Wednesday, July 27, 2011

RIP Skip Thomas

From Daily News Dispatches

Former Oakland Raiders cornerback Alonzo "Skip" Thomas, one of the more colorful members of the club's first Super Bowl championship team, died in Kansas on Sunday of an apparent heart attack. Thomas, a seventh-round draft pick out of USC in 1972, played six NFL seasons, all with the Raiders, and was on the 1976 team that beat Minnesota in Super Bowl XI. His death at age 61 comes just three days shy of the one-year anniversary of the death of former teammate and close friend Jack Tatum.

Thomas started in the defensive backfield along with Tatum, cornerback Willie Brown and strong safety George Atkinson in a defensive backfield dubbed the "Soul Patrol." Thomas was an imposing physical specimen who loved to play the intimidator, nicknaming himself "Dr. Death."

Thomas was one of the unsung heroes of the Raiders dynasty days, playing second fiddle to bigger name players Brown, Atkinson and Tatum. I will always remember him as a big hitter that was an imposing player because of his size.

Raider Nation lost one of its own.

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