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March 9, 2007 Photo by Sac D

Kirk Morrison

Hilton Oakland Airport - Oakland, California

Commitment to Excellence Award Dinner

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Sac D17-Jun-2007 18:58
Diehard Raiders fan ecstatic when team drafts his son

By Monte Poole, STAFF WRITER

ALAMEDA — In David Morrison's mind, his son was born with a silver head,
a black patch over his right eye, painted black from the shoulders to
the waist, silver from the hips down.

Let it be said that Kirk Morrison was born into a Raiders family.

Which is why 23 years after his birth, when he was drafted by Oakland,
his father responded predictably.

"I started running around the house hollering," he says.

In David's mind, this was Kirk's destiny. The father grew up practically
in the shadow of the Coliseum, rooting for the Raiders. Many Sundays
during the son's adolescence were spent at the stadium, father and son
rooting for the Raiders.

Then there was another bit of karma. After Morrison's senior season at
San Diego State in 2004, the linebacker was selected for the Senior
Bowl. Guess which NFL staff had been designated to coach his team?

Morrison was superb during the week and on game day, impressing
then-Raiders head coach Norv Turner and members of his defensive staff.

"I saw it coming," David says of his son becoming a Raider. "I was at
the Senior Bowl,and Kirk really stood out. The coaches liked what they
saw and (indicated) they wanted to get him. So when they drafted him, I
wasn't surprised.

"But I was excited."

It was then that Kirk could give up his Raiders ticket. Being on the
field during games meant he no longer needed a seat.

"We've sat in the same spot ever since the Raiders came back (to
Oakland)," he says. "We've always had personal seat licenses, our PSLs,
so the people we sit with now are the same people we sat with 10 years ago."

For all of David's devotion to the Raiders, he managed to avoid the sins
zealous fathers often commit. He didn't shout down Kirk's coaches,
didn't judge their work from the stands. He made a point of staying in
the picture but out of the way.

"He was hands-off," Kirk says. "He never told me I should bat a certain
way, or that I should catch this way or run that way. He was just there
for me. When it came to technique, he left that to my coaches.

"I never had to look in the stands for him. He was just there. He'd come
up after the game, tell me what he thought and support me."

Though Morrison's parents lived apart — Kirk stayed with his mother —
they were of similar minds as football fans (Raiders or die), and they
were regulars at Kirk's games from the moment he buckled his first chin
strap. His father often brought video equipment to record those special

When it came time to accept a scholarship, Kirk heard the advice of each
but made his own decision. He and Bishop O'Dowd High teammate, Josh
Dean, decided upon San Diego State.

"I lived with my mom the whole time," Kirk says, "but when it came time
to go to college, my dad drove me there."

So ended a routine during Kirk's high school career, when Saturdays
belonged to O'Dowd games, Sundays to Raiders games.

Nowadays, Saturdays and Sundays belong to the Raiders — as do the other
five days of the week.

"I've always looked up to him," Kirk says of his dad, "and now he's
starting to kind of look up to me. Our positions are starting to change.
He has walked me along for 25 years of my life, and now I'm on my own."

As Morrison sits on a bench outside Raiders headquarters talking about
his father, it is clear David provided influence.

"He's the hardest-working man I know. I'm serious," Morrison says of his
longshoreman dad. "He has worked so hard his whole life, worked for
everything he has. That's where I think I get my appreciation of hard
work, being organized and getting things right."

"My mom is more the collector type. She keeps everything all over the
place. My dad, though, keeps everything in order. He arranges his mail
in a nice little stack before going through it. Even if he's trimming
his toenails, he makes sure there's 10 nails when he's done. Not one

Which describes a father who helped raise the kind of son coaches love.
Precise, comprehensive and in search of perfection.

Maybe that's what Raiders coaches saw during their turn at the Senior
Bowl. David Morrison would not have handled it quite as well if the
coaching staff had come from a certain other team.

"He had one thing to say about the draft: 'Just don't go to the 49ers,'"
Kirk remembers.

His son a Raider, David may be more passionate than most on Mondays in
the fall, when Raider-Niner debate rages in local workplaces. Though
David lives in Hercules, his hall is in San Francisco.

"I get there in my Raider gear, and it's on," he says. "They're saying
ugly things about the Raiders, and we're saying ugly things about the

Kirk and his teammates no doubt appreciate his dad's support. The
father's love for the son — and for the son's team — make it easy on
Father's Day.

"Every year, his Father's Day present is the same: The renewal of his
season tickets," Kirk says. "That makes him happier than anything."
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