Tracked down Tom Dempsey for a story in Thursday’s Bay Area News Group papers to get his reaction on having his record 63-yard field goal distance tied for a second time by Sebastian Janikowski.
You can read about Dempsey and Janikowski at this link.
Toward the end of our conversation, Dempsey, 64, relayed a story about a wish he had to play for the Raiders.
Dempsey, who at the time was playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, was serving as a player representative when he came out of a negotiating commitee meeting and came face to face with Al Davis in a hallway. Dempsey had always admired the Raiders for their willingness to do whatever it took to win.
“It seemed like there was never any air conditioning in the visitors’ locker room. I just loved their style. I truly did,” Dempsey said. “He came up to me and said, `Tom, they’re trying to trade you. Would you like to play for me?’
“I looked at him right in the eye and said, `If you’ve got a black jersey I’ll put it on right now.’ I liked the old time Raiders. A damn good football team. But I wound up getting traded to the Rams because they knew I wanted to come to the Raiders.”
George Blanda remained the Raiders place kicker in 1974 and 1975 before giving way to Errol Mann in 1976.
Dempsey said he plans on writing a letter to Janikowski to congratulate him and was interested in talking to him in person.