Up, Down, Left, Right: Perspectives of Jim Otto Are Always Good

How many people can say that their name is a representation of their life in some way? Let’s look at Jim Otto’s last name: OTTO.

If you read his name from left to right, it spells OTTO. It is a palindrome so if you read it from right to left it still spells OTTO.

If you reflect (flip) the name with respect to the x axis, it still spells OTTO. And, if you flip the name in the vertical direction, or y axis, it still spells OTTO.

Well, John Madden’s Foreword in the book, The Pain of Glory, written by Otto and Dave Newhouse, says something similar.

Madden says of Otto, “His skills as a center were just perfect.”

Otto had the quality of “symmetry.” In a basic math class if a = b, then b = a.

Similarly, it is said of Otto, “He was a big part of the Raiders, and they were a big part of him."  Don't you see the symmetry in that statement!

He was an example of a valid converse, too. Again, in basic logic, if p implies q, then you can consider q implies p.

For Otto, the application is that the game gave to Otto, and Otto always gave back.

How did Otto give back? He would appear at Rotary or Kiwanis luncheons, and he was always one of the first to volunteer, says Madden.

Otto played the position of center, and he was "centered." The word “centered” means:

Self-confident, goal-oriented, and well-balanced

Madden said, “He was one of those guys who never wanted to come out of practice. That’s the opposite of most starters, who will say, 'Send in the second guy.'”

Madden continued, “Jim was the Oakland Raiders center, and he wasn’t going to give up his spot."

A man of remarkable technical skill, he is hailed as the greatest “snapper.” Charlie Sumner told Madden, "Otto would snap the ball, an...

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