Charles Woodson doesn’t look 39. He doesn’t play like he’s 39. So it was to my surprise, though I’m not sure why, that Woodson decided to call it a day at the end of the season. I will miss watching him cover the field with the grace of a gazelle, plucking the ball out of the air just as the wide receiver thinks he has an easy completion.
In his first stint at the Oakland Raiders, Woodson ended up being on the losing side of a SuperBowl, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning in San Diego – though he did snag an interception.
After seven years in Oakland, Woodson made his way over to Green Bay. His time at the Packers will be most memorable when he won the SuperBowl thanks to Barack Obama. The President said that if the Bears won the NFC Championship, that he would see them play in Super Bowl XLV but he would not see Green Bay.
Woodson sent Obama a jersey saying: “See you at the White House!” and led a rousing team-talk in the locker room.
“The president don’t want to come watch us win the Super Bowl?” he said. “Guess what? We’ll go see him.”
And that they did, beating the Steelers 31-25, though Woodson was unable to finish the game due to breaking his collar bone just before half-time.
It was only right that Woodson would finish his NFL career at home, in Oakland. He returned there in 2013, playing two seasons before hanging up his cleats. It was his return to the Raiders that I began playing Madden and Woodson became one of the my favourite cards to pick up in Ultimate Team.
Every year I make sure I pick up at least one of his cards, this year I have two, and make it my mission to record at least one INT with him per game. I feel like that’s what he would have wanted. I also feel like he would have wanted me to honour his time in the NFL with a Raiders Woodson jersey (even if I am a Dolphins fan), so don’t worry Charles, I will pick one up in time for the new season.
The Raiders D won’t be the same without you 24, making spectacular plays.