Sistrunk was meant to be a Raider

It just wouldn't have been right if Otis Sistrunk never became an Oakland Raider.

Otis Sistrunk -- former Los Angeles Rams great -- just doesn't have the same ring to it.

So it was meant to be when Sistrunk was traded from the Rams to the Oakland Raiders. Sistrunk became a star defensive end, who played for the Raiders from 1972-1979.

"One of the best things that ever happened in my life was to get traded from the Rams to the Raiders," said Sistrunk on Saturday at the Pinon Plaza. Sistrunk is in town to participate in today's open house and barbecue for the Carson City Raiders Booster Club.

Sistrunk will be a guest chef of sorts at today's event which will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at Joe Bob's Hot Springs Roadhouse.

"I'll try to help," said Sistrunk about manning the barbecue. "I'll do a little bit."

During the course of a year, Sistrunk said he participates in about 20 charity events. His next function where he'll also be asked to cook will be during Jim Otto's Golf Tournament in Auburn, Calif. on Sept. 20.

"I just love to cook," Sistrunk said. "I don't have a specialty. I can cook mostly anything."

Another gratifying part of today's event is Sistrunk is being given the chance to help out a fellow Raider family member, Jack Tatum. A fund-raiser for Tatum will also be held during today's event.

Tatum recently had his lower right leg removed due to complications of diabetes. A portion of today's proceeds will go to Tatum.

"Any time you can help a brother that played for the Raiders - we're all family -- I think it's real good. From day one until today we're all close. I think it's good for the booster clubs to pitch in and do something good for Jack.

"I think the Raider clubs all over the country do a helluva job for the Raiders. Carson City is one of the best booster clubs."

Sistrunk will meet with the public during today's event. A live auction will be held with the main item being an autographed football by several Raider Hall-of-Famers.

Tickets for the annual Super Bowl prize -- an autographed, framed pictured box of Dave Casper and Kenny Stabler with mini-helmets -- will be available for $1 each. The Raiders will play at 5:30 p.m. today against the Tennessee Titans and Sistrunk will stay to watch the game at Joe Bob's.

Sistrunk provided one of the most memorable moments on Monday Night Football during the mid-70s when he was sitting on the bench when steam coming from his bald head. That prompted Alex Karras to say Sistrunk was from the University of Mars.

Even today, Sistrunk said, he enjoys it when someone comes up to him and says, "You're the man from the University of Mars."

Actually, Sistrunk never played in college going straight to semipro ball out of high school where he played for the Norfolk, Va., Neptunes. From there he went to the Rams and was then traded to the Raiders.

"I think the Raiders will be better this year than they were last year," Sistrunk said.

The Raiders will have the chance to remove the sting of last year's 48-21 Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sistrunk said.

"When you make it to the big dance, you've got to dance," he said. "You can't sit down."

The Raiders didn't sit down in their first Super Bowl appearance in the 1976 season. Sistrunk and the Raiders routed the Minnesota Vikings 32-14.

This year's Raiders will have the chance to "prove to everybody that they can get back to the Super Bowl and win. I think they've got the best team in the NFL."

For the past 21 years, Sistrunk has been doing physical fitness for the military at Ft. Lewis near Olympia, Wash.

"I love the military," Sistrunk said. "It's my second family outside of my first family. The Raiders are my first family. I'm dedicated to the military."


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment