Skip to content

Is the late Marquis Cooper still helping the Raiders in pigeon form? (video)

Dec 19, 2012, 4:25 PM EDT

FBL-EURO2012-UKR Getty Images

As you may have seen by now, a pigeon wandered onto the field in Oakland on Sunday and spurred the Raiders to a 15-0 win over the Chiefs, snapping Oakland’s six-game losing streak. What isn’t being reported: this is not the first time a pigeon has helped the Raiders to victory. Has the late Marquis Cooper come back?

On Sunday, the pigeon not only managed to elude the Chiefs pass rush (not difficult, granted), but was serenaded over the O.Co Coliseum loudspeakers with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird as it was captured by stadium workers and later set free (video here). This of course makes the Raiders 2-0 all-time in pigeon-related games. What, you don’t remember the first pigeon?

It was on Oct. 18, 2009, during the Raiders game with the Philadelphia Eagles, that a pigeon flew along with the Oakland coverage unit, in nearly perfect formation, during a kickoff. That pigeon, too, landed on the field, was scooped up by stadium personnel, and released. The Raiders won that game, 13-9.

In an interview with KHTK radio following that game, Raiders’ running back Justin Fargas said that he thought the pigeon was the reincarnation of deceased ex-Raider Marquis Cooper. Cooper and former Detroit Lions defensive end Corey Smith had died in a boating accident that February. Fargas:

“Yeah it was definitely a strange event seeing that bird flying out there. It seemed comfortable on the football field and comfortable lying down there literally on special teams. It very well could have been Marquis.”

Video here.


Fargas is no longer with the Raiders, so there was no one around this time to speculate on the team’s pigeon connection. But we are ever vigilant.

  1. Glenn - Dec 20, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Your associated picture seems to be of a Peregrine Falcon, not a pigeon.