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LOOK: A fond happy birthday to the late Gene Upshaw

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

More NFL: Photos | Videos & GIFs | Training Camp updates | Manziel

For fans of a certain generation, Gene Upshaw is the most famous NFLPA executive director in history (aside from current union director DeMaurice Smith, could you actually name another?).

But Upshaw, who was born 69 years ago Friday, was much more than that. He was a seven-time Pro Bowl offensive guard for the Raiders who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987 before he made NFL players either love him or hate him during his reign at the top of the NFLPA.

He was also somebody I would not have wanted blocking me in any capacity, as you can see in this photo.

Gene Upshaw (63) is looking to knock somebody down as Daryle Lamonica hands off to Charlie Smith. (Getty Images)
Gene Upshaw (63) is looking to knock somebody down as Daryle Lamonica hands off to Charlie Smith. (Getty Images)

In short, Upshaw was a bada ... wait, what are things on his arms in the Getty Images photo below?

He looks like a damn Transformer in that shot. Which considering he went from becoming a Hall of Fame player to one of the most powerful men in the sport once he retired, he kinda was.

Either way, a fond Happy Birthday to a man who died in 2008 but whose impact continues to loom large over the sport.

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