Lester Hayes

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Lester Hayes
No. 37
Cornerback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1955-01-22) January 22, 1955 (age 59)
Place of birth: Houston, Texas
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school: Houston (TX) Wheatley
College: Texas A&M
NFL Draft: 1977 / Round: 5 / Pick: 126
Debuted in 1977 for the Oakland Raiders
Last played in 1986 for the Los Angeles Raiders
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions 39
INT yards 572
Touchdowns 4
Stats at NFL.com

Lester Craig Hayes (born January 22, 1955) is a former professional American football player for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders of the National Football League.

Hayes was commonly referred to as "the Judge" and also as "Lester the Molester" because of his Bump and run coverage.[1] A big Star Wars fan, during pregame interviews for Super Bowl XVIII he declared himself the "only true Jedi" in the NFL.[2] He was also known for using Stickum before it was banned in 1981 in a rule bearing his name. He had a distinct stance, as exemplified on his photo on the Raiders' home page,[3] crouching very low when facing the opposing wide receiver.

In college, he became an All-American Safety at Texas A&M. Hayes was converted to cornerback after being drafted by the Raiders in 1977. Hayes helped lead the Raiders to two Super Bowl wins (1980, 1983), and was a five-time Pro Bowler (1980–1984).

He was known as one of the greatest shutdown cornerbacks in NFL history. His best performance was probably in Super Bowl XVIII. He had only one tackle, but that was because he so effectively covered Charlie Brown and Art Monk that Joe Theismann hardly threw to the left side of the field.[4]

In 1980, Hayes led the NFL with 13 interceptions, tied for second most with Dan Sandifer, who had set it in 1948, and behind Dick "Night Train" Lane with 14 in 1952, and was named AP Defensive Player of the Year and the NEA Defensive Player of the Year. He retired after the 1986 season with a total of 39 interceptions, a Raider record shared with Hall of Famer Willie Brown. He is eligible for enshrinement in the Professional Football Hall of Fame, and in 2007 was chosen amongst 26 semi-finalists.

Hayes was a lifelong stutterer until well into his professional career. He tended to stay quiet, rather than draw attention to his condition. For this reason, he was often looked upon as not very smart, but after successful treatment, people "couldn't shut him up," according to former Raiders coach John Madden, and it was revealed that Hayes was an articulate, intelligent man.

Hayes currently lives with his wife in Modesto, California.

Stickum[edit]

Stickum is a sticky adhesive substance that was introduced to Hayes when he was a rookie in 1977 by Hall of Fame wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff. But instead of just using a little on his hands to help him hold onto the football, Hayes also started slathering it all over his arms and even on his uniform, drawing more and more attention to himself and the gooey Stickum. In 1980, Hayes intercepted 13 passes during the regular season and five more in the playoffs as the Raiders went on to win Super Bowl XV. Hayes was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year. A year later, in 1981, the NFL banned stickum from the league. It has remained banned since then.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Video". CNN. October 5, 1981. 
  2. ^ Super Bowl by the Bay, p.51, (c)1984 by Bohn & Bland Publishers, Inc.
  3. ^ http://www.raidersonline.org/lester-hayes.php
  4. ^ McGinn, Bob (2009). The Ultimate Super Bowl Book. Minneapolis: MVP Books. ISBN 978-0-7603-3651-9. 
  5. ^ "Notorious image sticks with these Raiders". 

External links[edit]