Sunday, December 17, 2006

Longest Tenured Raiders Fan Passes

Twice before the start of today's game against the St. Louis Rams, the public announcer asked for moments of silence. The first was for American Football League visionary Lamar Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, who passed away this weekend. Though Al Davis and Lamar Hunt had their differences, Al respected the man for all he'd accomplished in building a football league.

With a semi-quiet crowd the announcer began his second request for silence as a tribute to Oakland Raiders equipment man George 'Run Run' Jones. A hush blanketed the coliseum followed by applause. Run run has been with the Raiders since 1963 and he died doing what he loves best, working for the Raiders. The news of Run Run passing was a shock to us fans. Earlier before the game there was a tribute to Run Run Jones at the Black Hole Tailgate which recognized Run Run as one of us. Meaning, he was as fanatical about the Raiders as any Raider Nation fan.

After the moment of silence for Run Run I remained standing and clapping in his honor, then realized that this might be the first game I've attended without Run Run on the sideline. I'm sure I wasn't the only one in the stadium with thoughts of missing Run Run Jones. In Art Shell's postgame radio interview he confirmed that Run Run listed his home address as the Raiders complex. And he was known for saying he had the largest house in California.

For a 77 year old man, Run Run had the excitement and exhuberance of a child when it came to Raiders football. I only met Run Run one time and yes he was wearing all his rings at the time. Thanks for showing us what true loyalty to a team is Run Run. If Run Run had to pass on, it was a blessing to him that he passed while doing the one thing he loved doing all these years; being a Raider in the place he called home.

George 'Run Run' Jones (#33), We the Raider Nation Salute YOU.

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