Q: What was your favorite team to play against when playing for the Raiders?

Otis Sistrunk: Well, between Pittsburgh and Miami I would say that Pittsburgh was the favorite team cause they gave us some very tough games. It always seemed like it was a toss up in the 1970’s on who was going to win so I would have to say Pittsburgh was my favorite.

Q: Was there a specific game that you remember the most?

Otis Sistrunk: It was my first game in 1972 in my first league game, which I played against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I hit the kickoff kick and the kicker slipped. It was the championship game and we beat the Steelers in Oakland.

Q: What was your favorite play while with the Raiders?

Otis Sistrunk: My favorite play would be getting to the Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton in Super Bowl XI. It always sticks out in your mind when you do something in the Super Bowl.

Q: Who were your favorite teammates?

Otis Sistrunk: My favorite teammate was Art Shell. He was a friend of mine off the field and on the field. I had to practice against him everyday and we were also roommates. We are very good friends today and we do many things together so it was more of like a brother thing.

Sistrunk1-1Q: What do you currently doing for a living?

Otis Sistrunk: I work in Fort Luis, Oregon. I’m a fitness coordinator and I run a couple of outdoor programs and am qualified to be a personal trainer in Fort Luis. I am responsible for programs that include flag football and soccer. I also work with Special Olympics each year.

Q: What do you do in your free time?

Otis Sistrunk: In my free time I try to play golf. I also go around the country doing charity golf tournaments. I also find time to work with children.

Q: How did you contain RB Chuck Foreman in Super Bowl XI and capture the World Championship?

Otis Sistrunk: John Madden put a good scouting report together against Minnesota and there was no turning back. The thing about it is that Chuck was a great running back and is also a personal friend of mine. We had Chuck numbered in the Super Bowl so we wouldn’t tend to let him do anything wrong. We didn’t want Chuck to hurt us because he was the type of guy who could gain 140-150 yards and that would seriously hurt us in the Super Bowl.

Sistrunk5-1Q: You went from high school straight into the semi-pros, what was that experience like?

Otis Sistrunk: That was a lot of experience. It was like going around the world to get somewhere. The thing about it was that I had a lot of friends in the Continental League when I played. Jack Folk was the scout for the Los Angeles Rams and he was taking a look at me and he thought I could make it in the NFL. So he brought me to the Rams, then Al Davis and Ron Wolf were at one of the practices against San Diego and that’s how I got brought up to Oakland. I think it was better for me to come to Oakland than playing for the Rams because the Rams were loaded, but to me it was a tough thing to do. That’s why I encourage kids today to stay in school and go to college for four years and get drafted. Trying to play in the Continental League and making it in the NFL is tough.

Q: What can you tell us about the University of Mars?

Otis Sistrunk: Now that’s not a college. That’s a peg that Alex Karras put on my back around 1973 and 1974 during a Monday night game when he saw me playing. The camera was on my head and the camera was on the moon then he just came up with the saying the University of Mars. The name is still sticking with me today.

Q: You were selected to the Pro Bowl in 1974, how was that experience?

Otis Sistrunk: That was a great experience. It’s like going to the Super Bowl, but I was picked to go to the Pro Bowl. Making it to the Pro Bowl with a lot of players from the Raiders that year was very surprising to me that I got picked. Considering I had no college experience nobody thought I’d get picked. It was a lot of experience and it was a great thing to go to the Pro Bowl and have a lot of fun.

Sistrunk_bio_photoQ: You were a starter since your rookie season, how did you did you make that jump?

Otis Sistrunk: If you go back, I played in the Continental League for three years and I started when I got there. The thing was that when I first walked on the field I think I was playing with the Rams and the quarterback was live in practice. I hit Ken Stabler when I first got to Oakland and John Madden made a statement that our quarterback is not live and that Kenny will carry us to the Super Bowl. He did carry us to the Super Bowl and it was a great experience.

Q: When you stepped on the field for Super Bowl XI, what was going through your mind?

Otis Sistrunk: I felt like it was another game to me because we had to block the fans out of our mind right when walked on to the field. If you listen to the fans, it will blow your game. John Madden kept using the same terms and saying it was just another game and another eight to five. You go to the dance, but this is the biggest dance that you are going to go to in professional football. It was just another days work for me and we all had a job to do and we went out and took care of business.