Nearly seventy, he has bull shoulders and a nimbus of curly gray hair. In about a minute, he has summarized the entire first half of his life. "Correctamundo," Todd replies, at ease now, playing to the crowd, not really thinking about what's coming next — which has always been his biggest strength and maybe also his biggest weakness. Todd was the quarterback, a twig figure with flaming-orange hair.
His own pale-blue eyes are focused intently on his son's performance, as they have been from day one. The opposing team was anchored by its middle linebacker, one of those elementary-school Goliaths, physically mature for his age.
The Raiders' colorful owner, Al Davis, made him one of the NFL's first strength-and-conditioning coaches.
Before Todd could walk, Marv had him on a balance beam. The coach in the Raiders cap — they call him Raider Bill — asks Todd how he got along with his coaches, eliciting a huge guffaw from both Todd and Marv, which makes everybody else crack up, too.
He moves toward the field in the manner of an athlete, loose limbed and physically confident, seemingly unconcerned, revealing nothing of the long and tortured trail he's left behind. It seems small in his hands and very well behaved, like it belongs there.
German-Irish, the son of a blacksmith, he was the one who'd passed down the carrot top. Rams of the NFL and by the Oakland Raiders of the AFL, Marv "ran, lifted, pushed the envelope to the nth degree" in order to prepare for the pros.
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His Orange County high school record for all-time passing yardage, 9,182, stood for more than two decades. "One thing that I am today and that's completely honest," he tells the Chiefs.
Now he is thirty-nine, wearing surfer shorts and rubber flip-flops. "I wouldn't change anything for the world."As he speaks, Todd fondles and flips and spins the ball.