Friday, July 19, 2024

IN THE KNOW: Raiders, in memoriam

Raiders, in memoriam


Sheryl Thornton-Burnham

With anticipation brewing for the 2020 NFL season — when our beloved team will officially become the Las Vegas Raiders — there is also a little sadness.

The sadness comes in the form of a loss of a family member who will not be able to share in the excitement that comes with a new beginning for our team. The Raider Legends community is a close-knit family unit. We refer to each other as brother or sister. The ties that bind us go beyond a blood relation. We are tied together by the Silver and Black. When a brother or a sister transitions from this life to the next, we mourn — but then we celebrate.

There is a long list of former players who proudly wore the Raider uniform and are no longer with us on this earthly plane, but who have a permanent place in our hearts and minds. They have given so much of themselves on and off the field. They were not just players in this brutal game; they were fathers, they were sons, they were husbands and they were Raiders!

With Memorial Day upon us, it is only befitting that we pay homage to a few of our fallen — those who gave all they had and left it on the field. Now, I could write a neverending story of losses suffered by the Raider Nation, but at this moment I would like to remember four greats that had an impact on my life: Al Davis, David Humm, Clem Daniels and Cedrick Hardman.

I could tell you stories about each of these tremendous Raider Legends. Each one was unique in his own right and left an indelible mark on the Silver & Black and on me. Each one taught me something that I carry with me to this day.

Al Davis (who owned the team from 1972 until his passing in 2011) had a stern personality and was unapologetic about what he believed in. He rewarded loyalty. 

Quarterback David Humm, no matter how may have felt personally, always showed happiness to everyone who crossed his path — and when he spoke to you, made you feel like you were the most important person in the world.

Running back Clem Daniels was proud and kind — but if you got on his bad side, he would give you this death stare that could stop you in your tracks.

Defensive end Cedrick Hardman was kind-hearted and funny. He had the best stories — next to David Humm, that is.

I could go on and on about the ones that we have lost — such as Lyle Alzado, Todd Christensen, Kenny Stabler, Dan Turk and Gene Upshaw. And we know that the nature of life means that this list will continue to grow. I choose to keep each one locked in my heart and their memories alive with personal stories. Continue to rest in heaven, my Raider family. You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten. Once a Raider, always a Raider!



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