Throughout the years the Oakland Raiders have been known as the "bad boys" of the NFL and even the entire sports world. However they've been known to be very generous in many communities. Raider veteran tackle Matt Shaughnessy recently returned to his hometown of Norwich Connecticut to give an assist to others.
Shaughnessy who graduated from Norwich Free Academy and the University of Wisconsin visited the Norwich Youth Football League where he signed autographs for a few hundred youth. He also gave them words of advice. "The first thing is school.You have to get things right in the classroom before anything can happen," Shaughnessy told The Bulletin. "High school is the most important part because if you mess up there the opportunities are very small. You need to go to college to play football, you need to go to college to play any sport. Not everybody is Labron James going to the NBA out of high school."
The following day Matt hosted a golf tournament at the Norwich Golf Course. The event was a fundraiser for his brother Jaime Allen Shaughnessy who died in 2008 from complications of a stomach ailment. He was working towards a degree in pharmacology. The goal was to raise scholarship money for young people from Norwich who major in the same area or a degree that is health related.
He was joined by Raider teammates Zach Hurd, Jamie Cumbie and Desmond Bryant. I spent a few moments with Matt. On the upcoming season: "I am really looking forward to the year" said Matt. "We have been working hard this off season so we're going to pick up everything up where we left off."
Matt was out most of 2011 with a shoulder injury, he's really looking forward to the upcoming season with a new head coach and general manager. On transition with new staff: "Everything is going smooth. The defense is good, the offense is good and everybody's learning the system."
On teammate Hurd who is from nearby Waterford Connecticut and attended UCONN: He spent 2011 season on the practice squad after being released from the Seahawks. "Its cool because its such a hard level to get to. It's hard because it dosen't happen often. So it's good when it does happen."
Though he lives in the Bay area he still considers Norwich home as his parents have a home here. No matter how far you're away it's always great to go home."I like it here. I like the back roads and the change of season," said Shaugnassy. "Everything is green and it feels good to be back here."