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Tommie Smith lights torch in Mexico City: ‘The changing is still happening’

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Tommie Smith returned to the city of his Olympic raised-fist podium salute, and he couldn’t help but think back to the 1968 Mexico City Games.

Smith lit a torch before Monday night’s NFL game between the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans in the Mexican capital. It’s a Raiders tradition for a torch to be lit before every home game honoring longtime owner Al Davis, who died in 2011.

“Looking back, that distance, sometimes the brain doesn’t go back that far,” Smith said on ESPN earlier Monday. “Only time does. But it was time for change. The changing is still happening, and, hopefully, we’ll change in a progressive manner.”

Smith was visiting Mexico City for reportedly just the second time since the 1968 Olympics.

“This is like a second home for me,” Smith, a Raiders fan, said on ESPN. “Where my other life started.”

Monday’s game was played at the Estadio Azteca, which hosted not track and field but the men’s soccer final at the 1968 Olympics.

MORE: Two U.S. track and field athletes in line for medals after DQs

Tommie Smith to light torch on Monday Night Football in Mexico City

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Tommie Smith, the 1968 Olympic 200m champion who was part of the raised-fist podium salute in Mexico City, will light a torch in the Mexican capital before Monday night’s game between the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans.

Smith will light a torch in memory of longtime Raiders owner Al Davis. It’s a team tradition for a torch to be lit before every Raiders home game. Davis died in 2011.

“This is a very, very historic moment for me,” Smith said, according to ESPN.com, which reported this trip will be Smith’s second to Mexico since 1968. “To do it for the Raiders — I have a lot of respect for the things that they do. The Raiders have always been out in front in terms of change. They were always called a renegade team.”

Monday’s game will be played at the Estadio Azteca, which hosted not track and field but the men’s soccer final at the 1968 Olympics.

MORE: Real Sports profiles third man on 1968 Mexico City podium

Former NFL wide receiver makes U.S. bobsled team

Sam McGuffie
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Sam McGuffie, who played in two NFL preseason games for the Oakland Raiders in 2013, made the U.S. bobsled team for the 2015-16 World Cup season as a push athlete.

McGuffie, 26, was most heralded as a University of Michigan running back in 2008. He transferred to Rice after one season in Ann Arbor, wasn’t drafted by the NFL but signed with the Raiders in 2013 and played in two preseason games.

McGuffie bounced around on NFL practice squads and in the CFL before turning to bobsled.

His story is similar to that of Johnny Quinn, the 2014 Olympic bobsledder most famous for getting locked in a bathroom in Sochi.

Quinn also played Division I college football and in NFL preseason games as a wide receiver. He began bobsledding in 2010-11 and became the second NFL player to compete in the Winter Games, joining Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker, who was an Albertville 1992 bobsledder.

Neither Quinn nor Walker won an Olympic medal.

If McGuffie stays on the U.S. bobsled team into the 2017-18 season, he’ll have a shot to make the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic team.

MORE BOBSLED: Lolo Jones makes brief bobsled return