They came through the door of Salvatore’s restaurant Saturday night at the Suncoast at a slower gait than in their prime.
But the presence of the famous Oakland Raiders from those great 1960s teams was unmistakable. There was Otis Sistrunk, Big Ben Davidson, Jim Otto, and many more. Heads turned in the crowded restaurant on the night before the Super Bowl.
For his part, Otto has endured the most of any of his old teammates. Otto has undergone almost 70 surgeries, including the amputation of his right leg. Although a doctor might tell you the radical surgery was necessary due to an infection, it was essentially a long series of football-related injuries that led to the amputation.
The leg cost $40,000 – more than he made most seasons playing the game he loved. The prosthesis is decorated with a Raiders logo.
The fact Otto and his fellow warriors are still in the game of life is a testament to their toughness.