June 22, 2024

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Oakland Raiders Legend Jim Otto: A Hall of Famer Who Played with No Regrets

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Oakland Raiders legend Jim Otto, known for his incredible toughness and dedication, passed away at 86. This Hall of Famer played with no regrets, enduring 75 surgeries over his 15-season career.
Jim Otto

Oakland Raiders Legend Jim Otto: A Hall of Famer Who Played with No Regrets

The NFL lost a giant this week. Jim Otto, the iconic center for the Oakland Raiders throughout the 1960s and early 70s, passed away at 86 in Placer County, California.

Known as “Mr. Raider” and the “Original Raider,” Otto’s dedication to the game was legendary. He battled through 15 seasons, enduring a staggering 75 surgeries to keep playing. These weren’t minor nicks and bruises either. Otto himself said he suffered at least 20 concussions and a whopping 28 knee operations. His nose was broken so many times he lost count, and he also had to deal with kicked-in teeth, broken ribs, and constant muscle soreness.

Despite the physical toll, Otto never looked back. He called football “equal parts teamwork and warfare” and embraced the gladiator mentality of the sport. In a 2022 interview with the Sacramento Bee, he even said he’d do it all again with no regrets.

“Jim’s the greatest Raider of them all, the ultimate player, the ultimate leader and the ultimate man,” said Tom Flores, Otto’s former quarterback who later became a Super Bowl-winning coach for the Raiders.

Otto’s legacy extends far beyond his incredible toughness. He was a key piece of the Raiders’ early success, anchoring the offensive line for a team that rose to prominence. His work ethic and leadership on the field were undeniable, making him a true fan favorite.

While his body may have eventually succumbed to the punishment it endured, Jim Otto’s spirit and dedication to the game will forever be remembered in Oakland and throughout the NFL.

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