Position:Left GuardRoleAmerican football playerNameGene UpshawHeight:6ft 5in (1.96m)SiblingsMarvin Upshaw
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Eugene Thurman Upshaw Jr.

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(August 15, 1945 – august 20, 2008), also known as "Uptown Gene", to be an American soccer player because that the Oakland Raiders that the American Football league (AFL) and also later the national Football league (NFL). He later served as the executive director of the nationwide Football league Players" combination (NFLPA). In 1987, he to be inducted right into the pro Football room of Fame. That is additionally the only player in NFL history to with the Super bowl in three different decades with the same team.

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Early life

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Upshaw was born in Robstown, Texas, and also graduated native Robstown High School. He played college football at Texas A&I college (now Texas A&M University-Kingsville), whereby he to be a member the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. In 1967 at age 22, Upshaw married Jimmye Lee Hill-Upshaw (née Hill). With each other they had actually one son, Eugene Upshaw III, and also later divorced.

Football career

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After play football in university at a variety of offensive heat positions, he worked out at left attack guard because that the Oakland Raiders in the American football League and also the nationwide Football organization for 15 years. During that time, he played in three Super Bowls; in the 1967, 1976, and also 1980 seasons, making him the very first player to reach the video game in three different decades (Jerry Rice and Bill Romanowski would later accomplish the feat in 2003). He also played in 3 AFL Championship Games, seven American football Conference title games, one AFL All-Star game, and six NFL agree Bowls. He to be selected by The Sporting News" to the 1969 AFL All league team.

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He was component of a specifically strong attack line during the 1976 season, with inner linemates Dave Dalby in ~ center and also George Buehler at ideal guard. In the 1976 AFC championship game of the 1976–77 NFL playoffs, the Raiders to win the Pittsburgh Steelers, rushing for 157 yards and also passing for 88 yards. The Raiders then beat the Minnesota Vikings in Super bowl XI, rushing because that a lining 266 yards and also passing because that 180 yards, as Upshaw overwhelmed the opposing defensive tackle, Alan Page, a Hall-of-Famer. In the 1980 AFC championship video game of the 1980–81 NFL playoffs, the Raiders beat the san Diego Chargers, rushing because that 138 yards and also passing for 261 yards. The Raiders then beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super key XV, rushing because that a 117 yards and also passing for 261 yards again, as Upshaw, Dalby, and right guard Mickey Marvin outmatched Eagle nosetackle Charlie Johnson and also inside linebackers invoice Bergey and Frank LeMaster.

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In 1999, he was ranked number 62 top top The Sporting News" perform of the 100 biggest Football Players.

He to be the older brother of Marvin Upshaw, that was a defensive lineman with the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and also St. Luigi Cardinals.

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Over the food of his sixteen seasons in the NFL, Upshaw witnessed—and, in plenty of cases, participated in—many top NFL games and plays. These include the Heidi Game, the Immaculate Reception, the Sea of hands Game, Ghost to the Post, the holy Roller Game, and also Red best 88. He likewise reached 3 Super Bowls in three different decades (1967, 1976, and 1980); in total, Upshaw play in 24 playoff games with the Raiders.

NFLPA career

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Upshaw was an energetic member the the bargaining committee because that the nationwide Football league Players" association (NFLPA) transparent the late 1970s and early 1980s. He led the NFLPA in its unsuccessful strike in 1987 and also through year of anti-trust litigation against the league, including a brief period in which the NFLPA ended up being a professional association rather than a union, that ended with the union"s acceptance of a salary lid in return for totally free agency and an intensified share of league revenues because that the union"s members. Till his death, he was the executive Director of the Association.

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He alienated countless retired players after comments he made in an answer to 325 former AFL and also NFL football player receiving minimal retirement benefits. Once the former players check to have actually the league and also the Association take into consideration their plight, Upshaw responded: "The bottom line is i don"t work-related for them. Lock don"t rental me and they can"t fire me. They can complain around me every day long. They deserve to have their opinion. However the energetic players have actually the vote." Upshaw later on said he to be misquoted and also was speaking solely about fellow room of Famer Joe DeLamielleure, more saying "A guy like DeLamielleure says the points he said around me; girlfriend think I"m going come invite him come dinner? No. I"m going to break his cursed neck." while Upshaw"s comments were true top top the letter the the NFL"s benefit rules—the NFLPA is charged with the union civil liberties of active players, and also any matters taking care of retirees room subject come negotiations in between the NFLPA and the NFL monitoring Council—they were badly received by both former and also current players, fans, and also the media. Before his death, a campaign was allegedly gift led by Ravens kicker Matt Stover to oust Gene Upshaw as head that the NFLPA; however, every parties have actually denied together a plan. Stover along with a number of other players claim to have only been seeking a definite succession plan in stimulate to protect against a drawn out and also messy deliver of strength such as Upshaw"s death has checked out realized. Tennessee Titans center Kevin Mawae, president of the NFLPA, had actually denied reports of fixed callings indigenous players because that Upshaw to step down.

Hall that Fame and also other honors

Upshaw to be inducted into the agree Football room of fame in 1987.

In 2004, the NCAA department II sports info directors vested the very first Gene Upshaw division II Lineman the the Year award. That is presented each year throughout the weekend that the NCAA division II football Championship through the Manheim (Pennsylvania) Touchdown Club.

Death

In mid-August 2008 at his house in Lake Tahoe, Upshaw began to feel ill. His mam Terri (née Buich) noticed the his breathing to be labored, so she encouraged him to go to the emergency room, whereby he to be diagnosed through pancreatic cancer on august 17. On respectable 20, Upshaw died with Terri and also his boy Eugene III, Justin, and also Daniel by his side, five days after ~ his 63rd birthday.

In 2011, his boy Eugene Upshaw III filed a sue in Fairfax county Circuit Court about how the will certainly was taken on at the time of his father"s death, stating his father was too ill to be able to understand the paper he was signing. The case was worked out out the court before the trial, however brought forward worries with the money dealing with of the nationwide Football organization Players combination (NFLPA).

Legacy


After his suddenly death, the NFL announced the for the opening weekend the the 2008 season, every 32 groups would wear a spot on the left chest of the jerseys through the initials "GU" and the number 63, Upshaw"s jersey number v the Oakland Raiders; the patch was likewise painted onto every NFL ar for week 1. Start in the 2nd week the the season, all teams wore the patch as a decal on their backs of your helmets rather of a shoulder patch; the Raiders continued to undertake the job on your shoulder transparent the season.

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Gene"s wife, Terri, and also sons Justin and also Daniel, created the Gene Upshaw Memorial money in memory of Gene. In recognition of the extraordinary care he got at Tahoe forest Hospital, The Gene Upshaw Memorial fund has produced a partnership with Tahoe woodland Health mechanism to provide funding for crucial health programs and research. The mission the the Gene Upshaw Memorial fund is to honor Gene Upshaw"s tradition and advancement the Upshaw family"s enthusiasm for quality medical treatment, care for patients and their families, sustainability and advancement of medical technology, and funding for study in areas such as traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Gene Upshaw Memorial fund is currently partnered v Tahoe woodland Health System, the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe woodland Cancer Center, and also the Tahoe Institute because that Rural health and wellness Research (TIRHR) to development its mission.