The Autumn Wind PT.3

By Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: July 10, 2012

Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter

OAKLAND, CA. (BASN)—RAIDER NATION is wearing Black without the Silver this past week another one of the great men who wore Silver and Black traveled north to the heavens to play football on God’s team.

The Autumn Wind lyrics and melody played in my head each night. The low bellicose voice of John Facenda of Philadelphia’s WCAU-TV and NFL Films echoing the words, The Autumn Wind, The Raider National Anthem.


53- Rod Martin- Linebacker- Martin’s greatest moment was when he played in The Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles and intercepting three Ron Jaworski passes and a Raider Super Bowl victory.


55- Matt Millen-Linebacker- Drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 1980 another player from linebacker University, Penn State. He was part of the Los Angeles Raider team that dismantled the Washington Football Club in Super Bowl XV. He earned rings with other teams the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Football Club. Matt would become an executive with the Detroit Lions and is now a broadcaster on the NFL Network.


60- Otis Sistrunk- Defensive Lineman- From the University of Mars or at least that’s what it states on his biography. This was misinterpreted by Monday Night broadcaster Alex Karras for the acronym of United States Marine Corps.= U.S. Mars. One of the few players that never played a single down in college football. He became a very important part of the Raiders first Super Bowl team

62- Reggie Kinlaw- Tackle- part of the Raiders Super Bowl teams of the 80’s. It would often take two men to stop him from attacking the quarterback. Kinlaw often use the spin move to avoid being blocked. Number 62 was in the face of many quarterbacks during his playing days and that number should never be worn again.


63- Gene Upshaw-Guard- called “Highway 63” because Raider traffic would always go that way. Upshaw is one of the best offensive guards the game has ever seen. When the Raiders ran a play on his side it was like a sea of black moving forward for a Raider first down. Upshaw became leader of the players union and negotiated benefits for disabled players with the help of New England Patriot Darryl Stingley. Many believe Upshaw could have done more for retired players.


72- Dave Mosebar- Center- continues the Raider run of great centers. Mosebar took over for Dalby in 1985 and retired in 1995.The Raiders have had only three centers in club history. The Raiders seem to mold great centers.


72- Lincoln Kennedy- After three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons the Oakland Raiders could see his potential when the Falcons gave up on him. Kennedy proved once again that Al Davis knew football and gave him number 72 and told him to go make him proud. Lincoln proved to be an integral part of the Raider Super Bowl Run in 2002. Kennedy was also a 3 time Pro Bowler.


72- John Matuszak- number 72 would be used three times with three definite superstars. “Tooz”, rounded out the three, playing with reckless abandon giving them Black and Silver sparks on defense.


75- Howie Long- Defensive Lineman- it is very strange to watch a player’s son play in the NFL as Chris Long suits up for the Saint Louis Rams. It also states that you’re getting old too. Long was with the Super Bowl group in Los Angeles, Their third title. The eight time Pro Bowler and entered the Hall of Fame in 2000.


76- Steve Wisniewski-Guard- a member of the 1986 national champion Penn State University Nittany Lions. “Wiz”, was an outstanding guard and fortified the Raider offensive line in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He is now one of the offense coordinators for the Raiders

77- Lyle Alzado- Linebacker- Like many other famous Raiders, Alzado came from another team the Denver Broncos via the Cleveland Browns. Alzado fit right into the Black and Silver fold and became the Comeback Player of the Year. Alzado became a focal point on the issue of steroid use in the NFL when he passed away in 1992 of brain cancer. (#77 was also worn by Ike Lassiter – one of the Original 11 Angry Men)

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod