"Holy Toledo!"

July 25, 2011

Former Raider “Dr. Death” Alonzo Skip Thomas Dead At 61

Filed under: NFL, Oakland Raiders — Bill @ 2:12 pm

On a day when we as football fans should be celebrating the end of the lockout we instead are learning of some sad news. Former colorful Raiders cornerback Alonzo “Skip” Thomas died yesterday of a heart attack at age 61.

“Skip” Thomas was well known for wearing a skull and crossbones towel which, along with his aggressive style earned him the nickname “Dr. Death”. After being drafted out of USC by Oakland in the 7th round in 1972 Thomas spent his entire 6 year NFL career with the Raiders. He wore #26, and was the starting CB for most of his brief career in a defensive backfield that featured Willie Brown & Thomas at CB, and George Atkinson & Jack Tatum as safeties. The pinnacle of his career came when he helped the Oakland Raiders defeat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI on January 9, 1977.

The death of Skip Thomas comes almost one year to the day of his former teammate Jack Tatum, who died on July 27, 2010.

Rest in peace Alonzo…



  1. Skip was truly a force on the football field. He played w/ a reckless and wild abandon and when he hit people, he punished them. But he was also a great cornerback who completely shut down Sammy White in Super Bowl XI. I had the great honor of hanging out w/ Skip in early 2001 because a supervisor at my work knew I was a Raider fan and had gone to high school here in KC w/ Skip. I spent about six hours just sitting on a couch w/ him, talking about the Raiders. He told some hilarious stories and he was as sincere and kind as anyone could hope to be.

    Right now, the Angels in Heaven are refusing to play football… because the D now has The Assassin and Dr Death on its side. Goodbye Skip… and thank you for the time you shared w/ me and your sincere and warm way. You will be tremendously missed!

    Comment by Jeff — July 25, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

  2. Jeff, thanks for your comments & nice story about Skip. Recently the NFL Network ranked that famous defensive backfield in the top 10 of all-time.

    Comment by Bill — July 25, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

  3. Skip was married to my mom for 23 years. He was a good guy. I send my reguards to his family.

    Comment by sheila teeter — July 25, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

  4. Thank you Sheila for your personal insights. My condolences to your mother, your family & of course Skip’s as well. It’s a sad day for the Raider Nation.

    We’re never going to forget #26

    Comment by Bill — July 25, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

  5. He was my first cousin. I am going to miss him. Aunt Barbara (Skip’s mother), keep your head up!

    Comment by Macy — July 26, 2011 @ 10:09 am

  6. Thank you Macy, and yes Aunt Barbara know our thoughts are with you.

    Here is a nice slide show featuring pictures of our fallen hero Skip Thomas

    Comment by Bill — July 26, 2011 @ 10:23 am

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