Heute habe ich einen Special Guest für euch, keinen geringeren als Kenny King Jr., eine Legende der RaiderNation, Content Creator, Podcaster und Sohn des ehemaligen 2-Time Super Bowl Champions Kenny King, seinerseits früherer Raiders Running Back in den 80ern. Ich sprach mit Kenny über seine Projekte, seinen Dad, die aktuelle Raiders Saison und vieles mehr. Viel Spaß euch!
Kenny, thank you for being here, I appreciate it! For the German readers to know, can you quickly introduce yourself, please. For most of the RaiderNation you are known for your „Real Talk Podcast“ and for your work on the „Just Blog Baby“. What are your current projects and what can you tell us about your history with the Raiders?
I am the founder and host of Real Talk with Kenny King, which is a fun podcast dedicated to sports, music, pop culture and everything else going on in the world with a HUGE focus on the Raiders. I am currently working with many brands trying to help them create excitement in the sports industry. My history with the Raiders dates back to before I was born, my father is 2-time Super Bowl champion Kenny King and from the moment I could hold a football I have been in love with the game.
Your father is a Raiders legend. For those who don’t know him: Kenny King was a Raiders Running Back in the 80s and a two time Super Bowl Champion. At the time he set a record for the longest touchdown reception in a Super Bowl (80 yds.) which lasted for many years. What have you learned from him and how did his career affect your personal and your football life?
One of the biggest things I learned from my Dad was to be myself, and not to live my life for anyone but me. My Dad has always been amazing at supporting whatever I have chosen to do in life and also really helps to keep me grounded. Growing up with "Hall of Fame uncles" I have been able to lean on many great people for advice in life along the way and my goal is to pass that wisdom on to whoever wants to accept it.
Your blog-description says „I used to play football, now I just talk about it incessently.“ Can you tell us about your football time as an athlete? For which college did you play and what are your best memories from that time?
I played football up until my junior year in college, and I probably had the most whirlwind unconventional route. I slacked off in school my senior year in high school so I went the JC route playing at Laney College in Oakland, in my two years there I was blessed to be a starter on a team that went to two bowl games and won one, while also getting to spend time at the shriners hospital and meeting with the kids before the game. From there I accepted a scholarship to a small school and ended up transferring out due to differences with the coaching staff, from there I took a scholarship to Temple University.
In your podcast you hosted several athletes, actors and coaches. Can you give a summary of the most interesting characters you hosted?
The most interesting guest I had on was my good friend and former San Diego Charger, Shawne Merriman- it was a really cool episode because it was a rivals show and there was some good trash talk back and forth. Another fun guest was NFL anaylst and former Raider, Louis Riddick- listening to him talk about the nuances of the game was very interesting and a great time.
On your Youtube channel I saw Episode 1 of the Blackout Podcast where you unite with other Raiders content creators. Can you tell us more about it? Which of the other channels/podcasts do you appreciate most and how does the content creators‘ landscape look like in 2022? Are the boys united?
The Blackout crew is a group of some of the top Raiders creators who have come together to host events in Vegas to provide an immersive experience to Raider Nation. I have to give a ton of love to my guy Raider Cody who actually got me my start, back in 2017 i began calling into his podcast and from there it grew into a segment on his show with me ultimately co-hosting with him. The creators landscape is huge now and while the team isn't performing well, many new creators are flourishing. Many of us are united and I try to be a mentor of sorts to anyone who needs help.
Can you give us insights on your daily/weekly routine? Do you have other passions besides football? I am referring to your bio saying „talks life, food, pop culture“…
My daily life is pretty boring, when I'm not creating content im looking online for ideas. I have a wonderful family and i am often outside with my kids and neighbors hanging out. Aside from football, i'm an avid Warriors fan and love watching them and going to games. I am a huge music and movies guy and probably don't go more than 5 minutes without quoting a lyric or line from a movie. I love to cook and obviously eat, this machine wasn't built in a day, haha.
Do you have current ties with the Raiders organization? Players, coaches etc.?
I do, i talk with a lot of the players consistently and am in constant communication with the organiztion.
What are your favorite moments with RaiderNation? Do you go to the matches and how are you spending your time on gameday? What do you like about Vegas and what do you miss from Oakland?
My favorite moments lately have been taking my kids to their first games, my fondest memories were me going to my Dad's games and watching him play. I am a season ticket holder in Vegas and I try to make it out to at least 5 games a season. I love the new stadium in Vegas and the Vegas atmosphere (fun fact, in my 20's i used to do a lot of night club promotions and because of my ties to Vegas i used to go by "Kenny Vegas"). I miss the locality of Oakland. I'm a Bay Area native and I miss being able to hop on BART and go to a game and party in the parking lot- the tailgates were unreal (Vegas is slowly getting there).
Looking at the current Raiders season. Are you disappointed or still hopefull? Do you think Josh McDaniels will be our long-term solution?
Quite frankly I am very disappointed, if you wouldve told me in August that the Raiders would be 2-6 with this roster I'd have you admitted to the psych ward. I am currently not a believe in Josh McDaniels, I dont believe that he is a leader of men.
And our quarterback? Do you believe in Derek Carr?
Derek Carr is the most polarizing player to Raider Nation to no fault of his own. I feel bad for him because he gets such a bad shake. I'm a believer in DC and I can tell you that he is not the problem with the Raiders.
Who are your Top 3 Raiders players this season and who are your Top 3 Busts?
Top 3 players: Adams, Crosby and Jacobs
Busts: Waller, Renfrow and Jones (Waller and Renfrow ONLY because of injuries)
How do you grade our rookie class? What players are you most surprised of? Are you following college football still and do you have some names the Raiders should watch out for next year?
I really like what Neil Farrell Jr. has done so far but it is still too early to grade the rookie class or to do mock drafts, theres a lot of football left.
This year the first NFL game takes place in Germany. The Seahawks will face the Bucs and in the future the NFL will focus on having more games in Europe. What do you know about Germany and its football fans? Are you in contact with German fellas and would you come over here if the Raiders played? Did you attend the Raiders London Games in the past?
I have spoken to a few of the German fellas, and I learned that I have quite a big following out there! If the Raiders played in Germany I would love to go, I am actually a quarter German so it would be cool to return to my roots. I never got to go to the London games, but I have always wanted to travel to Europe.
What is your prediction for the Raiders record this season?
Optimistic me: 10-7
Realistic me: 8-9
Who are your Top 3 AFC and Top 3 NFC teams this year?
AFC: Bills, Chiefs and Dolphins
NFC: Eagles, Giants and Seahwaks
Your Top 5 current NFL Players?
In no particular order: Davante Adams, Matthew Judon, Tyreek Hill, Jalen Hurts and Micah Parsons
Your Top 5 All-Time NFL players?
This is tough: Reggie White, Lawrence Taylor, Charles Woodson, Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders
Who will win the Super Bowl?
The Raiders, obviously
Your final words? Anything you want to tell our readers and the Nation?
Raider Nation, I know its ugly out there right now and we have seen our fair share of ugly. I have no control over what happens with the team, or what happens on the field, but what I can control is that I promise to continue to put content out there to try to soften the blows that this team deals us year in and year out. Stay up!