Mike Haynes Has Got Cancer Covered

973 The Fan's Chris Ello Blog

Chris Ello
June 13, 2018 - 7:30 am

I was this close to an NFL Hall of Famer the other day. Mike Haynes, of course, never let anybody get too far away from him.

One of the best -- if not simply the best -- cover men in league history, Haynes visited the 97.3 The Fan studios on Tuesday, bringing along with him his faded, yellow Hall of Fame jacket, his Super Bowl XVIII ring won with the Los Angeles Raiders and worn on his right, ring finger -- and a very important message.

Haynes not only could cover any great wide receiver the NFL could test him with, but he also had cancer covered as well. A survivor of prostate cancer, the 64-year-old Haynes (who still looks like he could play on Sundays) wants to make sure nobody else has to be a survivor of prostate cancer.

His message is clear: don't be stubborn and embarrassed about getting it checked. Talk to your doctor, stay on top of it, and getting prostate cancer is one less (and important) thing you won't have to worry about.

Haynes, who played 14 seasons in the NFL after a Hall of Fame college career at Arizona State, was an easy choice to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, after his playing days were over. A star for seven dominant seasons in New England in the 1970's, he became a much-higher profile player in the 1980's when he joined the Raiders.

With stick-em master Lester Hayes on the other side, Haynes and Hayes became the top shutdown corner duo of their era. Haynes, especially, never needed help in coverage. (There are some tremendous shots of his remarkable skills in the NFL Films video of Super Bowl XVIII when the Raiders completely shut down the favored Washington Redskins).

Upon arriving in Canton for his induction in 1997 Haynes was asked by doctors if he had ever had blood work done to test for prostate cancer, a disease that ran in his family. Like most men in their 40's, Haynes said he had never thought about it. Soon after, it was discovered (early) that Haynes was inflicted.

"Had it not been for that early test," Haynes said. "I probably still wouldn't be here today. But that's the thing about prostate cancer. If you catch it early, you can be treated for it, and you can beat it."

He is cancer-free now and quite happy to work -- with the NFL's help -- on spreading the message. And, truth be told, it's quite the thrill to have Haynes in your midst. 

Wide receivers might have tried to get away from him. They couldn't. Nodbody is running from Haynes now. Nor should they be avoiding his message.