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Lester Hayes (born January 22, 1955) is a former professional American football player for the National Football League Oakland/LA Raiders.

Hayes was commonly referred to as "the Judge." A big Star Wars fan, during pregame interviews for Super Bowl XVIII he declared himself the "only true Jedi" in the NFL. He was known for his Bump and run coverage style, and for using Stickum before it was banned in a rule bearing his name.

In college, he became an All-American Safety at Texas A&Mmarker. Hayes was converted to cornerback after being drafted by the Raiders in 1977. Hayes was a member of two Raiders championship teams (1980, 1983), and was a five-time Pro Bowler (1980–1984).

In 1980, Hayes led the NFL with 13 interceptions and was named AP Defensive Player of the Year and the NEA Defensive Player of the Year. He retired after the 1986 season with a total of 39 interceptions, a Raider record shared with Hall of Famer Willie Brown. He is eligible for enshrinement in the Professional Football Hall of Famemarker, and in 2007 was chosen amongst 26 semi-finalists.

Hayes was a lifelong stutterer until well into his professional career. He tended to stay quiet, rather than draw attention to his condition. For this reason, he was often looked upon as not very smart, but after successful treatment, people "couldn't shut him up," according to former Raiders coach John Madden, and it was revealed that Hayes was an articulate, intelligent man. At autograph signings, he maintains a constant flow of chatter, entertaining his fans with his wit and style.

Lester Hayes currently lives in Modestomarker, Californiamarker.


  1. Super Bowl by the Bay, p.51, (c)1984 by Bohn & Bland Publishers, Inc.
Lester Hayes currently spends his time with the youth of the community. Spending the football season with young kids and teaching life skills. He currently works with the Modesto Broncos Youth Football organization.

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