For our Tuesday Community Question this week, we asked you: “Have you met a Raider?”
As always, the Silver and Black Pride community gave us some great answers that went back deep into Raiders’ historical archives.
Here are some of the responses:
“I’ve met John Madden at the San Jose train station in the early 80’s, he showed me is ‘76 Super Bowl Ring.
Met Tim Brown at his Commitment to Excellence Awards Dinner, we took pictures with him, great guy! Also met George Atkinson and Jim Otto there that night, easy going good group of people. Shared some jokes with George.
I sat around smoking cigars and drinking with Kenny King and Ira Mathews at the Oakland Hotel. Hilarious good guys, they were surprised I remembered their top plays.
I met Cliff Branch and Jeremy Irons at a road game in the Hotel in Cleveland, Kenny King and Ira Mathews there that night as well.
Finally, I met Al LoCasale and Tom Flores “Coach”, in the Raiders Oakland Hotel.
I’ve bled Silver and Black since I was a child, and I will always support this team, regardless of the down years.”
I’ve met several over the years in Oakland tailgate parking lots and the Napa practice facility (eg: the bar at the Marriot - lol). Lincoln Kennedy, Romo, Gannon, Timmy Brown, Nap, Atkinson, Branch and many more.
I once ran into Darrell Russell in SF he was in the lobby of my office building. I saw him and said “Darrell Russell what’s up?!” He was cool, we talked for a bit he was looking for directions (can’t remember where) but I gave him the directions. I said we’d be across the street at the Gold Club (strip joint) to stop in and I’d buy him drinks. He said he would but never showed. RIP Darrell.
Got an off chance to meet Dave Casper at a pub at Jacksonville Beach in November. He was there with his daughter and granddaughter, both were lovely, just happened to be sitting next to me chatting me and my friends up where we were playing darts. Gracious but stand-offish, could tell he was uncomfortable around fans. He spoke to me briefly but not much - called himself ‘Grumpy Grandpa’.
Next day at the game, we had good seats (40 YL right behind the team) and got there a little early. I turned around and there was Dave sitting right behind us. I said, hey man remember me? He goes ‘Yep’, and tipped his hat. He didn’t stay long, got up and left before the game started. I assume he had luxury box and was checking out the team close-up before the game.
If you’ve been following the Raiders as long as I have. Since 1982 LA Raiders. And attend games - I’ve been to over 50. It’s hard not to get a chance to meet some of the old timers. It’s been my experience they are genuinely cool, as long as you’re polite, to meet true Raider fans. And most of them will accept a drink if you offer (if you’re at a bar). Dave declined btw. Twice. :-)
I met Jim Otto in 1962 and got his autograph several times after games. The first Raider I actually had a long conversation with was in 1963. It was after a game and he was sitting all alone in a restaurant, shunned by the other veterans. It was rookie Warren Powers.(R.I.P.). He was very approachable and probably glad for some company, even though I was just a dumb kid. At the time I didn’t understand the pecking order of an NFL team.
In 1967 I met Daryle Lamonica. He inspired me in my athletic career, including wearing his number in football as a QB. Needless to say, I never followed in his footsteps as they were too large.
I also met other Raiders like Clem Daniels, and Heweritt Dixon. To my knowledge, Dixon was the first NFL player to spike the football after a score. I also ran into Marv Hubbard and Skip Thomas. Thomas had a Corvette with his name plastered on the side. I always wondered if it was that way so he would know which car was his.
In college, I knew Mark Van Eeghen. He used to come up to Davis where I was in school and have drinks with us. His running mate at Colgate was the wide receiver on our intramural football team.
I also spotted for KNBR in a few games and got to meet and know Bill King and Scotty Sterling. Those guys were great. It was funny how Bill had that microphone always sticking out of his chest.
Needless to say the raider teams of these eras were full of characters.
Thanks to all who participated. We will back next week with another question.