First season: 1960
Play in Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum
Headquartered in Alameda, California
|Fight song||The Autumn Wind|
|Owner(s)||Mark Davis (majority owner)|
|General manager||Reggie McKenzie|
|Head coach||Jack Del Rio|
League championships (3†)
Conference championships (4)
Division championships (15)
|Playoff appearances (21)|
In San Francisco
In Los Angeles
The Oakland Raiders are a professional American football franchise based in Oakland, California. The Raiders began playing in 1960 as a member club of the American Football League (AFL); they have been a member club of the National Football League (NFL) since the 1970 AFL–NFL merger. The Raiders compete in the NFL as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) West division; the team plays its home games at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum. As of the start of the team's 2015 season, the Raiders have an all-time regular season record of 444–397–11, with a playoff record of 25–18.
In the club's first three seasons (1960–1962), the team struggled both on and off the field. In 1963, the Raiders appointed eventual owner/general manager Al Davis to the position of head coach. Under Davis' guidance, the team's fortunes improved dramatically. In 1967, the Raiders reached the postseason for the first time; they went on to win their first, and only, AFL title that year by beating the Houston Oilers in the Championship Game, but they were defeated by the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl II.
The Raiders' run of success grew during the 1970s; during this time, they won six division titles and played in six AFC championship games. In 1976, the team captured its first championship by defeating the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI. In 1980, the Raiders unexpectedly won a second championship by defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV, at the time being the first NFL team to have ever done so as the wild card team in the playoffs. Two years later, the franchise relocated to Los Angeles. In 1983 (their second season since the move), they defeated the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII to capture their third and, to date, last championship. The Raiders' fortunes declined considerably following the 1985 season; they would win just one division title (1990) and two playoff games over their final nine seasons in Los Angeles. In 1995, the team returned to Oakland.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Raiders experienced a massive (albeit brief) resurgence; their renaissance culminated with a 2002 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII 21–48. The team would then struggle significantly throughout the 2000s ever since that Super Bowl loss, resulting in the team's worst season records in its history. While the Raiders' fortunes somewhat improved in 2010 and 2011, they have neither reached the playoffs nor attained a winning record (any record better than .500) in 13 seasons. However, in the 2016 NFL season, the Raiders clinched a winning season record for the first time since 2002, beating the Buffalo Bills in Week 13, 24–38, improving to 10–2.
Today, the Raiders are known for their extensive fan base and distinctive team culture. Since 1963, the team has won 15 division titles (three AFL and 12 NFL), three Super Bowls, four AFC titles (1976, 1980, 1983, and 2002) and an AFL Championship. 14 former members of the team have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The early years (1959–1962)
The Oakland Raiders were originally going to be called the Oakland Señors after a name-the-team contest had that name finish first, but after being the target of local jokes, the name was changed to the Raiders before the 1960 season began. Having enjoyed a successful collegiate coaching career at Navy during the 1950s, San Francisco native Eddie Erdelatz was hired as the Raiders first head coach. On February 9, 1960, after rejecting offers from the NFL's Washington Redskins and the AFL's Los Angeles Chargers, Erdelatz accepted the Oakland Raiders head coaching position. In January 1960, the Raiders were established in Oakland, and because of NFL interference with the original eighth franchise owner, were the last team of eight in the new American Football League to select players, thus relegated to the remaining talent available (see below). The 1960 Raiders 42-man roster included 28 rookies and only 14 veterans. Among the Raiders rookies were future Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee center Jim Otto, and a future Raiders head coach, quarterback Tom Flores. In their 1960 debut year under Erdelatz the Raiders finished with a 6–8 record. Off the field, Erdelatz had numerous conflicts with the team's front office while he battled an ulcer. Ownership conflicts prevented the team from signing any top draft picks the next season. On September 18, 1961, Erdelatz was dismissed after the Raiders were outscored 99–0 in the first two games of the 1961 season.
On September 24, 1961, after the dismissal of Erdelatz, management named Los Angeles native and offensive line coach Marty Feldman as the Raiders head coach. The team finished the 1961 season with a 2–12 record. Feldman began the 1962 season as Raiders head coach but was fired on October 16, 1962 after a dismal 0–5 start. From October 16, 1962 – December 16, 1962, the Raiders then appointed Oklahoma native and assistant coach Red Conkright as head coach. Under Conkright, the Raiders' only victory was its final game of the season, finishing with a 1–13 record. Following the 1962 season the Raiders appointed Conkright to an interim mentor position. Under the Raiders first three head coaches since entering the AFL, the team's combined three-year win-loss record was 9–33.
The AFL and Al Davis (1963–1969)
1963–1966: Al Davis becomes Head Coach/General Manager
After the 1962 season, Raiders managing general partner F. Wayne Valley hired Al Davis as Raiders head coach and general manager. At 33, he was the youngest person in professional football history to hold the positions. Davis immediately began to implement what he termed the "vertical game", an aggressive offensive strategy inspired by the offense developed by Chargers head coach Sid Gillman. Under Davis the Raiders improved to 10–4, and he was named the AFL's Coach of the Year in 1963. Though the team slipped to 5–7–2 in 1964, it rebounded to an 8–5–1 record in 1965. The famous silver and black Raider uniform debuted at the regular-season opening game on September 8, 1963. Previous to this, the team wore a combination of black and white with gold trim on the pants and oversized numerals.
1966: John Rauch takes over as Head Coach
In April 1966, Davis left the Raiders after being named AFL Commissioner, promoting assistant coach John Rauch to head coach. Two months later, the league announced its merger with the NFL. With the merger, the position of commissioner was no longer needed, and Davis entered into discussions with Valley about returning to the Raiders. On July 25, 1966, Davis returned as part-owner of the team. He purchased a 10% interest in the team for $18,000, and became the team's third general partner — the partner in charge of football operations.,
Under Rauch, the Raiders matched their 1965 season's 8–5–1 record in 1966 but missed the playoffs, finishing second in the AFL West Division.
1967–1968: Oakland wins AFL Championship
On the field, the team Davis had assembled and coached steadily improved. With John Rauch (Davis's hand-picked successor) as head coach, and led by quarterback Daryle Lamonica, acquired in a trade with Buffalo, the Raiders finished the 1967 season with a 13–1–0 record and won the 1967 AFL Championship, defeating the Oilers 40–7. The win earned the team a trip to the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida in Super Bowl II, January 14, 1968, where they were defeated 33–14 by Vince Lombardi's Packers. The following year, the Raiders ended the 1968 season with a 12–2–0 record winning the AFL West Division title but were defeated 27–23 by the New York Jets in the AFL Championship Game. Citing management conflicts with day-to-day coaching decisions, Rauch resigned as Raiders head coach on January 16, 1969, accepting the head coaching job of the Buffalo Bills.
The John Madden era begins (1969)
During the early 1960s, John Madden was a defensive assistant coach at San Diego State University under SDSU head coach Don Coryell. Madden credits Coryell as being an influence on his coaching. In 1967, Madden was hired by Al Davis as the Raiders linebacker coach. On February 4, 1969, after the departure of John Rauch, Raiders assistant coach John Madden was named the Raiders sixth head coach. Under Madden, the 1969 Raiders won the AFL West Division title with a 12–1–1 record. On December 20, 1969, the Raiders defeated the Oilers 56–7 in the AFL Division playoff game. In the AFL Conference Championship game on January 4, 1970, the Raiders were defeated by Hank Stram's Chiefs 17–7.
AFL–NFL merger (1970–1981)
In 1970, the AFL–NFL merger took place and the Raiders joined the Western Division of the American Football Conference (actually the AFL West with the same teams as in 1969, except for the Cincinnati Bengals) in the newly merged NFL. The first post-merger season saw the Raiders win the AFC West with an 8–4–2 record and go all the way to the conference championship, where they lost to the Colts. Despite another 8–4–2 season in 1971, the Raiders failed to win the division or achieve a playoff berth. When backup OG-OT Ron Mix (former Charger) played, the 1971 Raiders had an eventual all-Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive interior line (with OT Art Shell, OG Gene Upshaw, C Jim Otto, and OT Bob Brown).
1972–1978: First World Championship (Super Bowl XI–1976)
The teams of the 1970s were thoroughly dominant teams, with 8 Hall of Fame inductees on the roster and a Hall of Fame coach in John Madden. The 1970s Raiders created the team's identity and persona as a team that was hard-hitting. Dominant on defense, with the crushing hits of safeties Jack Tatum and George Atkinson and cornerback Skip Thomas, the Raiders regularly held first place in the AFC West, entering the playoffs nearly every season. From 1973 through 1977, the Raiders reached the conference championship every year.
This was the era of the bitter rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Raiders. In the 1970s, the Steelers and Raiders during many of those seasons were the two best teams in the AFC and, arguably, the NFL. The Raiders regularly met the Steelers in the playoffs, and the winner of the Steelers-Raiders game went on to win the Super Bowl in 3 of those instances, from 1974 to 1976. The rivalry garnered attention in the sports media, with controversial plays, late hits, accusations and public statements.
The rivalry began with and was fueled by a controversial last-second play in their first playoff game in 1972. That season the Raiders achieved a 10–3–1 record and an AFC West title. In the divisional round, they were beaten by the Steelers 13–7 on a play that become known as the "Immaculate Reception". The Raiders won the AFC West again in 1973 with a 9–4–1 record. Lamonica was replaced as starting quarterback early in the season by Ken Stabler, who remained the starting quarterback throughout the team's dominant seasons of the 1970s. The Raiders defeated Pittsburgh 33–14 in the divisional round of the playoffs to reach the AFC Championship, but lost 27–10 to the Dolphins.
In 1974, Oakland had a 12–2 regular season, which included a 9-game winning streak. They beat the Dolphins 28–26 in the divisional round of the playoffs in a see-saw battle remembered as the "Sea of Hands" game. They then lost the AFC Championship to the Steelers, who went on to win the Super Bowl. The Raiders were held to only 29 yards rushing by the Pittsburgh defense, and late mistakes turned a 10–3 lead at the start of the fourth quarter into a disappointing 24–13 loss.
In the 1975 season opener, the Raiders beat Miami and ended their 31-game home winning streak. With an 11–3 record, they defeated Cincinnati 31–28 in the divisional playoff round. Again, the Raiders faced the Steelers in the conference championship, eager for revenge; again, the Raiders came up short, as the Steelers won the AFC Championship and then went on to another Super Bowl title. According to John Madden and Al Davis, the Raiders relied on quick movement by their wide receivers on the outside sidelines – the deep threat, or 'long ball' – more so than the Steelers of that year, whose offense was far more run-oriented than it would become later in the 1970s. Forced to adapt to the frozen field of Three Rivers Stadium, with receivers slipping and unable to make quick moves to beat coverage, the Raiders lost, 16–10. The rivalry had now grown to hatred, and became the stereotype of the 'grudge match.'
In 1976, the Raiders came from behind dramatically to beat Pittsburgh 31–28 in a revenge match in the season opener, and continued to cement its reputation for dirty play by knocking WR Lynn Swann out for two weeks with a clothesline to the helmet. Al Davis later tried to sue Steelers coach Chuck Noll for libel after the latter called safety George Atkinson a criminal for the hit. The Raiders won 13 regular season games and a close controversial 21–17 victory over New England in the playoffs. With the Patriots up by three points in final two minutes, referee Ben Dreith calls roughing the passer on New England's Sugar Bear Hamilton after he hits Oakland QB Ken Stabler in 1976 NFL playoffs. Raiders go on to score a touchdown in the final minute to win, and go on to win the Super Bowl. They then knocked out the Steelers in the AFC Championship to go to Super Bowl XI. Oakland's opponent was the Vikings, a team that had lost three previous Super Bowls. The Raiders led 16–0 at halftime, having forced Minnesota into multiple turnovers. By the end, they won 32–14 for their first post-merger championship.
The following season saw the Raiders finish 11–3, but they lost the division title to Denver. They settled for a wild card, beating the Colts in the second-longest overtime game in NFL history remembered as the Ghost to the Post game, but then fell to the Broncos in the AFC Championship. During a 1978 preseason game, Patriots WR Darryl Stingley was injured by a hit from Raiders FS Jack Tatum and paralyzed for life. Although the 1978 Raiders achieved a winning record at 9–7, they missed the playoffs for the first time since 1971, losing critical games to Seattle, Denver and Miami towards the end of the season.
1979–1981: The Tom Flores era begins; Second World Championship (XV–1980)
After 10 consecutive winning seasons and one Super Bowl championship, John Madden left the Raiders (and coaching) in 1979 to pursue a career as a television football commentator. His replacement was former Raiders quarterback Tom Flores, the first Hispanic head coach in NFL history. Flores led the Raiders to another 9–7 season, but not the playoffs. In the midst of the turmoil of Al Davis's attempts to move the team to Los Angeles in 1980, Tom Flores coached the Raiders to their second NFL Championship by beating the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV, with the Raiders becoming the first team to ever win the Super Bowl after getting into the playoffs as the wild card team. Quarterback Jim Plunkett revitalized his career, taking over in game 5 when starter Dan Pastorini was lost for the season to a broken leg, by leading the team to this championship, after owner Al Davis had picked up Pastorini when he swapped quarterbacks with the Houston Oilers, sending the beloved Ken Stabler to the Oilers.
The Los Angeles era (1982–1994); Third World Championship (XVIII–1983)
In 1980, Al Davis attempted unsuccessfully to have improvements made to the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, specifically the addition of luxury boxes. That year, he signed a memorandum of agreement to move the Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles. The move, which required ¾ approval by league owners, was defeated 22–0 (with five owners abstaining). When Davis tried to move the team anyway, he was blocked by an injunction. In response, the Raiders not only became an active partner in an antitrust lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (who had recently lost the Los Angeles Rams), but filed an antitrust lawsuit of their own. After the first case was declared a mistrial, in May 1982 a second jury found in favor of Davis and the Los Angeles Coliseum, clearing the way for the move. With the ruling, the Raiders finally relocated to Los Angeles for the 1982 season to play their home games at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
The team finished 8–1 in the strike-shortened 1982 season, first in the AFC, but lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Jets. The following season, the team finished 12–4 and won convincingly against the Steelers and Seattle Seahawks in the AFC playoffs. Against the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII, the Raiders built a 21–3 halftime lead en route to a 38–9 victory and their third NFL championship.
The Raiders' fortunes declined after that, and from 1986 to 1989, Los Angeles finished no better than 8–8 and posted consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1961–1962. Also 1986 saw Al Davis get into a widely publicized argument with RB Marcus Allen, whom he accused of faking injuries. The feud continued into 1987, and Davis retaliated by signing Bo Jackson in Allen's place. However, Jackson was also a left fielder for Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals, and could not play full-time until baseball season ended in October. Even worse, another strike cost the NFL one game and prompted them to use substitute players. The Raiders achieved a 1–2 record before the regular team returned. After a weak 5–10 finish, Tom Flores moved to the front office and was replaced by Denver Broncos offensive assistant coach Mike Shanahan. Shanahan led the team to a 7–9 season in 1988, and Allen and Jackson continued to trade places as the starting RB. Low game attendance and fan apathy were evident by this point, and in the summer of 1988, rumors of a Raiders return to Oakland intensified when a preseason game against the Houston Oilers was scheduled at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum.
As early as 1986, Davis sought to abandon the Coliseum in favor of a more modern stadium. In addition to sharing the venue with the USC Trojans, the Raiders were less than ecstatic with the Coliseum as it was aging and still lacked the luxury suites and other amenities that Davis was promised when he moved the Raiders to Los Angeles. Finally, the Coliseum had 95,000 seats and the Raiders were rarely able to fill all of them even in their best years, and so most Raiders home games were blacked out in Southern California. Numerous venues in California were considered, including one near now-defunct Hollywood Park in Inglewood and another in Carson. In August 1987, it was announced that the city of Irwindale paid Davis US$10 million as a good-faith deposit for a prospective stadium site. When the bid failed, Davis kept the non-refundable deposit.
Art Shell era (1989–1994)
Negotiations between Davis and Oakland commenced in January 1989, and on March 11, 1991, Davis announced his intention to bring the Raiders back to Oakland. By September 1991, however, numerous delays had prevented the completion of the deal between Davis and Oakland. On September 11, Davis announced a new deal to stay in Los Angeles, leading many fans in Oakland to burn Raiders paraphernalia in disgust.
After starting the 1989 season with a 1–3 record, Shanahan was fired by Davis, which began a long-standing feud between the two. He was replaced by former Raider offensive lineman Art Shell, who had been voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame earlier in the year. With the hiring, Shell became the first African American head coach in the modern NFL era, but the team still finished a middling 8–8.
In 1990, Shell led Los Angeles to a 12–4 record. They beat the Bengals in the divisional round of the playoffs, but Bo Jackson had his left femur ripped from the socket after a tackle. Without him, the Raiders were crushed in the AFC Championship by the Buffalo Bills. Jackson was forced to quit football as a result, although surgery allowed him to continue playing baseball until he retired in 1994.
The team's fortunes faded after the loss. They made two other playoff appearances during the 1990s, and finished higher than third place only three times. In 1991, they got into the postseason as a wild-card after a 9–7 regular season, but fell to Kansas City. 1992 saw them drop to 7–9. This period was marked by the injury of Jackson in 1991, the failure of troubled quarterback Todd Marinovich, the acrimonious departure of Marcus Allen in 1993, and the retirement of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long after the 1993 season, when the Raiders went 10–6 and lost to Buffalo in the divisional round of the playoffs. Shell was fired after posting a 9–7 record in the 1994 season.
Back to Oakland (1995–2004)
On June 23, 1995, Davis signed a letter of intent to move the Raiders back to Oakland. The move was approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors the next month As the NFL had never recognized the Raiders' initial move to Los Angeles, they could not disapprove of the move or request a relocation fee, which had to be paid by the Los Angeles Rams for their move to St. Louis. The move was greeted with much fanfare, and under new head coach Mike White the 1995 season began well for the team. Oakland started 8–2, but injuries to starting quarterback Jeff Hostetler contributed to a six-game losing streak to end the season, and the Raiders failed to qualify for the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
In order to convince Davis to return, Oakland spent $220 million on stadium renovations. These included a new seating section – commonly known as "Mount Davis" – with 10,000 seats. It also built the team a training facility and paid all its moving costs. The Raiders pay $525,000 a year in rent – a fraction of what the nearby San Francisco 49ers paid to play at the now-extinct Candlestick Park – and do not pay maintenance or game-day operating costs.
Jon Gruden era (1998–2001)
After two more losing seasons (7–9 in 1996 and 4–12 in 1997) under White and his successor, Joe Bugel, Davis selected a new head coach from outside the Raiders organization for only the second time when he hired Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Jon Gruden, who had previously worked for the 49ers and Packers under head coach Mike Holmgren. Under Gruden, the Raiders posted consecutive 8–8 seasons in 1998 and 1999, and climbed out of last place in the AFC West.
Oakland finished 12–4 in the 2000 season, the team's most successful in a decade. Led by veteran quarterback Rich Gannon (MVP), Oakland won their first division title since 1990, and advanced to the AFC Championship, where they lost 16–3 to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
The Raiders acquired all-time leading receiver Jerry Rice prior to the 2001 season. They started 10–3 but lost their last three games and finished with a 10–6 record in the wild card playoff spot and won a second-straight AFC West title. They defeated the New York Jets 38–24 in the wild card round but lost their divisional-round playoff game to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, in a controversial game that became known as the "Tuck Rule Game". The game was played in a heavy snowstorm, and late in the fourth quarter Raiders star cornerback Charles Woodson blitzed Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, causing an apparent fumble which was recovered by Raiders linebacker Greg Biekert. The recovery would assuredly have led to a Raiders victory, as the Raiders would have a first down with 1:43 remaining and the Patriots had no more time outs); however, the play was reviewed and determined to be an incomplete pass (it was ruled that Brady had pump-faked and then "tucked" the ball into his body, which, by rule, cannot result in a fumble—though this explanation was not given on the field, but after the NFL season had ended). The Patriots retained possession and drove for a game-tying field goal. The game went into overtime and the Patriots won 16–13.
Bill Callahan era (2002–2003)
Shortly after the season, the Raiders made a move that involved releasing Gruden from his contract and allowing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to sign him. In return, the Raiders received cash and future draft picks from the Buccaneers. The sudden move came after months of speculation in the media that Davis and Gruden had fallen out with each other both personally and professionally. Bill Callahan, who served as the team's offensive coordinator and offensive line coach during Gruden's tenure, was named head coach.
Under Callahan, the Raiders finished the 2002 season 11–5, won their third-straight division title, and clinched the top seed in the playoffs. Rich Gannon was named MVP of the NFL after passing for a league-high 4,689 yards. After beating the Jets and Titans by large margins in the playoffs, the Raiders made their fifth Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl XXXVII. Their opponent was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coached by Gruden. The Raiders, who had not made significant changes to Gruden's offensive schemes, were intercepted five times by the Buccaneers en route to a 48–21 blowout. Some Tampa Bay players claimed that Gruden had given them so much information on Oakland's offense, they knew exactly what plays were being called.
Callahan's second season as head coach was considerably less successful. Oakland finished 4–12, their worst showing since 1997. After a late-season loss to the Denver Broncos, a visibly frustrated Callahan exclaimed, "We've got to be the dumbest team in America in terms of playing the game." At the end of the 2003 regular season Callahan was fired and replaced by former Washington Redskins head coach Norv Turner.
Coaching carousel (2004–present)
Norv Turner (2004–2005)
The team's fortunes did not improve in Turner's first year. Oakland finished the 2004 season 5–11, with only one divisional win (a one-point victory over the Broncos in Denver). During a Week 3 victory against the Buccaneers, Rich Gannon suffered a neck injury that ended his season and eventually his career. He never returned to the team and retired before the 2005 season. Kerry Collins, who led the New York Giants to an appearance in Super Bowl XXXV and signed with Oakland after the 2003 season, became the team's starting quarterback.
In an effort to bolster their offense, in early 2005 the Raiders acquired Pro Bowl wide receiver Randy Moss via trade with the Minnesota Vikings, and signed free agent running back Lamont Jordan of the New York Jets. After a 4–12 season and a second consecutive last place finish, Turner was fired as head coach.
Art Shell returns (2006)
On February 11, 2006 the team announced the return of Art Shell as head coach. In announcing the move, Al Davis said that firing Shell in 1995 had been a mistake. Under Shell, the Raiders lost their first five games in 2006 en route to a 2–14 record, the team's worst since 1962. Oakland's offense struggled greatly, scoring just 168 points (fewest in franchise history) and allowing a league-high 72 sacks. Wide receiver Jerry Porter was benched by Shell for most of the season in what many viewed as a personal, rather than football-related, decision. Shell was fired again at the end of the season. The Raiders also earned the right to the first overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft for the first time since 1962, by virtue of having the league's worst record.
Lane Kiffin (2007–2008)
On January 22, the team announced the hiring of 31-year-old USC offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, the youngest coach in franchise history and the youngest coach in the NFL. In the 2007 NFL Draft, the Raiders selected LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell with the #1 overall pick, despite a strong objection from Kiffin. Russell, arguably the biggest bust in NFL history, held out until September 12 and did not make his first career start until week 17. Kiffin coached the Raiders to a 4–12 record in the 2007 season. After a 1–3 start to 2008 and months of speculation and rumors, Davis fired Kiffin on September 30, 2008.
Tom Cable (2008–2010)
Tom Cable was named as his interim replacement, and officially signed as the 17th head coach of the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday, February 3, 2009. The team's finish to the 2008 season would turn out to match their best since they lost the Super Bowl in the 2002 season. However, they still finished 5–11 and ended up third in the AFC West, the first time they did not finish last since 2002. They would produce an identical record in 2009; however, the season was somewhat ameliorated by the fact that four of the Raiders' five wins were against opponents with above .500 records. In 2010, the Raiders became the first team in NFL history to go undefeated against their division yet miss the playoffs (6–0 in the AFC West, 8–8 overall, 3 games behind the Jets for the second Wild Card entry). On January 4, 2011, owner Al Davis informed head coach Tom Cable that his contract would not be renewed, ending his tenure with the organization. Many Raider players, such as punter Shane Lechler, were upset with the decision.
Hue Jackson (2011)
On January 17, 2011, it was announced that offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was going to be the next Raiders head coach. A press conference was held on January 18, 2011, to formally introduce Jackson as the next Raiders head coach, the fifth in just seven years. Following Davis' death during the 2011 season, new owners Carol and Mark Davis decided to take the franchise in a drastically different direction by hiring a general manager. On New Year's Day of 2012, the Raiders played the San Diego Chargers, hoping to go to the playoffs for the first time since 2002, the game ended with a 38–26 loss. Their season ended with another disappointing 8–8 record.
Dennis Allen (2012–2014)
On January 6, 2012, the Raiders named Green Bay Packers director of football operations Reggie McKenzie as the team's first General Manager since Al Davis. Given full autonomy over personnel decisions by the Davis family, McKenzie, in his first day on the job, fired head coach Hue Jackson after only one season on January 10, seeking to hire his own head coach instead. In the process, the Raiders lost their sixth head coach in the past ten seasons, none of whom lasted more than two seasons. Two weeks later, McKenzie hired Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen as head coach. Most of the coaching staff has been replaced by new position and strength and conditioning coaches.
The Raiders began 2012 by running a nose tackle when they run a 4-3 defense. They lost their home opener on Monday Night Football against San Diego 22–14. The Raiders finished the season with a 4–12 record.
In the 2013 offseason, the Raiders began making major roster moves. These included the signing of linebackers Kevin Burnett, Nick Roach, and Kaluka Maiava, defensive tackles Pat Sims and Vance Walker, cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins, defensive end Jason Hunter, and safety Usama Young and the release of wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, safety Michael Huff, linebacker Rolando McClain and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly. Starting quarterback Carson Palmer was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick and a conditional seventh-round draft pick. Shortly before, they had traded a fifth-round pick and an undisclosed conditional pick in exchange for Matt Flynn. In addition to signing Matt Flynn, the Raiders also welcomed back Charles Woodson, signing him to a 1-year deal in mid-May. The Oakland Raiders finished the 2013 season with a record of 4–12.
In the 2014 Draft, the Raiders selected linebacker Khalil Mack in the first round and quarterback Derek Carr in the second round hoping each would anchor their side of the ball. Carr was given control early as he was chosen as the starter for the opener of the 2014 season. After an 0–4 start to the 2014 season, and an 8–28 overall record as head coach, Allen was fired. Offensive line coach Tony Sparano was named interim head coach on September 30. The Oakland Raiders finished the 2014 season with a record of 3–13. Carr started all 16 games for the Raiders, the first Raider since 2002 to do so. First round pick Mack finished third in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.
Jack Del Rio (2015–present)
On January 14, 2015, Jack Del Rio was hired to become the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing the fired Dennis Allen (who coincidentally had preceded him as the Broncos defensive coordinator) and interim head coach Tony Sparano.
The Raiders showed great improvement in Del Rio's first season, improving upon their 3 win 2014 season, going 7–9 in the 2015 season. Rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper fulfilled almost all expectations and Derek Carr continued his improvement at quarterback. Cooper, Mack, Murray and Carr were selected to participate in the Pro Bowl.
The Oakland Raiders finished the 1967 season with a 13–1–0 record and won the 1967 AFL Championship.
|American Football League Championships|
|1967||John Rauch||Oakland, California||Houston Oilers||40–7||VIII|
Super Bowl championships
The Raiders have won a total of 3 Super Bowls. They won their first Super Bowl under John Madden.
|Super Bowl Championships|
|1976||John Madden||Pasadena, California||Minnesota Vikings||32–14||XI|
|1980||Tom Flores||New Orleans||Philadelphia Eagles||27–10||XV|
|1983||Tom Flores||Tampa, Florida||Washington Redskins||38–9||XVIII|
Logos and uniforms
When the team was founded in 1960, a "name the team" contest was held by the Oakland Tribune. The winning name was the Oakland Señors. After a few days of being the butt of local jokes (and accusations that the contest was fixed, as Chet Soda was fairly well known within the Oakland business community for calling his acquaintances "señor"), the fledgling team (and its owners) changed the team's name nine days later to the Oakland Raiders, which had finished third in the naming contest. The original team colors were black, gold and white. The now–familiar team emblem of a pirate (or "raider") wearing a football helmet was created, reportedly a rendition of actor Randolph Scott.
The original Raiders uniforms were black and gold, while the helmets were black with a white stripe and no logo. The team wore this design from 1960 to 1962. When Al Davis became head coach and general manager in 1963, he changed the team's color scheme to silver and black, and added a logo to the helmet. This logo is a shield that consists of the word "RAIDERS" at the top, two crossed cutlasses with handles up and cutting edge down, and superimposed head of a Raider wearing a football helmet and a black eye patch covering his right eye. Over the years, it has undergone minor color modifications (such as changing the background from silver to black in 1964), but it has essentially remained the same.
The Raiders' current silver and black uniform design has essentially remained the same since it debuted in 1963. It consists of silver helmets, silver pants, and either black or white jerseys. The black jerseys have silver lettering names and numbers, while the white jerseys have black lettering names and numbers with silver outlining the numbers only. Originally, the white jerseys had black letters for the names and silver numbers with a thick black outline, but they were changed to black with a silver outline for the 1964 season. In 1970, the team used silver numerals with black outline and black lettering names for the season. However, in 1971 the team again displayed black numerals and have stayed that way ever since (with the exception of the 1994 season as part of the NFL's 75th Anniversary where they donned the 1963 helmets with the 1970 silver away numbers and black lettering names).
The Raiders wore their white jerseys at home for the first time in their history on September 28, 2008 against the San Diego Chargers. The decision was made by Lane Kiffin, who was coaching his final game for the Raiders, and was purportedly due to intense heat. The high temperature in Oakland that day was 78°.
After splitting the first home season between Kezar Stadium and Candlestick, the Raiders moved exclusively to Candlestick Park in 1961, where total attendance for the season was about 50,000, and finished 2–12. Valley threatened to move the Raiders out of the area unless a stadium was built in Oakland, so in 1962 the Raiders moved into 18,000–seat Frank Youell Field (later expanded to 22,000 seats), their first home in Oakland. It was a temporary home for the team while the 53,000 seat Oakland Alameda Coliseum was under construction; the Coliseum was completed in 1966. The Raiders have shared the Coliseum with the Oakland Athletics since the A's moved to Oakland from Kansas City in 1968, except for the years the Raiders called Los Angeles home (1982–94). The Raiders have defeated and lost to all 31 other NFL teams at the Coliseum at least once.
The Raiders did play one regular season game at California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California. On September 23, 1973 they played the Miami Dolphins in Berkeley due to a scheduling conflict with the Athletics. The team defeated the Dolphins 12–7, ending Miami's winning streak.
During the Los Angeles years, the Raiders played in the 93,000-seat Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
New stadium proposals
The Raiders have been linked to a number of new stadium projects, due to the age of Oakland Alameda Coliseum, being secondary tenants to Major League Baseball's Athletics, and the expiration of the team's lease at the end of 2016.
Santa Clara, California
There had been ongoing discussions for the Raiders to share Levi's Stadium with the San Francisco 49ers. However, the 49ers went ahead without the Raiders and broke ground on the new $1.2 billion stadium on April 19, 2012 and have since sold $670 million worth of seats including 70% of club and luxury suites, making it unlikely that the Raiders would continue to explore the idea of sharing the stadium as they would now be secondary tenants with little to no commercial rights over the highly lucrative luxury suites. Raiders' owner Mark Davis further increased the unlikelihood of the Raiders and the 49ers sharing Levi's stadium when he told NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport that he has no plans to share the stadium but that he did recognize the Raiders' need for a new home and that he hoped the new home would be in Oakland.
If the Raiders move to Santa Clara, this would mark the second time the Raiders and 49ers use the same venue. Before the Coliseum was built, the Raiders shared Kezar Stadium with the 49ers in San Francisco in 1960.
Los Angeles, California
On February 19, 2015, the Raiders and the Chargers announced that they would build a privately financed $1.78 billion stadium in Carson, California if they were to move to the Los Angeles market. Both teams stated that they would continue to attempt to get stadiums built in their respective cities. The Carson City Council would bypass the public vote and approved the plan 3–0. The council voted without having clarified several issues, including who would finance the stadium, how the required three-way land swap would be performed, and how it would raise enough revenue if only one team moved in as tenant. On January 12, the NFL rejected the Raiders' relocation request. However, the NFL left open the possibility of the Raiders relocating to Los Angeles by 2019, playing in a new stadium under construction in Inglewood, California to house the Los Angeles Rams. The San Diego Chargers would have the first option to join the Rams at the new stadium, but the Raiders would be authorized to negotiate an agreement if the Chargers do not exercise their option by January 2017.
On March 21, 2016, Mark Davis said, "I know the site very much" and "I love this site very much, and I think it's a great opportunity" when he was asked about the Rams new stadium in Inglewood.
New stadium in Oakland
On March 7, 2012, then-mayor Jean Quan unveiled an ambitious project to the media that was designed to improve the sports facilities of all three major league sports teams in the city (the Raiders, Major League Baseball (MLB)'s Athletics and the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s Golden State Warriors), as well as attract new businesses to the city. The project, dubbed Coliseum City, had entailed the redevelopment of the existing Oakland Alameda Coliseum complex. The redevelopment would have seen the construction of two new stadiums on the present location, a baseball-only stadium and a football-only stadium, while Oracle Arena, home of the Warriors, will be either rebuilt or undergo extensive renovations. A sum of $3.5 million was committed to preliminary planning on the project. However, no officials from either of Oakland's major league teams were present at the media conference.
According to the San Francisco Business Times, Oakland's assistant city administrator Fred Blackwell said the Bay Investment Group LLC, an entity being formed by ColonyCapital LLC, Rashid Al Malik (chairman and CEO of HayaH Holdings), and the city, have numerous details to continue working out for the prospective $2 billion Coliseum City project, which covers 800 acres surrounding the Oakland Alameda Coliseum Complex. The development team also includes JRDV Urban International, HKS Architects, and Forest City Real Estate Services. In an ideal situation, construction could start by the end of 2014. Meanwhile, as of 2014, the Warriors are going forward with plans to build a new arena at Mission Bay, not far from AT&T Park, and move back across the Bay Area from Oakland to San Francisco as soon as 2019. On May 23, 2016, It was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle and other media outlets that a group led by NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and retired quarterback Rodney Peete are looking into building a new stadium for the Raiders. The group has met with team executives and Oakland city officials to brief them on their proposal. They have also met with mayor Libby Schaaf. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to begin negotiations with Lott's group and with the city of Oakland regarding the "price and terms of sale" for the 120-acre land of the Oakland Coliseum and Oracle Arena. On November 22, 2016, a framework deal to keep the Raiders in Oakland was announced.
San Antonio, Texas
On July 29, 2014, it was reported by the San Antonio Express-News that Mark Davis met with officials from the city of San Antonio to discuss the possibility of relocating the Raiders to San Antonio after the 2014–15 NFL season. Davis confirmed that he did speak with San Antonio city officials while visiting San Antonio to honor former Raiders wide receiver Cliff Branch's induction into a local Hall of Fame, but did not comment on whether he was considering relocation to San Antonio. San Antonio is home to the 65,000-seat stadium known as the Alamodome, where the Raiders would play until a new stadium could be built.
The abandoned Concord Naval Weapons Station, 26.6 miles from Oakland, was announced in 2013 as a possible location for a new stadium.
Las Vegas, Nevada
On January 29, 2016, team owner, Mark Davis, met with Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson about possibly relocating to a $2.3 billion, 65,000 capacity domed stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. During Davis' meeting with Adelson, he also visited the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), which included a contingent consisting of the university's president Len Jessup, former university president Donald Snyder, Steve Wynn, and former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) owner Lorenzo Fertitta. The stadium is being proposed to replace Sam Boyd Stadium and would serve as the home of both the Raiders and the UNLV Rebels college football program. A relocation to Las Vegas would be a long-term proposal, as Sam Boyd Stadium is undersized for the NFL and there are no other professional-caliber stadiums in Nevada. Raiders officials were also in Las Vegas to tour locations in the valley for a potential new home; they were also on the 42-acre site of the proposed stadium to ask questions about the site Davis also was on an interview with Tim Kawakami and said that he had a "great" visit in the city he described it as "Interesting." Davis also said about Las Vegas that "it's absolutely an NFL city," and "It's an international city", adding, "it's a global city," as well as saying that "the Raider brand would do well" and "I think Las Vegas is coming along slowly".
On March 21, 2016, when asked about Las Vegas, Davis said, "I think the Raiders like the Las Vegas plan," and "it's a very very very intriguing and exciting plan", referring to the stadium plan in Las Vegas. Davis also met with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval about the stadium plan. On April 1, 2016, Davis toured Sam Boyd Stadium to evaluate whether UNLV could serve as a temporary home of the team and was with UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez, athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy, adviser Don Snyder and school president Len Jessup to further explore the possibility of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas.
On April 28, 2016, Davis said he wanted to move the Raiders to Las Vegas and pledged $500 million toward the construction of a proposed $2.4 billion domed stadium. "Together we can turn the Silver State into the silver and black state," Davis said.
At a media conference in UNLV's Stan Fulton Building, Davis also said the club had "made a commitment to Las Vegas at this point in time and that's where it stands." In an interview with ESPN after returning from a meeting for the 2016 NFL draft he expanded upon reasons why Southern Nevada held a certain appeal over the East Bay of the Oakland–San Francisco Bay Area, how he tried to make it work in Oakland and why (as he told Sandoval) he hopes to turn Nevada into the "Silver and Black State"; he also spoke of the meeting saying, "It was a positive, well-organized presentation that I believe was well-received", and stating, "It was a very positive step in finding the Raiders a home."
On May 20, 2016, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he would support Davis and the Raiders move to Las Vegas, stating, "I think it would be good for the NFL." If the Raiders were to move to Las Vegas the only competition they would have is the Vegas Golden Knights. On August 11, 2016, Raiders officials met with Northern Nevada officials about the possibility of Reno being the site of a new training camp/practice facility and toured several sites including the University of Nevada, Reno, Reno area high schools, and sports complexes. On August 25, 2016, the Raiders filed a trademark application for "Las Vegas Raiders" on the same day renderings of a new stadium (located west of Interstate 15 at Las Vegas) were released to the public.
On October 11, 2016, the Nevada Senate voted 16–5 to approve the funding bill for the Las Vegas stadium proposal. The Nevada Assembly voted 28–13 three days later to approve the bill to fund the new Las Vegas stadium proposal; two days later, Sandoval signed the funding bill into law.
Davis told ESPN on October 15, 2016 that even if the Raiders are approved by the league to relocate to the Las Vegas metropolitan area, the club would play the next two seasons at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum in 2017 and 2018, stating "We want to bring a Super Bowl championship back to the Bay Area." The team would then play at a temporary facility in 2019 after its lease at the Coliseum expires.
On October 17, 2016, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law Senate Bill 1 and Assembly Bill 1 which approved a hotel room rate tax increase to accommodate $750 million in public funding for the new stadium.
On November 12, 2016, a report from the NFL's own in-house media team outlined how Las Vegas might not be a done deal. The report stated that the majority of owners favor the Raiders staying in Oakland due to market size and stability. The vast majority of the NFL's revenue comes from TV contracts. So because of that, it made little sense for the other 31 NFL owners to vote in favor of one of their partners abandoning the 6th biggest media market for the 42nd. It remains to be seen if the leverage created in Las Vegas will result in a stadium deal in Oakland or if a no-move vote from the other owners will simply start the stadium search process over again.
Al Davis coined slogans such as "Pride and Poise", "Commitment to Excellence", and "Just Win, Baby"—all of which are registered trademarks of the team. "Commitment to Excellence" comes from a quote of Vince Lombardi, "The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor."
The nickname Raider Nation refers to the die hard fans of the team spread throughout the United States and the world. Members of the Raider Nation who attend home games are known for arriving to the stadium early, tailgating, and dressing up in face masks and black outfits. The Raider Nation is also known for the Black Hole, a specific area of the Coliseum (sections 104–107) frequented by the team's rowdiest and most fervent fans.
Al Davis created the phrase Raider Nation in 1968. In September 2009, Ice Cube recorded a song for the Raiders named "Raider Nation". In 2010, he took part in a documentary for ESPN's 30 for 30 series titled Straight Outta L.A.. It mainly focuses on N.W.A and the effect of the Raiders' image on their persona.
The Oakland Raiderettes are the cheerleading squad for the Oakland Raiders. They were established in 1961 as the Oakland Raiderettes. During the team's time in Los Angeles they were the Los Angeles Raiderettes. They have been billed as "Football's Fabulous Females".
Radio and television
Raiders' Radio Network
Raider games are broadcast in English on 16 radio stations in California, including flagship station KGMZ 95.7 (FM) "The Game" in San Francisco. Additionally, games are broadcast on 20 radio stations in Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Idaho, Hawaii, Virginia, Texas, Arkansas, Nebraska and Georgia. Greg Papa is the play-by-play announcer, with former Raider coach and quarterback Tom Flores doing commentary. George Atkinson and Jim Plunkett offer pre- and post-game commentary. Compass Media Networks is responsible for producing and distributing Raiders radio broadcasts.
Bill King was the voice of the Raiders from 1966 to 1992, during which time he called approximately 600 games. The Raiders awarded him rings for all three of their Super Bowl victories. It is King's radio audio heard on most of the NFL Films highlight footage of the Raiders. King's call of the Holy Roller has been labeled (by Chris Berman, among others) as one of the five best in NFL history. King died in October 2005 from complications after surgery. Former San Francisco 49ers tight end Monty Stickles and Scotty Stirling, an Oakland Tribune sportswriter, served as "color men" with King. The Raider games were called on radio from 1960 to 1962 by Bud (Wilson Keene) Foster and Mel Venter, and from 1963 to 1965 by Bob Blum and Dan Galvin.
Raiders' games are broadcast locally on CBS affiliate KPIX (when playing an AFC opponent) and on Fox affiliate KTVU (when hosting an NFC opponent), unless the game is blacked out locally. Sunday night and a few Thursday night games are on NBC affiliate KNTV.
The Raiders are a beneficiary of league scheduling policies. Both the Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers share the San Francisco Bay Area market, and said market is on the West Coast of the United States. This means that the Raiders cannot play home games or most division games in the early 10:00 a.m. Pacific time slot, nor can they play interconference home games at the same time or network as the 49ers. As a result, both teams generally have more limited scheduling options, and also benefit by receiving more prime time games than usual.
The Oakland Raiders have four primary rivals: their divisional rivals (Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, and San Diego Chargers) and their geographic rival, the San Francisco 49ers. They also have rivalries with other teams that arose from playoff battles in the past, most notably with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots. The Seattle Seahawks have an old rivalry with Oakland as well, but the rivalry became less relevant when the Seahawks moved to the NFC West as part of the NFL's 2002 realignment.
The Broncos and Raiders have been divisional rivals since the two teams began play in the AFL in 1960. The Raiders had a 14-game winning streak against the Broncos from 1965 to 1971, lasted until October 22, 1972 when the Broncos defeated the Raiders 30–23. While the Raiders still hold the advantage in the all-time series 60–49–2, the Broncos amassed 21 wins in 28 games, from the 1995 season and the arrival of Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan, through the 2008 season. Shanahan coached the Raiders before being fired just four games into the 1989 season, which has only served to intensify this rivalry. On Sunday, October 24, 2010, the Raiders beat the Broncos (59–14), giving the Raiders the most points scored in a game in the team's history. On December 13, 2015, The Raiders pulled a huge upset on the Broncos (15–12) by a spectacular performance from their defense allowing 4 field goals. Linebacker Khalil Mack who recorded 5 sacks In that game against Denver which is tied the most sacks in franchise along with Howie Long. The Broncos' first ever Super Bowl appearance (in the 1977 season) was made possible by defeating Oakland in the AFC Championship. Final Score was 20–17.
The Chiefs and Raiders have had several memorable matches and have a bitter divisional rivalry. Oakland lost the 1969 AFL Championship against Kansas City, who went on to beat the Minnesota Vikings and win the Super Bowl. From 1990 to 1999, the Raiders have lost 17 out of 20 regular season meetings between the Chiefs, including a 10–game losing streak at Kansas City; the Raiders also lost to the Chiefs on December 28, 1991 Wild Card Playoffs; final score was 10–6. On September 8, 1996, the Chiefs also began to lead the overall series against the Raiders for the first time since November 23, 1969. On January 1, 2000, the last game of the 1999 NFL regular season, the Raiders defeated the Chiefs for the 1st time in Kansas City since 1988 in overtime on a 33–yard field goal kick made by Joe Nedney. Kansas City leads the overall series 52–58–2.
The San Diego Chargers' rivalry with Oakland dates to the 1963 season, when the Raiders defeated the heavily favored Chargers twice, both come-from-behind fourth quarter victories. The Raiders have had a temporary fantastic winning streak without losing to the Chargers of a 16–0–2 record from 1968 to 1977. One of the most memorable games between these teams was the "Holy Roller" game in 1978, in which the Raiders fumbled for a touchdown in a very controversial play. In January 1981, the Chargers hosted their first AFC title against the Raiders. The Raiders were victorious over the Chargers of a score 34–27. The Raiders ended up moving on to play in Super Bowl 15 defeating the Eagles 27–10. On November 22, 1982, the Raiders hosted their first Monday Night football game in Los Angeles against the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers led the game in the 1st half 24–0 until the Raiders came into the 2nd half and made a huge comeback and defeated the San Diego Chargers 28–24. On October 10, 2010, The Raiders ended their 13-game losing streak to the San Diego Chargers with a score of 35–27. The Raiders hold the overall series advantage at 59–50–2.
Battle of the Bay rivalry
The San Francisco 49ers, located on the other side of San Francisco Bay, are the Raiders' geographic rivals. The first exhibition game played in 1967, ended with the NFL 49ers defeating the AFL Raiders 13–10. After the 1970 merger, the 49ers won in Oakland 38–7. As a result, games between the two are referred to as the "Battle of the Bay." Since the two teams play in different conferences, regular-season matchups happen at least every four years. Fans and players of the winning team can claim "bragging rights" as the better team in the area.
On August 20, 2011, in the third week of the preseason, the preseason game between the rivals was marked by fights in restrooms and stands at Candlestick Park, including a shooting outside the stadium in which several were injured. The NFL has decided to cancel all future preseason games between the Raiders and 49ers.
The Raiders currently lead the all-time regular season series with 7 wins to the 49ers' 6. Oakland won the latest matchup at home 24–13, on December 7 in Week 14 of the 2014 regular season.
Unless the two teams meet in the Super Bowl, or the NFL scheduling formula is reconfigured, the next matchup will be in 2018.
The rivalry between the Raiders and New England Patriots dates to their time in the AFL, but was intensified during a 1978 preseason game, when Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley was permanently paralyzed after a vicious hit delivered by Raiders free safety Jack Tatum. Before that, New England also lost a playoff game in 1976 to the Raiders; the game is unofficially known as "The Ben Dreith Game" due to a controversial penalty by head referee Dreith. The two teams met in a divisional-round playoff game in 2002, which became known as the "Tuck Rule Game". Late in the game, an incomplete pass, ruled a fumble, by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was overturned, and New England went on to win in overtime and eventually won the Super Bowl against the heavily favored St. Louis Rams, the Raiders' former crosstown rivals in Los Angeles. Since that game, the Patriots have won four of the last five regular season contests between the two teams. The first contest being the following year during the 2002 season in Oakland, with the Raiders winning 27–20; they met in the 2005 season opener in New England with the Patriots ruining Randy Moss' debut as a Raider 30–20; the Patriots defeated the Raiders 49–26 in December 2008 in Bill Belichick's 100th regular season win as Patriots coach; a Patriots 31–19 win during the 2011 season; and the most recent being a scrappy 16–9 Patriots win in the third week of the 2014 season.
The New York Jets began a strong rivalry with the Raiders in the AFL during the 1960s that continued through much of the 1970s, fueled in part by Raider Ike Lassiter breaking star quarterback Joe Namath's jaw during a 1967 game (though Ben Davidson wrongly got blamed), the famous Heidi Game during the 1968 season, and the Raiders' bitter loss to the Jets in the AFL Championship later that season. The rivalry waned in later years, but saw a minor resurgence in the 2000–02 period. The Jets edged the Raiders in the final week of the 2001 season 24–22 on a last-second John Hall field goal; the Raiders hosted the Jets in the Wild Card round the following Saturday and won 38–24. In the 2002 season the Raiders defeated the Jets 26–20 in December, then defeated them again in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, 30–10. The Raiders lost the 37–27 on December 8, 2013, but won the most recent matchup 20–34 on November 1, 2015.
Rivalries that have waned in recent years have been with the Miami Dolphins and Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans. The Raiders faced the Dolphins twice in the early 1970s; the Dolphins defeated the Raiders in the 1973 AFC Championship Game 27–10 on their way to Super Bowl VIII. The next year in the divisional playoffs the Raiders trailed Miami 26–21; in the final minute the Raiders drove to the Miami eight yard line; a desperation pass by Ken Stabler was caught in traffic by Clarence Davis in the play known as the "Sea Of Hands."
The Pittsburgh Steelers' rivalry with the Raiders has historically been very tight; as of the 2015 season the Raiders lead the rivalry 12 wins to 11, and their playoff rivalry is tied 3–3. The rivalry was extremely intense during the 1970s. The Steelers knocked the Raiders out of the playoffs in three of four consecutive seasons in the early 1970s (the first loss was the "Immaculate Reception" game) until the Raiders finally beat the Steelers in the 1976 AFC Championship (and went on to win Super Bowl XI). During the 1975 AFC Championship game, Raiders strong safety George Atkinson delivered a hit on Pittsburgh wide receiver Lynn Swann that gave him a concussion. When the two teams met in the 1976 season opener, Atkinson hit Swann again and gave him another concussion. After the second incident, Steelers head coach Chuck Noll referred to Atkinson as part of the "criminal element" in the NFL. Atkinson filed a $2 million defamation lawsuit against Noll and the Steelers, which he lost. The two clubs' three most recent contests harkened back to the rivalry's history of bitterness and close competition. On December 6, 2009 the 3–8 Raiders helped spoil the defending champions' quest for the playoffs as the game lead changed five times in the fourth quarter and a Louis Murphy touchdown with 11 seconds to go won it 27–24 for the Raiders. Oakland was then beaten 35–3 by Pittsburgh on November 21, 2010; this game brought out the roughness of the rivalry's 1970s history when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was punched by Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour following a touchdown. Most recently, on November 8, 2015 the Steelers outplayed the Raiders for a 38-35 victory. During the game the Raiders defense allowed wide receiver Antonio Brown to catch 17 passes for 284 yards. Both are Steelers team records and the 284 yards is the 7th most yards receiving in a game in NFL history.
The Raiders faced the Houston Oilers throughout the AFL era and twice in AFL playoffs in the late 1960s, winning 40–7 in 1967 on their way to Super Bowl II and 56–7 in the 1969 divisional playoffs. Oakland defeated the Oilers in the 1980 Wild Card playoffs 27–7 and defeated the Titans in the 2002 AFC Championship Game 41–24; the combined scores of these four games is 164–45.
Historic battle for Los Angeles rivalry
As mentioned earlier, the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Rams had a rivalry during the 13 years both teams shared the Los Angeles market. The teams met six times in the regular season in this period; Raiders won the 1st meeting 37–31 when both teams met in this period in December 18, 1982, with the Raiders winning four times during the battle of Los Angeles.
Raiders vs. opponents
- Regular season record (all-time): 444–397–11 (.528) as of week 17 of the 2015 NFL season.
- Playoff record (all-time): 25–18 (last appearance after 2002 season)
- The Kansas City Chiefs were known as the Dallas Texans.
- The New York Jets were known as the New York Titans.
- The Tennessee Titans were known as the Houston Oilers.
|Raiders vs. NFL|
|Opponent||First meeting||Regular season||Playoffs|
|Green Bay Packers||1968||5||7||0||.417||0||1||.000|
|Kansas City Chiefs||1960||51||58||2||.468||1||2||.333|
|Los Angeles Rams||1972||8||5||0||.615||0||0||--|
|New England Patriots||1960||14||16||1||.468||1||2||.333|
|New Orleans Saints||1971||5||6||1||.458||0||0||--|
|New York Giants||1973||7||5||0||.583||0||0||--|
|New York Jets||1960||22||17||2||.561||2||2||.500|
|San Diego Chargers||1960||60||50||2||.545||1||0||1.000|
|San Francisco 49ers||1970||7||6||0||.538||0||0||--|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1976||6||2||0||.750||0||1||.000|
Ownership, administration and financial operations
Founding of the franchise
Max Winter, a Minneapolis businessman was among the eight proposed franchise owners in the American Football League. In a move typical of the NFL owners who were frightened by the prospect of competition and continually obstructed the new league, they offered Winter an expansion franchise in the NFL. This was AFTER the NFL had rejected Lamar Hunt's feelers, saying they were not interested in expansion. One of many obfuscations put forward by the NFL in its attempt to derail the AFL.
After the AFL's first draft, in which players were selected for the THEN-NAMELESS Minneapolis franchise, Winter reneged from his agreement with the AFL owners and defected to the NFL with a franchise that started play in 1961 and was named the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings were never an AFL team, nor did they have any association with the AFL. Many of the players (including Abner Haynes) that had been assigned to the UNNAMED and defunct Minneapolis AFL franchise were signed by some of the seven loyal remaining members of the AFL's 'Foolish Club'.
The city of Oakland was awarded the eighth AFL franchise on January 30, 1960. Once the consortium of owners was found for the eighth franchise, the team was named the Raiders. Because many of the defunct Minneapolis franchise's originally drafted players were signed by other AFL teams, the AFL held an 'allocation' draft, in which each team earmarked players that could be chosen by the Raiders.
The Minneapolis group did not take with them any of the rights to players they drafted when they defected to the NFL, because their first draft in that league was in 1961. The Raiders were not originally in Minnesota as some claim. They were a new, charter franchise in the American Football League. One reason they were so weak in the first few years of the AFL was that the other AFL teams did not make quality players available in the allocation draft.
At the time, Oakland seemed an unlikely venue for a professional football team. The city had not asked for a team, there was no ownership group and there was no stadium in Oakland suitable for pro football (the closest stadiums were in Berkeley and San Francisco) and there was already a successful NFL franchise in the Bay Area in the San Francisco 49ers. However, the AFL owners selected Oakland after Los Angeles Chargers owner Barron Hilton threatened to forfeit his franchise unless a second team was placed on the West Coast.
Upon receiving the franchise, Oakland civic leaders found a number of businesspeople willing to invest in the new team. A limited partnership was formed to own the team headed by managing general partner Y. Charles (Chet) Soda (1908–89), a local real estate developer, and included general partners Ed McGah (1899–1983), Robert Osborne (1898–1968), F. Wayne Valley (1914–86), restaurateur Harvey Binns (1914–82), Don Blessing (1904–2000), and contractor Charles Harney (1902–62) as well as numerous limited partners.
The Raiders finished their first campaign with a 6–8 record, and lost $500,000. Desperately in need of money to continue running the team, Valley received a $400,000 loan from Buffalo Bills founder Ralph C. Wilson Jr.
After the conclusion of the first season Soda dropped out of the partnership, and on January 17, 1961, Valley, McGah and Osborne bought out the remaining four general partners. Soon after, Valley and McGah purchased Osborne's interest, with Valley named as the managing general partner.
In 1962, Valley hired Al Davis, a former assistant coach for the San Diego Chargers, as head coach and general manager. In April 1966, Davis left the Raiders after being named AFL Commissioner. Two months later, the league announced its merger with the NFL. With the merger, the position of commissioner was no longer needed, and Davis entered into discussions with Valley about returning to the Raiders. On July 25, 1966, Davis returned as part owner of the team. He purchased a 10% interest in the team for US $18,000, and became the team's third general partner — the partner in charge of football operations.
In 1972, with Wayne Valley out of the country for several weeks attending the Olympic Games in Munich, Davis's attorneys drafted a revised partnership agreement that gave him total control over all of the Raiders' operations. McGah, a supporter of Davis, signed the agreement. Under partnership law, by a 2–1 vote of the general partners, the new agreement was thus ratified. Valley was furious when he discovered this, and immediately filed suit to have the new agreement overturned, but the court sided with Davis and McGah.
Current ownership structure
Legally, the club is a limited partnership with nine partners — Davis' heirs and the heirs of the original eight team partners. From 1972 onward, Davis had exercised near-complete control as president of the team's general partner, A.D. Football, Inc. Although exact ownership stakes are not known, it has been reported that Davis owned 47% of the team shares before his death in 2011.
Ed McGah, the last of the original eight general partners of the Raiders, died in September 1983. Upon his death, his interest was devised to a family trust, of which his son, E.J. McGah, was the trustee. The younger McGah was himself a part-owner of the team, as a limited partner, and died in 2002. Several members of the McGah family filed suit against Davis in October 2003, alleging mismanagement of the team by Davis. The lawsuit sought monetary damages and to remove Davis and A. D. Football, Inc. as the team's managing general partner. Among their specific complaints, the McGahs alleged that Davis failed to provide them with detailed financial information previously provided to Ed and E.J. McGah. The Raiders countered that—under the terms of the partnership agreement as amended in 1972—upon the death of the elder McGah in 1983, his general partner interest converted to that of a limited partner. The team continued to provide the financial information to the younger McGah as a courtesy, though it was under no obligation to do so.
The majority of the lawsuit was dismissed in April 2004, when an Alameda County Superior Court judge ruled that the case lacked merit since none of the other partners took part in the lawsuit. In October 2005, the lawsuit was settled out of court. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but it was reported that under its terms Davis purchased the McGah family's interest in the Raiders (approximately 31%), which gave him for the first time a majority interest, speculated to be approximately 67% of the team. As a result of the settlement, confidential details concerning Al Davis and the ownership of the Raiders were not released to the public. His ownership share went down to 47% when he sold 20% of the team to Wall Street investors
In 2006, it was reported that Davis had been attempting to sell the 31% ownership stake in the team obtained from the McGah family. He was unsuccessful in this effort, reportedly because the sale would not give the purchaser any control of the Raiders, even in the event of Davis's death.
Al Davis died on October 8, 2011, at 82. According to a 1999 partnership agreement, Davis' interest passed to his wife, Carol. After Davis' death, Raiders chief executive Amy Trask said that the team "will remain in the Davis family." Al and Carol's son, Mark, inherited his father's old post as managing general partner and serves as the public face of the ownership.
According to a 2006 report released by Forbes Magazine, the Raiders' overall team value of US $736 million ranked 28th out of 32 NFL teams. The team ranked in the bottom three in league attendance from 2003 to 2005, and failed to sell out a majority of their home games. One of the reasons cited for the poor attendance figures was the decision to issue costly personal seat licenses (PSLs) upon the Raiders' return to Oakland in 1995. The PSLs, which ranged in cost from $250 to $4,000, were meant to help repay the $200 million it cost the city of Oakland and Alameda County to expand Overstock.com Coliseum. They were only valid for ten years, however, while other teams issue them permanently. As a result, fewer than 31,000 PSLs were sold for a stadium that holds twice that number. Since 1995, television blackouts of Raiders home games have been common.
In November 2005, the team announced that it was taking over ticket sales from the privately run Oakland Football Marketing Association (OFMA), and abolishing PSLs. In February 2006, the team also announced that it would lower ticket prices for most areas of Overstock.com Coliseum. Just prior to the start of the 2006 NFL season, the Raiders revealed that they had sold 37,000 season tickets, up from 29,000 the previous year. Despite the team's 2–14 record, they sold out six of their eight home games in 2006.
The Raiders and Al Davis have been involved in several lawsuits throughout their history, including ones against the NFL. When the NFL declined to approve the Raiders' move from Oakland to Los Angeles in 1980, the team joined the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission in a lawsuit against the league alleging a violation of antitrust laws. The Coliseum Commission received a settlement from the NFL of $19.6 million in 1987. In 1986, Davis testified on behalf of the United States Football League in their unsuccessful antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. He was the only NFL owner to do so.
After relocating back to Oakland, the team sued the NFL for interfering with their negotiations to build a new stadium at Hollywood Park prior to the move. The Raiders' lawsuit further contended that they had the rights to the Los Angeles market, and thus were entitled to compensation from the league for giving up those rights by moving to Oakland. A jury found in favor of the NFL in 2001, but the verdict was overturned a year later due to alleged juror misconduct. In February 2005, a California Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the original verdict.
When the Raiders moved back from Los Angeles in 1995, the city of Oakland and the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Authority agreed to sell Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs) to help pay for the renovations to their stadium. But after games rarely sold out, the Raiders filed suit, claiming that they were misled by the city and the Coliseum Authority with the false promise that there would be sellouts. On November 2, 2005, a settlement was announced, part of which was the abolishment of PSLs as of the 2006 season.
Trademark and trade dress dilution
In 1996, the team sued the NFL in Santa Clara County, California, in a lawsuit that ultimately included 22 separate causes of action. Included in the team's claims were claims that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' pirate logo diluted the team's California trademark in its own pirate logo and for trade dress dilution on the ground that the League had improperly permitted other teams (including the Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers) to adopt colors for their uniforms similar to those of the Raiders. Among other things, the lawsuit sought an injunction to prevent the Buccaneers and Panthers from wearing their uniforms while playing in California. In 2003, these claims were dismissed on summary judgment because the relief sought would violate the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.
In 2003, a number of current and former Oakland players such as Bill Romanowski, Tyrone Wheatley, Barrett Robbins, Chris Cooper and Dana Stubblefield were named as clients of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO). BALCO was an American company led by founder and owner Victor Conte. In 2003, journalists Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada investigated the company's role in a drug sports scandal later referred to as the BALCO Affair. BALCO marketed tetrahydrogestrinone ("the Clear"), a then-undetected, performance-enhancing steroid developed by chemist Patrick Arnold. Conte, BALCO vice president James Valente, weight trainer Greg Anderson and coach Remi Korchemny had supplied a number of high-profile sports stars from the United States and Europe with the Clear and human growth hormone for several years.
Headquartered in Burlingame, California, BALCO was founded in 1984. Officially, BALCO was a service business for blood and urine analysis and food supplements. In 1988, Victor Conte offered free blood and urine tests to a group of athletes known as the BALCO Olympians. He then was allowed to attend the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. From 1996 Conte worked with well-known American football star Bill Romanowski, who proved to be useful to establish new connections to athletes and coaches.
Players of note
Oakland Raiders roster
| Offensive linemen
| Reserve lists
Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders Pro Football Hall of Famers
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has inducted 14 players who made their primary contribution to professional football while with the Raiders, in addition to coach-owner-commissioner Al Davis, head coach John Madden and executive Ron Wolf. The Raiders' total is of 25 Hall of Famers.
- Hall of Famers who made the major part of their primary contribution for the Raiders are listed in bold.
- Hall of Famers who spent only a minor portion of their career with the Raiders are listed in normal font.
|Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders Hall of Famers|
|14, 25||Fred Biletnikoff||WR||1965–1978||1988|
|87||Dave Casper||TE||1974–1980, 1984||2002|
|--||John Madden||Head Coach||1969–1978||2006|
Player Personnel Director
The Raider organization does not retire the jersey numbers of former players on an official or unofficial basis. The number 00, worn by Jim Otto for his entire career except for his first season, is no longer allowed by the NFL. It was originally permitted for him only by the AFL as a marketing gimmick since his jersey number 00 is a homophone pun of his name (aught-O).
Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders individual awards
Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders career leaders
- Passing Yards: 19,078 Ken Stabler (1970–1979)
- Passing Touchdowns: 150 Ken Stabler (1970–1979)
- Rushing Yards: 8,545 Marcus Allen (1982–1992)
- Rushing Touchdowns: 79 Marcus Allen (1982–1992)
- Receptions: 1,070 Tim Brown (1988–2003)
- Receiving Yards: 14,734 Tim Brown (1988–2003)
- Receiving Touchdowns: 99 Tim Brown (1988–2003)
- Total Touchdowns: 104 Tim Brown (1988–2003)
- Points: 1,675 Sebastian Janikowski (2000–present)
- Field Goals Made: 385 Sebastian Janikowski (2000–present)
- Total Punt Yardage: 48,215 Shane Lechler (2000–2012)
- Punting Average: 47.5 Shane Lechler (2000–2012)
- Kickoff Return Yards: 4,841 Chris Carr (2005–2007)
- Punt Return Yards: 3,272 Tim Brown (1988–2003)
- Pass Interceptions: 39 Willie Brown (1967–1978), Lester Hayes (1977–1986)
- Sacks: 107.5 Greg Townsend (1983–1997)
- Winningest Coach: 103 John Madden (1969–1978)
Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders single-season leaders
- Passing Yards: 4,689 Rich Gannon (2002) – NFL MVP
- Passing Touchdowns: 34 Daryle Lamonica (1969)
- Rushing Yards: 1,759 Marcus Allen (1985) – NFL MVP / NFL Offensive Player of the Year
- Rushing Touchdowns: 16 Pete Banaszak (1975)
- Receptions: 104 Tim Brown (1997)
- Receiving Yards: 1,408 Tim Brown (1997)
- Receiving Touchdowns: 16 Art Powell (1963)
- Total Touchdowns: 18 Marcus Allen (1984)
- Points: 142 Sebastian Janikowski (2010)
- Field Goals Made: 35 Jeff Jaeger (1993)
- Total Punt Yardage: 4,930 Marquette King (2014)
- Punting Average: 51.1 Shane Lechler (2009)
- Kickoff Return Yards: 1,762 Chris Carr (2006)
- Punt Return Yards: 692 Fulton Walker (1985)
- Pass Interceptions: 13 Lester Hayes (1980) – NFL Defensive Player of the Year
- Sacks: 16.0 Derrick Burgess (2005)
Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders All-Pros
The following Raiders players have been named to the All-Pro:
- QB Daryle Lamonica, Rich Gannon (2), Ken Stabler (1)
- RB Marcus Allen, Clem Daniels (2)
- FB Hewritt Dixon, Marcel Reece (1)
- WR Cliff Branch (3), Fred Biletnikoff (2), Art Powell (1)
- TE Dave Casper (4), Todd Christensen (2), Billy Cannon (1)
- T Art Shell (2), Harry Schuh, Lincoln Kennedy (1)
- G Gene Upshaw (5), Steve Wisniewski (2)
- C Jim Otto (10), Barret Robbins (1)
- DE Howie Long (2), Ben Davidson, Khalil Mack (1)
- DT Tom Keating, Dan Birdwell, Bill Pickel, Chester McGlockton, Darrell Russell (1)
- LB Ted Hendricks (2), Rod Martin, Archie Matsos, Khalil Mack (1)
- CB Willie Brown (4), Dave Grayson (3), Fred Williamson, Kent McCloughan, Mike Haynes, Nnamdi Asomugha (2), Lester Hayes, Charles Woodson (1)
- S Tom Morrow, Ronnie Lott, Rod Woodson (1)
- K Jeff Jaeger (1)
- P Shane Lechler (6), Ray Guy (3), Jeff Gossett (1)
Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders Pro Bowlers
The following Raiders players have been named to the Pro Bowl:
- QB Daryle Lamonica, Ken Stabler, Rich Gannon (4), Cotton Davidson, Tom Flores, George Blanda, Jeff Hostetler, Derek Carr (1)
- RB Marcus Allen (5), Clem Daniels (4), Marv Hubbard (3), Kenny King, Greg Pruitt, Bo Jackson, Latavius Murray (1)
- FB Hewritt Dixon (4), Marcel Reece (4), Alan Miller (1)
- WR Tim Brown (9), Fred Biletnikoff (6), Art Powell, Cliff Branch (4), Warren Wells (2), Jerry Rice, Amari Cooper (1)
- TE Dave Casper, Todd Christensen (5), Raymond Chester (4), Billy Cannon, Ethan Horton, Zach Miller (1)
- T Art Shell (8), Harry Schuh, Lincoln Kennedy (3), Henry Lawrence (2), Bob Brown (1)
- G Steve Wisniewski (8), Gene Upshaw (7), Wayne Hawkins (5), Max Montoya, Kevin Gogan (1)
- C Jim Otto (12), Don Mosebar (3), Dave Dalby, Barret Robbins (1)
- DE Howie Long (8), Ben Davidson (3), Greg Townsend, Derrick Burgess (2), Ike Lassiter, Khalil Mack (1)
- DT Chester McGlockton (4), Tom Keating, Darrell Russell, Richard Seymour (2), Dave Costa, Dan Birdwell, Otis Sistrunk (1)
- LB Phil Villapiano, Ted Hendricks (4), Dan Conners (3), Rod Martin (2), Archie Matsos, Gus Otto, Matt Millen (1)
- CB Willie Brown (7), Lester Hayes, Terry McDaniel (5), Charles Woodson (4), Fred Williamson, Dave Grayson, Mike Haynes, Nnamdi Asomugha (3), Kent McCloughan (2)
- S Jack Tatum (3), George Atkinson, Vann McElroy (2) Charles Woodson, Ronnie Lott, Rod Woodson (1)
- K Jeff Jaeger, Sebastian Janikowski (1)
- P Ray Guy (7), Shane Lechler (7), Jeff Gossett (1)
- LS Jon Condo (2)
Front office and coaching staff
The coaches and executives that have contributed to the history & success of the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders franchise are as follows:
- Al Davis: head coach (1963–1965), general manager/owner (1966–2011), AFL commissioner (1966)
- John Rauch: head coach (1965–1968)
- John Madden: head coach (1969–1978)
- Tom Flores: assistant head coach, executive assistant coach (1972–1978), head coach (1979–1987), executive (1988)
- Art Shell: assistant head coach (1983–1989; 1989–1994)
- Jon Gruden: head coach (1998–2001)
- Ron Wolf: scout/executive, director of player personnel (1963–1974; 1978–1989)
- Bruce Allen: senior executive (1995–2003)
- Amy Trask: chief executive officer (1987–2013)
- Al LoCasale: executive assistant (1969–2003)
- John Herrera: business & public relations (1967–1978), director of public relations (1978–1982), senior executive (1985–2012)
- Ken Herock: scout/executive assistant, scout/personnel director (1970–1975), player personnel (1984–1986), executive assistant (1997–1998)
Oakland Raiders staff
Notes and references
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