Local Raiders fan witnesses NFL History

Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Local Raiders fan witnesses NFL History

submitted photos

Former Terry resident Jason Gumm at the Oakland Raider’s final game at the Coliseum.

Local Raiders fan witnesses NFL History

submitted photos

Former Terry resident Jason Gumm at the Oakland Raider’s final game at the Coliseum.

 Jason Gumm witnessed some NFL history last Sunday.

A die-hard Oakland Raiders fan for more than a decade, the former Terry resident couldn’t think of a better birthday present: celebrating No. 49 with a win in the Raiders’ Last Hurrah in the Coliseum.

Gumm was there with Raider Nation for what was billed as “Black Sunday,” a farewell salute before the team moved to its shiny silver-and-black $2 billion home in Las Vegas.

There was no celebration. “Black Sunday” turned into one of the darker days in Raiders history.

After leading the entire game and dominating the first half,  the Raiders surrendered a 16-3 lead and were out-scored 17-0 in second half. The Jacksonville Jaguars capped the comeback with the go-ahead touchdown with 31 seconds left for a crushing 20-16 win.

Thunderous booing ensued, along with fans pelting the field with trash, beer and soda. Security got into an ugly scene with an unruly fan. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was booed off the field.

“Stunned” and “disappointed,” said Gumm, via email.

“Put it this way, if a rookie running back with a fractured shoulder is willing to lay it allon the line and play, then where was the rest of the team? Speaks volumes about the heart of this team.”

He added, “We can only hope that a change of venue is enough to kickstart, or energize our team. Change could be happening at the right time.”

With the loss, the Raiders fell to 6-8 in coach John Gruden’s first season and were officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Gumm has been a Raiders season ticket holder for a decade, commuting from Dallas,  and already has season tickets in Las Vegas (as we were chatting, we realized our seats are about 30 yards away).

Gumm was a standout for the Terry Terriers’ three-peat team in the mid-1980s. One of the biggest games: a school-record 26 solo tackles against Scobey in 1988. He was quick to point out his record was broken by Burt Keltner, who had 28 solos, also against Scobey, in 1993.  

A 1989 Terry High graduate, Gumm is an engineering director for Kiewit Corporation in Grapevine, Tex. His wife, Felicia, is a former TV meteorolo gist, with stops in Helena, Great Falls, Harlingen, Tex., and New Orleans. They met through a mutual friend.

Jason’s father, Keith Gumm, taught in Terry for 48 years, starting in 1968. He was a football assistant coach to Jerry McCullough in the 1970s and served as head girls track and field coach. He was the athletic director for years. He died in 2010.

 After his father’s death, Jason mentioned to two of his Kiewit mentors that he hoped to get the Terry football field named after his father. “He was such a Terrier,” said Jason.

His engineering managers, Doug Glaser and Keith Sasich, surprised him by announcing they wanted to donate the money for the Keith Gumm Memorial Field. Glaser was a 6-foot-7, 290-pound All-American offensive lineman at Nebraska and Sasich was from Billings and attended Montana State, Jason Gumm’s alma mater.

As our interview ended, Jason remember another Terry connection with the Raiders. Fred and Lonnie Rambur’s son, Tory Rambur, is a district manager for the company that prepped the site for Las Vegas stadium, “the mass grading, drill-and-shoot, a lot of the excavation.”  

I’m not surprised. So many times over the years, while covering news, I’ve encountered a Terrier Nation angle.

Fun facts: Gumm was the first baby born in the current Terry Hospital building. Keltner is currently the CEO for the Terry Hospital and born in the same building, as well. Yours truly was the first Terrier in uniform on the football field, when Ray Frank sent us up from the baseball field for the first practice in 1959.

To contact Norm: normclarke@me.com. His website is www.norm.vegas.