Daily Archives: December 16, 2013

Linebacker-Turned-Hippie… High for the Game – A Book Review

A few weeks ago I posted about a Sports Illustrated article that featured former Raiders linebacker-turned-hippie, Chip Oliver.  The article caused me to revisit Oliver’s autobiography, High for the Game, which he co-authored with Ron Rapoport in 1971.

The son on an Army sergeant, Ralph “Chip” Oliver bounced around some while growing up, before settling in at Hoover High School in San Diego.  His route to professional football was rather unconventional, as he got married and spent time in Las Vegas after high school, but soon divorced and came back to San Diego City College.  He then made his way to USC before joining the Oakland Raiders as an 11th round draft choice in 1968.  Oliver had a two-season professional career, averaging five tackles-per-game from his linebacker position and scoring one touchdown on an interception.  However, the life of a professional football player never really appealed to Oliver, and he quit the Raiders after the 1969 season.  From there he became a vegetarian (which were his tendencies already during the 1969 football season), swore off material possessions, joined a commune, and started working in a natural foods store. read more