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RIP Double Zero (1 Viewer)



Hall of Fame center Jim Otto, 'Mr. Raider,' dies at 86​

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    Paul Gutierrez, ESPN Staff WriterMay 19, 2024, 11:30 PM ET

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Jim Otto, a Pro Football Hall of Fame center whose iconic No. 00 jersey anchored the middle of the Oakland Raiders' offensive line for 15 seasons, has died at age 86.
I can't believe he was still alive...guy was an icon...one of the first players you think of back when the Raiders were really the Raiders.
One tough dude. Below from CBS:

The epitome of a tough guy, Otto never missed a game despite suffering various injuries over the course of his career. He had over 70 surgeries that included having his right leg amputated in 2007. Otto also suffered more than 20 concussions.

"I've often looked at being a football player as being a gladiator," Otto told Bleacher Report in 2009, via the New York Post. "There's something inside of you that says, 'I want to go out there and prove my worth.' Most of the time you're going to get injuries. That's the life you choose. Some people need a challenge in life and they play hockey or rugby. Football was the way I could prove myself."
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Wore 50 as a rookie, then in Y2 the team equipment manager suggested switching “for recognition.” He like the idea bc it was a play on how to pronounce his surname (“ought oh”.)

Ken Burroughs is the only other player I remember to wear 00. There were 22 players who wore 0 in 2023 - when it was allowed for the first time in 50 years - but current rules do not allow 00.
15 seasons, 0 missed games. Made All AFL / All Pro 10 of his first 11 seasons. The epitome of the Raiders “Commitment to Excellence” era.
He was the first Miami Hurricane inducted into the NFL HOF. Played C and LB on some bad and mediocre teams in Miami.

>>In his 15 years with the team he never missed a game because of injuries, playing in 210 consecutive regular-season games and 308 in a row overall despite undergoing nine operations on his knees during his career. He embodied the warrior aspect of making a living doing this.

It is said Otto underwent more than 50 surgeries after he finished playing related to football injuries. Joint replacements, arthritis, back and neck problems. His right leg was amputated in 2007. Otto also had prostate cancer.

“I can take any type of surgery in the world except for when it comes to something that’s internal,” he once said. “When it’s cosmetic, fixing your nose, fixing your knee, fixing your elbows or whatever, that’s nothing.” He was a native of Wausau, Wisconsin, born near the end of the Great Depression to a family fighting poverty. His family lived for a time in a chicken coop.

It was a whole new world for him when he came to the University of Miami, and for him a whole new world and future would open up there. He went undrafted by the NFL in 1959 but signing with the Raiders of the new AFL the following next year, perhaps the first great find for Al Davis. Otto was one only 20 players to play all 10 years of the AFL’s existence prior to the merger. Otto leaves behind his wife, a son and daughter-in-law and 14 grandchildren. “Throughout my career, I worked hard to stay a level above everyone else,” Otto said once. “Every day I walked on to the field, I was the best center. That’s the way I wanted to be. Those were always my expectations.<<

Read more at: https://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/greg-cote/article288586010.html#storylink=cpy
I don't think we'll ever get another guy who has a career like Otto.

The most 1st team all-pros in history (tied at 10 with Rice) and only played for 1 team. If Aaron Donald had maintained his level of play for 2 more years he would have had a shot at tying him. Think about that. That's incredibly impressive.

Also was the best player on a team that while they never won a Super Bowl, went to 6 AFC Title games, where they lost to historically great teams, in the Super Bowl Chiefs (Stram/Dawson) the Unitas Colts (in a game Lamonica got hurt early in) the best short-term team of all-time (the 72-73 Dolphins) and the best team in NFL history in my opinion (the 70s Steelers)

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