Kevin Fixler
    Sport Matters

4 November 2015

Josh Johnson, the NFL’s Emergency Man


Less than a full day after watching the Indianapolis Colts win a close game from the sideline—where he waited in uniform, ready to fill in at quarterback should misfortune befall Matt Hasselbeck, who was already filling in for injured starter Andrew Luck—Josh Johnson was cut. For the second time in a week, in fact. Only Johnson didn’t have much time to feel disappointed, not with the Buffalo Bills on the phone the next day, calling before he could even hop a flight back to his hometown of Oakland, California.

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4 September 2014

Dr. Marshawn and Mr. Lynch: The two sides of the unpredictable Seahawks star

Marshawn Lynch, one of the best running backs in the NFL, moseys through the door of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Albany Bowl early Friday evening wearing all black: jeans, low tops and an oversized sweatshirt, hood up and tightly fastened with a bow over a backwards black hat. Printed on his hoodie in bright red are big, arced letters reading “LIFEGUARD” with a sizable red cross below them, followed by the large words “OAKLAND,” and “CALIFORNIA” underneath in smaller text.

“It is! It is him!” a waist-high little boy shrieks to his father before running toward Lynch. Others flock to him to offer hugs, dap and handshakes. The Oakland Tech and Cal product, still basking in the glow of February’s Super Bowl victory, disappears momentarily before returning to casually post up on a barstool. A handheld camera and boom mic have since picked up Lynch’s trail and a queue also takes shape so he can fulfill the individual photo requests. A young girl is beside herself, in a daze at standing mere feet from the 28-year-old.

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12 December 2011

Op-Ed: In death, Fred Thompson’s Oakland dreams live on

Courtesy of Oregon State Athletics

Courtesy of Oregon State Athletics

Fred Thompson was 18 when I met him, and I had never seen a body so large move so fast, and with such agility. He was what makes quarterbacks wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night.

Sunday would have been his 20th birthday.

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1 November 2010

Raiders ruin homecoming for Oakland Tech’s Lynch

Photo by Laith Agha

Photo by Laith Agha

Marshawn Lynch, the often written and talked-about NFL player who graduated from Oakland Tech High School, made his hometown pro football debut during a trip to Oakland this weekend as a member of the Seattle Seahawks.

He was fresh off a trade that sent him from the Buffalo Bills to the Seahawks. But the visit home didn’t go quite as he had expected.

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15 October 2010

Oakland Tech’s ‘Coach D,’ 15 years in charge, pushes players on football and family

It’s Saturday, a day off for the Oakland Tech football team, but a familiar SUV still sits in the high school’s back parking lot, overlooking the Bulldogs home playing field.

Tech head coach Delton Edwards fills out the driver’s seat of his 2007 GMC Yukon XL and watches through his windshield as the Oakland Dynamites—the Pop Warner football team he grew up playing for—clash with Oak Grove’s visiting elementary and middle school peewees.

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