Equipment managers crucial part of Raiders history

December 6, 2012 7:40:51 PM PST
The Oakland Raiders have only had two equipment managers in the entire history of the Raiders and they're father and son.

The day before Raider players even hit the field, the team's equipment squad is busy at work getting the locker room ready.

If there's one person who knows his way around this place, it's 84-year-old Dick Romanski.

"A month and a half and I'll be 50 years here," said Dick.

He was invited to join the team by an old army buddy, Al Davis. And though Dick has retired from the team, he still reports to work before every home game. Dick says he is the inspiration for the team's logo.

"What I did was I took 15 sheets of paper, and I liked the shape of the shield. And I took it over to the front office and they Al loved it," said Dick.

He also says that's his face that was the model for the now infamous "Raider" introduced in 1964.

Davis died last year so there's no way to confirm his story, but there is an uncanny resemblance.

Dick is also credited with introducing the team to Stickum. The gooey brownish yellow adhesive that was supposed to make it easier for players to hold onto the ball. It was banned in 1981. He says he got the idea from the pine tar baseball players use. Stickum wasn't the only thing Romanski brought to the Raiders.

Bob Romanski said he has been with the Raiders, "since I got out of high school." He joined his dad in the locker room in 1980. He took over as equipment manager while the team was in Los Angeles.

"It was a lot of fun learning from him, and seeing how the trade is done. There is just so much to this job that people have no idea," said Bob.

Bob and Dick Romanski are the only two equipment managers this team has ever seen and the only father-son team in the league.

"I mean one minute you could be working on a sled, the next minute you could be tailoring somebody's pants," said Bob.

Working with your dad isn't for everyone.

"There has always been little battles here and there. How to pack things, how I like to do it, how he likes to do it. Sure, there's always been little battles between us, but it all works out," said Bob.

"He does a good job," said Dick.

Written and produced by Ken Miguel


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