Life of Las Vegas football legend David Humm celebrated

Updated April 7, 2018 - 12:18 am

He was the greatest quarterback Las Vegas has produced, so David Humm’s life was celebrated in a sports arena with pep talks and a tailgate party.

Which, everybody agreed, was exactly the way “The Hummer” would have wanted it.

The former Bishop Gorman High and Nebraska star who spent 10 seasons as an NFL backup quarterback, most with his beloved Oakland (and Los Angeles) Raiders, died March 27 after battling multiple sclerosis for almost 30 years. He was 65. As 51s president Don Logan said in recounting a conversation with his longtime friend toward the end, David Humm was one tough (expletive-expletive).

Logan was one of six who spoke Friday at South Point Arena, joining the quarterback’s former high school and college coaches Frank Nails and Tom Osborne, Raiders owner Mark Davis and president Marc Badain, and South Point Arena general manager Steve Stallworth, one of Humm’s closest friends.

The equestrian arena was transformed into a magnificent shrine for Humm. Everything was done up in black and silver (the Raiders’ colors) with Nebraska scarlet and cream accents and a splash of Bishop Gorman blue and orange.

There was even a David Humm ice carving that he probably would have felt was a bit much — unless it was used to ice down a case of beer.

Pictures tell the story

Hall of Fame-sized photos and dozens of regular-sized ones depicted Humm in his football prime, and just as many showed him with surviving family members — younger brother Tom, with whom he was inseparable; sisters Cathy and Lori, who were always there for him, especially after he got sick; daughter Courtney, his only child, whom he loved more than life itself, and that’s saying a lot.

These were the poignant photos. Many showed David Humm in the wheelchair in which he spent the last 20 years of his life.

Say what you will about getting sacked by Richard Dent and Otis Wilson of the Super Bowl Bears, and having multiple teeth knocked out and cartilage torn in multiple knees. These were the photos that truly showed how brave and courageous The Hummer was.

There wasn’t one in which he wasn’t smiling.

“He was confined to the wheelchair, but he was never defined by it,” said Stallworth, who gave the last pep talk.

Osborne said David Humm was the best pure passer he coached at Nebraska, and recounted Humm leading the Huskers to Orange, Cotton and Sugar Bowl victories over Notre Dame, Texas and Florida.

“But I think the most memorable thing about Dave, the most defining thing, has not been his playing career but the last 25 years,” Osborne said. “When adversity hits, sometimes you get angry, you can get bitter, you can complain and say ‘Why me?’ But Dave never took that approach. He decided to choose what his response would be. And he chose an attitude of gratitude.

“I can’t tell you how many times I would call Dave, and sometime during the conversation he’d say, ‘Do I have a great life or what?’ ”

The original Las Vegas Raider

Davis told the audience that unlike his late father, it’s rare when he speaks in public, but that Al Davis would want people to know what David Humm was about, and then the son cited Humm’s career and what he meant to the Raiders in the way the father might have put it.

Sort of.

“If my dad was speaking, you’d be all goose-bumped and thinking David was going into the Hall of Fame right now,” Davis said before pointing toward the roof of South Point Arena. “That’s not the case, but he is going to a special team up there and I’m sure they’ve got some plans for him.

“What I’d like to say about David is that he had three love affairs: One was the city of Las Vegas, which he loved considerably. The Raider organization, which he loved unbelievably, and then family and friends.

“David is the original Las Vegas Raider.”

That would have been a good note on which to adjourn to the tailgate area to tell additional David Humm stories. But the last word must go to Nails, the quarterback’s coach at Bishop Gorman, the man who discovered him as a football prodigy. The Las Vegas prep coaching legend closed his remarks by sharing what The Hummer’s father, Clair, said when they were introduced.

“David’s feet are too big, and he’s too slow. But I think he’s going to make us all proud.”

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation: Raiders fire GM Reggie McKenzie
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken describes what changes may come to the Raiders organization following general manager Reggie McKenzie's release on Monday.
Gruden on GM Reggie McKenzie's firing
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden reacts to Raiders general manger Reggie McKenzie's dismissal on Monday.
Raiders Win Intense Game Against Steelers - Vegas Nation
The Raiders win against the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-21. Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and sports columnist Ed Graney go over the Raiders victory.
Vegas Nation: Raiders sign C.J. Anderson
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken lists the multiple players heading to the injured reserve list, the Raiders signing three new players to the active roster, and the new drills the running backs are running in practice.
Raiders vs Steelers Preview - Vegas Nation Mailbag
The Oakland Raiders will face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Vegas Nation Mailbag host Elaine Emerson and sports columnist Ed Graney answer all of Raider Nation's burning questions about the upcoming game.
Vegas Nation: Fumbles plague Raiders in loss to Chiefs
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken goes over Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and highlights the uncertainty of many players returning from their injuries.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Fall To The Kansas City Chiefs
Raiders fall to the Kansas City Chiefs 40-33. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto, Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and sports columnist Ed Graney go over the Raiders loss to the chiefs.
Raiders players reflect on their loss to the Chiefs
Oakland Raiders' players Jordy Nelson, Jared Cook and Doug Martin reflect on what went wrong and talk about their performances in the team's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Gruden, Carr on turnovers that cost the Raiders
Head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr spoke about the team's loss to the Chiefs following the game. The Oakland Raiders fell to 2-10 on the season when they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs at home, 40-33.
Vegas Nation: Leon Hall, others could miss game vs. Chiefs
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken goes over the team's final injury report before their game on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Raiders Honor Canyon Springs’ Gus McNair as High School Coach of the Year
The Raiders honor Canyon Springs Head Coach Gus McNair as the 2018 Coach of The Year. The Raiders present a check for $1000 to the school and surprise players with the gift of new cleats. (Kenton King/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Nation: Kareem Hunt physical altercation video surfaces
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken describes the potential ramifications of the Kareem Hunt video that surfaced on Friday, as well as the Raiders' final injury report before Sunday's game against the Chiefs.
Vegas Nation: Hill poses threat to Townsend, Raiders special teams
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken presents the challenges rookie punter Johnny Townsend could face this Sunday, as he hopes for a bounce back game against one of the most dangerous returners in football: Tyreek Hill.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Raiders fall to Ravens 34-17
The Raiders fell to 2-9 on the season after losing to the Ravens in Baltimore. Ed Graney and Elaine Emerson discuss the Raiders needs going forward.
Vegas Nation: DeAndre Washington, Raiders promote causes with cleats
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken goes into depth about the NFL's 'My Cause My Cleats" campaign, and the cause running back DeAndre Washington chose for the promotion.
Vegas Nation: Gruden encouraged by rookie tackles
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken examines Sunday's performances of the team's rookie tackles Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Fall To Baltimore Ravens
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto go over the Raiders 34-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Raiders Players Thanksgiving Dinner Donations
Donald Penn brought the tradition of "spreading the love" for Thanksgiving from Tampa Bay as said by Raiders offensive tackle Kolton Miller. Raiders players were donating turkey dinners to Oakland residents Tuesday night.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: How Will Raiders Perform Against Ravens
Raiders will face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and Review-Journal reporter Gilbert Manzano and Elaine Emerson go over what to expect from the game.
Vegas Nation: LaFell moved to IR, Hatcher returns
The Raiders move wide receiver Brandon LaFell to the injured reserve and re-sign preseason standout Keon Hatcher, as Michael Gehlken reports the corresponding moves from Alameda, Calif.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Beat Cardinals 23-21, Earn Second Win of Season
Raiders Kicker Daniel Carlson hit the game winning field goal as time expires to hand the Raiders their first road win of the Season.
Raiders players talk about the team's win over Cardinals
After the team defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 23-21, the Oakland Raiders players spoke about the victory in the locker room.
Gruden, Carr discuss the Raiders 23-21 win
Head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr speak to media after the Oakland Raiders defeat the Arizona Cardinals, 23-21.
Vegas Nation: Nelson, Bryant out vs. Arizona
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports that the team will be without wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant ahead of their game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hold indoor walkthrough due to fires
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from smoky Alameda, Calif. as the Raiders move their practice indoors due to the California wildfires.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium (Raiders)
Vegas Nation: Ateman prepares for NFL debut vs. Cards
Oakland Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken explains how Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant's injuries could result in seventh round pick Marcell Ateman making his NFL debut this Sunday.
Vegas Nation: Nelson, Bryant injured in loss to Chargers
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken examines the injuries to wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant.
Raiders Adopt Student Resource Room At Robert Taylor Elementary School In Henderson
Former Raiders player Leo Gray and Robert Taylor Elementary School principal Kim Basham talk about the new resource room at the school on Sept. 25, 2018 in Henderson, Nevada. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
More information on design of Raiders' practice facility in Henderson
Officials plan to finish the Raiders' Henderson headquarters by spring 2020. The planned facility would be home to offices, training facilities and 4 1/2 football fields.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like