SBJ/20080825/This Week's News

Gene Upshaw: Through the years

Upshaw devoted a life to the NFL, on and off the field.  1 On the sidelines as a Hall of Fame guard in 1976; 2 Talking with the Green Bay Packers’ Reggie White at the Pro Bowl in 1994; 3 Talking with reporters before Super Bowl XL in Detroit in 2006; 4 With President George W. Bush and former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to kick off the 2003-04 season;  5  Taking in a game at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum in 1988; 6 Testifying with colleagues about performance-enhancing drugs on Capitol Hill in 2008;  7 Arriving at Super Bowl XLII last February in Glendale, Ariz. 8 Chatting with former AFL Commissioner David Baker at the ArenaBowl in New Orleans in 2007.
“As tough a negotiator as he was, he forged a tremendous relationship with two straight commissioners. … His word meant something.”
Ernie Accorsi
Former GM, New york Giants
“Few people in the history of the [NFL] have played the game as well as Gene and then had another career in football with so much positive impact on the structure and competitiveness of the entire league as Gene.”
Paul Tagliabue
Former NFL commissioner
“He is as prominent a sportsman as the world has known. He was and will remain a part of the fabric of our lives and of the Raider mystique and legacy.”
Al Davis
Owner, Oakland Raiders
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