Gene Upshaw was born on August 15, 1945 and died on August 20, 2008. Upshaw was an American football player for the Oakland Raiders of the American Football League and later the NFL. In 1987, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Upshaw was born in Robstown, Texas, USA. He graduated from Texas A&I University, where he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
After playing football in college at a number of offensive line positions, he settled at left offensive guard for the Oakland Raiders in the American Football League and the National Football League for 15 years. During that time, he played in three Super Bowls; in the 1967, 1976, and 1980 seasons, He also played in three AFL Championship Games, seven American Football Conference title games, one AFL All-Star game, and six NFL Pro Bowls. Upshaw is the only player in Professional Football history to play in three Super Bowls with the same team in three different decades. Upshaw was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
In 2004, the NCAA Division II sports information directors awarded the first Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year award. It is presented each year during the weekend of the NCAA Division II Football Championship by the Manheim (Pennsylvania) Touchdown Club.
After his sudden death, the NFL announced that for the opening weekend of the 2008 season, all 32 teams would wear a patch on the left chest of the jerseys with the initials "GU" and his number 63, his jersey number with the Oakland Raiders; the patch was also painted onto every NFL field for Week 1. Beginning in the second week of the season, all teams wore the patch as a decal on their backs of their helmets instead of a shoulder patch; the Raiders continued to wear the patch on their shoulder throughout the season.
I can relate to Upshaw because we both play on the left side of the ball. If I ever do play football for the NFL I want to leave an impression on the rest of my team like he did, after he died they wore those GU patches in honor of his memories.
Orlando Lamar Pace
Orlando Pace was born on November 4, 1975. Pace is a former American college and professional football player who was an offensive tackle in the NFL for thirteen seasons. He played college football for Ohio State University, and was twice recognized as an All-American. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams first overall in the 1997 NFL Draft, and he played professionally for the Rams for twelve years. Under Pace's protection, the Rams' passing offense compiled more than 3,000 yards in all 12 of his NFL seasons. A five-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowl selection, Pace earned a Super Bowl ring with the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV. He has also played for the Chicago Bears.
Pace was a two-sport athlete for the Sandusky Blue Streaks at Sandusky High School. He played both football and basketball. He was named to the Parade magazine high school All-America team as an offensive lineman and the USA Today All-America