanked – almost ad nauseam – the Cal Poly coaching staff, athletic department and everyone in the community who supported him and the football program during his five-year run.
He shrugged off his dwindling draft stock on multiple occasions, saying the most important things to him right now are, “No. 1 God, No. 2 Family and then No. 3, my career.”
The guy even hugged a reporter from the school newspaper after his final game at Cal Poly. What star football player does that?
So it’s kind of funny that the former Cal Poly linebacker agreed to a free-agent contract with the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Yes, those Raiders, the bad boys of the NFL. Raider Nation. The Black Hole. Silver and Black. Spikes and skulls.
It’s tough to fathom: Shotwell lining up alongside Sebastian Janikowski and Co., screaming down the field as parents Steve and Cynthia Shotwell – faces painted in silver and black with leather dog collars and spiked mohawks – berate the opposition along with the rest of the Skull Patrol.
That's if the rookie free agent makes the team, of course.
Now the question is, can a kid who’s more Luke Skywalker than Darth Vader find his way on the dark side? We’ll start to find out later this week when the Raiders open minicamp.
Start sharpening those spikes.
“I have to admit, growing up (in Goleta) I was more of a Niners fan,” Shotwell said. “With the Raiders, you kind of love ’em, or you love to hate ’em. Trust me, I can learn to the love them.”

• • •
Note to the San Francisco Chronicle, it’s Kyle Shotwell, not Josh. There’s a Kyle, Ryan, Troy and a Matt Shotwell, all brothers, but no Josh.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope he doesn't get discourged playing for the Raiders...the team, as a Charger fan, I hate very much! I will still be cheering him on even as a member of a team that has had no real 'commitment to excellence' until now!

Go Poly...Go them what you're made of!