Chip Oliver was an Oakland Raiders linebacker who let pro football near the height of his career to live in a commune and work in an organic foods restaurant.
I had read Oliver’s biography, High for the Game, several years ago, but admittedly hadn’t thought much about him until a great SI Vaults piece, WOW, LIKE LET’S REALLY TRY TO WIN, was brought to my attention by Todd Kurlan.
Oliver was a San Diego product, who attended Hoover High School, the same school as baseball hall of famer, Ted Williams. From Hoover he took a rather circuitous route through Las Vegas, San Diego City College and USC to the Oakland Raiders, where he never truly seemed to fit in. I must admit that I get a chuckle every time I try to imagine a young hippy attempting to convince the likes of George Blanda, Jim Otto and Ben Davidson to set aside their beers, steaks and generally carousing nature to live in a commune and adopt a vegetarian lifestyle.