It's Memorial Day. A day in which we honor the lives of those military men and women who gave their lives in service of this country. But it also seems a fitting time to honor those Raiders who have fallen over the past year.
Died on July 3, 2012 - the day before Al Davis' birthday - of prostate cancer. He was 72 years of age.
He was big, mean, and intimidating. He was a key part of the Raiders' 11 angry men defense of the late 60s. At 6'8", he stood head and shoulders over his opposition, he took full advantage and punished opponents. He was the Raiders first great defensive lineman, spending eight seasons on the team while being named an AFL All Star three times and being named All Pro once. His most notorious hit was a spearing of Len Dawson that led to a classic brawl.
Died April 19, 2013 at the age of 71
Mann joined the Raiders midway through the 1976 season and was their kicker in their first ever Super Bowl championship in which they beat Minnesota 32-14. He hit two field goals in the title game. The next year, he led the NFL in scoring with 99 points. He spent his final three seasons in the NFL with the Raiders. All told, he spent 12 years in the NFL, his first eight seasons with the Lions where he was the team's all-time leading scorer.
Died April 24, 2013 of dementia at the age of 75.
Was an All Star tight end with the Chargers while Al Davis was an assistant coach in San Diego. He later came to the Raiders in 1967 and spent the final two seasons of his 9-year NFL career in Oakland. He won AFL Championship rings with both the Chargers and Raiders and was on the Raiders team that faced the Packers in Super Bowl II.
Grady Allen: Father of Raiders head coach, Dennis Allen
Died December 3, 2012 at the age of 66 of heart attack
Grady played in the NFL for five seasons at linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons (1968-72). Dennis followed in his father's footsteps, first playing at his alma mater of Texas A&M and later coaching there and then moving on to coach for the Falcons as well. The two were extremely close as one can imagine they would be.
Tyson Williams: Son of Raiders defensive line coach, Terrell Williams
Died November 11, 2012 of a sudden illness at the age of 4
Tyson had just turned four years of age. But there was not much celebration to be had as little Tyson had acquired an unexpected illness earlier that month. He had been under care at the Oakland Children's Hospital for over a week battling the illness tragically lost that battle.
Born in West Lafayette, Ind., on the day his dad's Purdue team beat Michigan in Ann Arbor, Nov. 1, 2008, Tyson in four short years had made countless friends in Indiana, Texas and California. He loved cartoons, and his family especially was proud of how caring he was to his eight-month-old brother, Tahj. In fact, before Tyson passed away, he taught his brother to clap.
Pat Summerall: Broadcaster and Monday Night Football co-host with John Madden
Died April 16, 2013 of complications from surgery. He was 82 years of age.
Pat Summerall is a broadcast legend. His work graced the NFL, the PGA, professional tennis and other sports in a network career that spanned 40 years. He also shared the booth with Raiders legendary coach, John Madden, as the Monday Night Football broadcast team for 22 of those years. The two were extremely close friends, as you can imagine they would have to be to work together for so long. Madden spoke at his memorial service.
"There were voices before Pat Summerall, and there will be voices after," Madden said. "But he is the voice of the NFL." Madden went on the refer to Summerall as "the toughest, quietest guy I've ever known," a cross between John Wayne and Walter Cronkite. Madden's voice cracked several times, and he began to cry when he told his friend he loved him.