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UArizona alum cheers Wildcats on in spirit

Dan Wray’s football world collide as Wildcats open their season in Las Vegas
Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 9:53 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - “I think his biggest question would be does he wear Arizona colors or raiders colors or both at the same time,” said Lindsay Wray, the daughter of Wildcats fan, Dan Wray.

Today, Dan Wray’s football worlds collided.

Lindsey Wray says her dad has been a wildcats fan for as long as she could remember. But, it wasn’t just the cats, through and through. Dan was also a Raiders fan.

“He had Raiders everything, he had Raiders slippers, he had pajamas, I made him a blanket, even his car was Raiders colors,” said Wray. “He went to the ground breaking of the stadium but he was never able to see a game.”

Dan passed away in 2018 after an unexpected and quick battle with cancer. But, not even that could stop him from cheering on a team he spent his life rooting for. He spent his last day watching the Raiders pull off a come from behind overtime win against the Cleveland Browns.

Simply put, Dan loved football—not as much the game its self but the connections and comradely it fosters. To make sure he was never too far from it. His family dedicated a brink outside of Allegiant Stadium in his memory.

Written across the brick is the phrase “just win baby.” It was coined by the Raiders former coach, and owner Al Davis meant more than winning on the football field it was about over coming obstacles, something Dan mastered.

“His early life was really really tough,” said Wray. “They ate potatoes for three months straight because they didn’t have money for food.”

Dan accepted a full ride academic scholarship from the University of Arizona, and it changed his life.

I think that was one of the first stepping stones, it was something he didn’t have to overcome,” said Wray. “I think that it was gratitude that made him stay so connected to U of A, he was really involved in the alum association.”

Wray says if her dad was still here there’s no way he would have missed his Wildcats playing at the home of his Raiders.

“I think he would have been overjoyed, that he would get to go to the stadium and that he would get to see U of A play,” said Wray. “I can just kind of picture his face looking around taking it all in and just being so happy to be there and be a part of it.”

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