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Raiders, Chargers plan possible shared Los Angeles-area home The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers are planning a shared stadium in the Los Angeles area if both teams fail to get new stadium deals in their current hometowns, the teams said in a joint statement, ...

Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers Moving Forward With $1.7B Stadium To Share In SoCal The Oakland Raiders Thursday night announced plans to share a stadium in Southern California with the San Diego Chargers if both NFL teams fail to find new stadium solutions in their hometowns.

Chargers, Raiders threaten to join forces and move to Los Angeles The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers are planning a shared stadium in the Los Angeles area if both teams fail to get new stadium deals in their current hometowns. The NFL teams teams said they have tried and failed for years to find stadium solutions in Oakland and San Diego.

Oakland Raiders propose LA-area stadium, shared with Chargers The Oakland Raiders on Thursday unveiled a proposal for a Southern California stadium to be shared with the San Diego Chargers, even as the team pledged to keep working to build a new stadium for the Raiders in Oakland.

Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers Planning Possible Shared Home In Southern California The statement says the teams have tried for years to find stadium solutions in Oakland and San Diego, and both may be forced to move to remain economically viable.

Bolts, Raiders reveal joint L.A. stadium plan The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders announced Thursday that they have collaborated on a proposal to build a privately financed, $1.7 billion stadium in Carson, California, that the two teams would share if they relocate to the Los Angeles market.

Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers might share a stadium The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers are planning a shared stadium in the Los Angeles area if both teams fail to get new stadium deals in their current hometowns, the teams said in a joint statement, adding another layer of complexity to a possible NFL return to the region.

Raiders, Chargers announce joint venture for possible Los Angeles-area stadium CARSON, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers are planning a shared stadium in the Los Angeles area if both teams fail to get new stadium deals in their current hometowns, the teams said in a joint statement, adding another layer of complexity to a possible NFL return to the region.

Raiders and Chargers Present Joint Stadium Plan The Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers are thinking about moving out of their cities since they haven't gotten a new stadium. They've proposed a 1.7 billion dollar stadium in Carson which the two teams would share in the Los Angeles market. Thursday both teams announced a possible joint stadium in Carson and already city leaders and community members are waiting for them with open arms ...

Money the issue with keeping Raiders in Oakland While Oakland and Alameda County leaders say they are open to improving infrastructure at the Coliseum site, they are adamant that they will not subsidize a new stadium for the Oakland Raiders.

Jim Otto
 James Edwin Otto

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James Edwin Otto (b. January 5, 1938 in Wausau, Wisconsin,) is an American football center. He played first for Win Brockmeyer at Wausau High School then at the University of Miami (Florida). He also played linebacker.

After no National Football League team showed interest in the undersized center, Otto signed with the Oakland Raiders of the new American Football League. He was issued uniform #50 for the AFL's inaugural season, 1960, but switched to his familiar #00 the next season. This number was originally permitted for him by the AFL as a marketing gimmick since his jersey number 00 is a homonym pun of his name (aught-O). Jim Otto worked diligently to build his body up to his normal playing weight of 250 pounds.

For the next fifteen years Jim Otto became a fixture at center for the Raiders, never missing a single game due to injury — and there were many of them. Including pre-season, regular season and post-season games, Otto competed in 308 total games when, arguably, for the sake of his body, he should have retired far sooner.

To this day, Jim Otto embodies the toughness and determination the Raiders began to ferment in the mid-1960s, after Al Davis took control of the team and later hired John Madden as head coach.

Jim Otto was one of only 20 players to play for the entire ten-year existence of the American Football League. He was an All-Star in 12 of his 15 seasons and was named the starting center on the All-AFL team. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, the first year he was eligible. Since 1995, he has worked for the Raiders in the department of special projects and is active in the business world.

As a show of respect, he always calls Al Davis "Mr. Davis."

 

Did anyone say "Old School"? How about: tougher than nails? What about: Dominator of a position for over 10 years? As a charter member of the American Football League and the Oakland Raiders Jim Otto was that and more.

Jim Otto was born to be a football player. Growing up in the central part of a state where paper mills and dairy farms are only outnumbered by the dedication fans have to their beloved Packers, Jim Otto wanted to play football. Cut from his freshman high school team because he was too small, made him want to play even more. So much more that by the time he completed his senior season at Wausau High, he had 48 scholarship offers waiting for him. Otto chose the University of Miami for many reasons. "I chose Miami because it was an independent at that time. I could play both ways, have lots of exposure in many different conferences and because of Coach Walt Kichefski, a Wisconsin native and coach at Miami." A two way performer at Miami, center and middle linebacker, Jim got a lot of exposure and playing time and what attention he gained came from his defensive skills. Blown knees during his freshman year, being hurt much of the time and his small size at 210 pounds didn't help his career potential. The 1959 NFL draft came and went and Jim Otto was on the sideline.

As they say, timing might be everything. 1960 saw the beginning of the American Football League and Jim Otto was drafted among the 33 other players selected by the Raiders in the first round of the player pool selection process before the AFL's first season. Fifteen years later and he never left the position that he had asked to play during that first training camp in Santa Cruz. As a Center in the AFL and NFL, Jim Otto played with the consistency, fervor, intensity, intelligence and passion that made him the only center for the Oakland Raiders for it's first 15 years.

The Price

Nearly 40 surgeries. 28 knee operations (nine of them during his playing career alone.) Multiple joint replacements. Other joints riddled with arthritis. Debilitating back and neck problems. One time, Otto nearly died on the operating table. He also fought off three life-threatening bouts of infections due to his artificial joints, and during one six-month stretch, was without a proper right knee joint because he had to wait for the infection to clear up before another artificial one could be implanted. Today, Jim Otto is handicapped. And he says he wouldn't change a thing if given the opportunity to do it over again. It's detailed, proudly, in his book, "The Pain of Glory" (ISBN 1582610665,) published in 2000.

But, Jim Otto also knows tragedy that has nothing to do with football. In 1997, his daughter, Jennifer, a 39-year-old mother of four, died from a blood clot, and in 2002, Otto himself, was stricken with prostate cancer. It is currently in remission.

Interview with Jim Otto

Q: Being selected into the Hall of Fame, what do you feel are the characteristics and requirements of doing so?

Jim Otto: You have to have talent. There is also a lot of politics involved and a lot of promoting of the player that's eligible. Cities from each team would nominate certain players, while news writers would be involved in writing biographies for those nominated. The writer of these cities would communicate as to who they've selected and would compare nominations. The player that has more nominations would then be promoted for the Hall of Fame selection throughout the country. Due to being in the Hall of Fame, I have been asked several times to promote and put a good word in for some players nominated.

Q: You played in professional football for 15 years. How did you accomplish this?

Jim Otto: Throughout my career, I worked hard to continue to stay a level above everyone else. Everyday I walked on to the field I was the best center. That's the way I wanted to be. I continued to play at that level with those expectations.

Q: Who were some of your favorite teammates?

Jim Otto: In 1960 when the Raiders started, I had five buddies. They were Don Manoukian, Wayne Hawkins, Carmen Cabally, Tom Flores, and Bob Dougherty. It seemed as though we all had the same ideas. We all wanted to play football. We also enjoyed the same type of lifestyle. I keep in touch with all of them at least a couple times a year. I speak to some almost on a weekly basis.

Q: Are there any Raiders you feel should be in the Hall of Fame?

Jim Otto: I think Ray Guy and John Madden for sure should be in the Hall of Fame and Cliff Branch should be as well. We have three tremendous tight ends in Christianson, Casper, and Chester.

Q: Can you recall your favorite game during your career?

Jim Otto: The first game I played. We played against the Dallas Texans. It was a very exciting time for me to play professional football, finally. Also the first time we beat the San Diego Chargers when Mr. Davis was our head coach was a memorable game for us. We were always beat so badly playing against them, and finally we started winning against them. Winning the championship to go in to Super Bowl II beating the Houston Oilers. Naturally beating the Oilers was very exciting for us, because now we could go against the Green Bay Packers.

Q: Are there any particular plays that you remember?

Jim Otto: The plays I remember are the plays I made a mistake. I was told in high school that the last game during your senior year stays with you forever, which is true. And as a true athlete, mistakes haunt you forever.

Q: What teams did you like playing against the most?

Jim Otto: I liked to play against all the teams in the National Football League or the American Football League, because they were always a challenge. I think the tougher the challenge the better.

Q: Being a part of the Raider's great history, do you feel that football gets tougher to win with each season?

Jim Otto: It's not that difficult to win. It's more difficult to win consistently and stay on top. The Raiders throughout history have always felt that way. Everyone wants to beat us. So you can never take a single game lightly.

Q: What are the skills necessary to remain consistent at winning?

Jim Otto: You have to stay one level above everyone else. You must also give mental and physical fitness priority. If the entire team can feel the same way about these things, you can consistently remain a winner.

Q: What are your impressions of the Raider fans both past and present?

Jim Otto: We have always had great and loyal fans in Oakland. We still do today. So many of the old fans may not be able to make it to the games anymore, but they are still around and very passionate.

Q: Can you compare the game playing today with your era?

Jim Otto: It depends on how you look at it. Economically, players make far more than what players made during my NFL experience. The NFL offensive blocking is played differently; they use their hands instead of their head and shoulders. The rules of the game have changed. There is hard hitting, but the hitting is not nearly as hard as it used to be. But now there are more concussions due to not being used to the hard hitting.

Q: How has professional football changed throughout the years?

Jim Otto: I think the officials and NFL owners are playing to the type of game that people want to see. They have worked very diligently to make it a game for fans to enjoy with the various types of scoring, rules, and plays. These changes have helped to score more points.

Q: What is your definition of being a Raider?

Jim Otto: I've been a Raider all my life. It means a lot to me. When I hear anything derogatory towards the Raiders, I am definitely hurt. I have seen the Raiders develop into what they are today. I have been a part of this development, so I am very proud of it. If something is said about the Raiders, I'm ready to go to war.

Q: Can you describe your experience in the Raiders Super Bowl victories?

Jim Otto: I was the business manager in the 1976 Super Bowl with our victory over the Vikings. I felt very a part of it as our offensive line was dominant in the game. I had worked with those linemen and Coach Spencer for so many years. I was proud to see it all put together. I also played in the 1967 Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers.

Q: What are you doing now?

Jim Otto: I work here at the Raiders. My position is basically what I make it. If I can help out in any way, I'll do it. Occasionally I look at film, give my opinion on a player, occasional coaching. I've been asked to speak on behalf of Mr. Davis at times, so my assistance varies.

 


 

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