SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Bubba Smith, the All-Pro defensive lineman who ripped off the tops of beer cans in Miller Lite commercials, died Wednesday at age 66.

John Madden knew him on the field with the Raiders and off the field as a colleague in the Miller Lite cast of characters.

“Through it all, when he was a great dominant player and then coming back from (a serious) injury, he was a good guy,” Madden told the KCBS morning crew. “When we both got out of football we were together for years on that Miller Lite campaign… It never felt like work, because it was more like a class reunion, when you got to go to the reunion and the only people there were the people you really liked.”

The Phillies come into AT&T Park Thursday night to face the Giants in what has become one of the biggest rivalries in baseball.

“You can think that you have a rivalry,” Madden said, “but it’s only when two teams are really good and are really close and are fighting for the same goal, that’s it… The 49ers and Raiders had a great rivalry, and now it’s just another game across the bay.”

(Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.)


(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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