The Greatness of the Raiders
was – once again – scheduled to begin his new career, A.J. finally
made the call.
“Listen, man, there’s only 32 jobs I’d rather have, and they’re
all in the NFL, and I got one of them,” Cole said he told his boss.
“I’m not coming, Rick. I appreciate everything, but I’m just not
going to be there.”
Now, instead of working in tech, the 23-year-old punter is getting
ready for the biggest game of his life, a Monday Night Football tilt
against the Denver Broncos in what was his first regular season
game, and the 59th consecutive time he finds his dad for that
“It’s so far beyond what we imagined, so far from what we
considered possible when he was growing up – even a year ago,”
Alfred said. “It’s going to be hard to define that. Monday Night
Football, the Coliseum, with the Raiders, its history. I want to cheer
him on, and take the picture, and post it on ‘selfie of the week’ and
let everybody see. It’s going to be a pretty big celebration.”
“It’s going to be the coolest one,” A.J. said when discussing the
59th edition of the father/son selfie. “Because it’s just kind of what
you’re working for. The goal is to get the opportunity to make a 53-
man roster, go out there on a Sunday or Monday night, and play
NFL football. That’s something you dream about your whole life.”
As is the case with all streaks, one day the selfie streak will end,
although, the date of the final photo is up for debate.
“If he was working at IBM, I wouldn’t watch him go make
spreadsheets,” Alfred quipped. “I don’t know how much longer
we’re going to keep it up, but we’re enjoying seeing the world, and
seeing stadiums that we never got to see. We’re big football fans,
so we’re really enjoying that. It’s been great.”
“I can’t really tell if it’s going to end this season or not,” A.J.
added. “The way he Alfred is talking, he just seems like he’s all
in on this season, and making it to all of them. Just it being my
rookie year, and I think there are a lot of cool places we’re going to
this year, that he’s never really been before.”
And regardless of when it ends — whether it’s next week, next
month, or sometime later in A.J.’s career — the streak has survived
college, and now the NFL, blowing away the expectations for both
Cole’s in the process.
92 2019 Gameday