Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gene Upshaw #63

Here at Brickinthebox we take a quick break from our normal poor analysis and off color jokes to mourn a legend.

A Raider legend passed today. Gene Upshaw was a member of three Raider Super Bowl teams, including two winners. He is the only player to ever reach the Super Bowl with the same team in three decades. When you start naming off the All-time Raider greats, you don’t get very far before Mr. Upshaw’s name passes your lips.

Honestly I am too young to remember Upshaw the player. Sure I have watched the old NFL films where he and Art Shell locked down the left side of the line and demolished some of the best Defenses of the day. But during my time watching football was the Union head. Sure I was aware of his past greatness, but my focus was on his actions as they pertained to the business of the league.

I often disagreed with Upshaw’s stances on issues, the rookie cap comes immediately to mind, but you had to respect the man for the way he conducted business, and for the way he championed the player’s cause.

Raider Nation has lost a legend today, the NFLPA has lost a man who has become synonymous with the players cause, but most importantly his family has lost a father and husband.

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