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Eddie Paskal, 25, is a millennial. By popular stereotype Paskal as a millennial should be the leader of his own one-man parade, guided by spectacular intuition and insight that are his alone, stopping only momentarily to acknowledge his admirers, annoyed by the impertinence of a critical question.

Paskal could take that bait of course. It would be tempting. Paskal is a full-time employee of the most-discussed team right now in the NFL. And it’s not like Paskal works 40 hours a week in the Oakland Raiders’ cafeteria dispensing those delicious pancakes. Paskal is one of two writers for raiders.com. He goes wherever the Raiders go, like this past Monday to Mexico for the Houston game. Responsible mostly for online content, the 2009 graduate of Cardinal Newman knows and has interviewed everyone great and small in the organization, spending most of his time with the players.

He’s three years out of college (Oregon).

This is the only full-time job he’s ever had.

And this should be about the time I ask for his autograph and wonder if he’ll give it to me.

Instead, this is what I get.

“I am very aware how fortunate I am,” Paskal said. “There are people as qualified, if not more so, than me. I don’t take anything for granted. I don’t think my path is the kind of path that is normal.”

His voice is without judgment or volume. Rather, it is soft, polite and forgiving. Near the end of our interview, Paskal said he played soccer for Newman. I blushed. I apologized — near the beginning of the interview I unwittingly stepped in a verbal gopher hole: I said soccer bores me.

“I’m sorry, Eddie. What an idiot to say that, especially at the beginning of the interview. But you didn’t say a thing.”

“That’s OK,” Paskal said in that soft, polite, forgiving voice. “No big deal. No worries.”

He meant it. He wasn’t condescending. And as he told his tale of how he came to be with the Raiders, never once did he wash himself with praise. In one respect, how could he?

His mother, Adrienne, started it all. Wasn’t like he found himself at a bar having a drink with Derek Carr.

“She asked me what I wanted to do with my life.”

Yes, that’s how Paskal began his journey to the NFL. It was 2013. Paskal had just graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Oregon. He had worked for the school. He did some writing for the Eugene Emeralds, a short-season Class A minor-league baseball team.

“Mom, I’d like to stay in sports,” he said.

Well, Adrienne said, I know someone in the Newman library whose daughter works for the Raiders. Paskal was told to send a letter seeking employment. Time passed. Oh well, Paskal thought. Then came the call. There’s an opening as a public relations intern. Paskal interviewed twice. Got the job. He started the day before training camp opened in Napa in 2013. It was a part-time job.

Thus it began to where he is today — “Senior Insider” is his job title. If Paskal is pinching himself, he is doing it out of eyesight.


Coach: Ed Conroy (28th year)

2014 record: 9-4, 6-1 NBL

JV record: 3-7, 2-5 NBL


Gunner Mefferd. SR., QB: Third-year starter has added weight (200 pounds) and height (6 foot-4) since last year.

Chris Taylor-Yamanoha, SR., WR/CB: Going to University of Louisville on scholarship next year.

Mo Ward, SR., RB/SS: Figures to be the top ground-gainer out of the Cougars’ spread offense.

Brandon Boccaleoni, SR., OL/ DL: One of the biggest linemen in the NBL at 275 pounds, also one of the best.


Oct. 9 at Cardinal Newman: The Cougars and Cardinals tied for the NBL crown last year. The 2015 clash is certain to have title ramifications.


In 2002, Rancho won its second consecutive North Coast Section Redwood Empire 3A championship beating Montgomery in a rematch of the 2001 title game.


Sept. 4 Alhambra 7:30 Sept. 11 Vanden 7:30 Sept. 18 at Antioch 7:30 Sept. 25 Casa Grande* 7:30 Oct. 2 at Montgomery 7:30 Oct. 9 at Cardinal Newman 7:00 Oct. 16 Maria Carrillo 7:30 Oct. 23 Windsor 7:30 Oct. 30 Ukiah 7:30 Nov. 6 at Santa Rosa 7:30 * - at Santa Rosa Junior College

“I take nothing for granted,” said Paskal, of his team’s fortunes. He has paid attention to Oakland’s history. No playoffs in the past 13 years. Eighteen different quarterbacks from 2002-2013. In 2010 the Raiders were the only team in NFL history to sweep its division and miss the playoffs. The list goes on and on.

So Paskal lives in the moment and doesn’t stray from it. He’s smart that way. He was there for 4-12 and 3-13, his first two seasons with the team. He knows how the team has a bruised history of imploding. So he sees the Raiders’ 8-2 record and said with sincerity, “We haven’t done anything yet.”

That’s true. New England’s Bill Belichick would consider a 8-2 record underperforming — as he does now — and we got a long way to go and blah and blah and blah. Then again, the Raiders might have the best quarterback this side of the Pats’ Tom Brady.

“So would you like Derek Carr to be your next-door neighbor?”

“Yep,” Paskal said, “and his lawn would nice and manicured.”

And Carr would ask Paskal if it was OK to turn up the music at 10 p.m.

Carr, who was nominated this week for the 2016 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, is the person most responsible for the Raiders’ resurgence this side of coach Jack Del Rio.

“Derek doesn’t pretend to be someone he’s not,” Paskal said. “That’s why the players follow him. I remember when the team went 0-10 his rookie year. He was the same person then as he is now.”

Meaning Carr doesn’t walk around thinking there’s a halo over his head. He’s a lightning rod for everything Raiders these days. How Derek goes, Oakland goes. He’s the lightning rod, but he’s grounded. To be sure, these Raiders in no way mirror the Raiders of the ‘60s and ‘70s. No one rides into practice on a white horse and wearing a pith helmet like Ted Hendricks once did.

Still, these will always be Al Davis’ Raiders, and the significance of that has not been lost on Paskal.

He is chronicling the days, the games, the months, of an iconic franchise, one that, if they won the Super Bowl, would create quite possibly an even greater aftershock in the Bay Area than the Warriors did when Golden State won the NBA title in 2014.

“I feel like I’m 13, like I’m a little kid, and loving what I do,” Paskal said. That’s the least discussed but the most significant byproduct of a team winning big — a bounce to your step that wasn’t there before. It makes old men young and makes 25-year-old men even younger.

To contact Bob Padecky email him at bobpadecky@gmail.com.

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