The Oakland Raiders are a professional American football team based in Oakland, California. They currently play in the Western Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Raiders began play in the American Football League (AFL) in 1960 and joined the NFL in the AFL–NFL merger of 1970.
The Raiders were formed in 1960, taking a spot in the newly formed AFL that had been vacated when the yet-unnamed Minneapolis franchise reneged on its agreement with the AFL and joined the NFL. The city of Oakland was granted their position in the league and inherited their inaugural draft selections, and the Raiders began play in the 1960 American Football League season. The team relocated to Los Angeles for thirteen seasons, 1982 to 1994. They returned to Oakland in 1995.
During their first three seasons, the Raiders struggled both on and off the field. In 1963, Al Davis was brought to the team as head coach and general manager, and from 1963 until 2002 the team had only seven losing seasons. As members of the AFL they won one league championship (1967), three division titles (1967, 1968, 1969), and appeared in one Super Bowl (II). Since joining the NFL when the leagues merged in 1970, the Raiders have won twelve division titles, three Super Bowls (XI, XV, XVIII), and one other conference title (winning the AFC before losing in Super Bowl XXXVII). Thirteen former players have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Main article: History of the Oakland Raiders=== Early years (1960–1962)=== Having enjoyed a successful collegiate coaching career during the 1950s, San Francisco native Eddie Erdelatz was hired as the Raiders first head coach. On February 9, 1960, after previously 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, originally scheduled to play in Minnesota, was the last team of eight in the new American Football League to select players, thus relegated to the remaining talent available. 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 their first campaign with a 6–8 record. While off the field, Erdelatz battled an ulcer caused by numerous conflicts with the team's front office. Ownership conflicts prevented the team from signing any top draft picks the next season. On September 18, 1961 Erdelatz was dismissed after being outscored 99-0 in the first two games of the Raiders 1961 season. Erdelatz left football in May 1962, accepting an executive position with a California financial institution. On October 27, 1966, after a routine physical, he underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his stomach. Eddie Erdelatz succumbed to the cancer, passing away on November 10, 1966.
On September 24, 1962, after the dismissal of Eddie Erdelatz, management appointed Los Angeles native and offensive line coach Marty Feldman (football coach) to the Raiders head coaching job. Under Feldman, the team finished the 1962 season with a 2–12 record. Feldman began the 1962 season as Raiders head coach but was fired on October 16, 1963 after a dismal 0–5 start. From October 16, 1962 through December 16, 1963, 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 1969 season the Raiders appointed Conkright to an interim mentor position. On October 1, 1980, Conkright died in Houston, Texas at the age of 66. Under the Raiders first, second and third head coaches since entering the AFL, the team's combined 3-year performance was a disappointing 9–33 record. that year they were 0-6.
After graduating in 1950 with a BA degree in English from Syracuse University, Al Davis landed his first coaching job at Long Island's Adelphi College. Drafted into U.S. Army in 1952, Davis coached the U.S. Army's Ft. Belvoir Virginia football team for two years, losing only two games in that period. Davis nearly came under congressional investigation for having the ability to acquire former college and pro-football players who had been drafted into the military. After his military service, Davis was hired in 1954 by the Baltimore Colts administrative staff. For two years, 1955–1956, Davis was hired as a line coach/recruiter at South Carolina's The Citadel military college. The following two years, 1957–1959, Davis was the offensive line coach at the University of Southern California. His first professional coaching job, 1960–1962, was with Sid Gillman's Los Angeles Chargers/San Diego Chargers. After the 1962 season, Raiders managing general partner F. Wayne Valley hired 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 based on the West Coast 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. 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 percent interest in the team for US $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 failed to get into the playoffs, finishing 2nd in the AFL West Division.
On the field, the team Davis had assembled and coached steadily improved. With John Rauch (Davis's hand-picked successor) as head coach, the Raiders finished the 1967 season with a 13–1–0 record and won the 1967 AFL Championship, defeating the Houston 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 Green Bay 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.
During the 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. The 1969 Raiders under Madden won the AFL West Division title ending the season with a 12–1–1 record. On December 20, 1969, the Raiders defeated the Houston Oilers 56-7 in the AFL Division playoff game. In the AFL Conference Championship game of January 4, 1970, the Raiders were defeated by Hank Stram's Kansas City Chiefs 17-7. Under Madden, the Raiders became one of the most successful franchises in the NFL, winning six division titles during the 1970s.
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.
In 1972, the team achieved a 10-3-1 record and another division title. In the divisional round, they were beaten by the Steelers 13-7 on a play that would later be known as the Immaculate Reception. Improving to 9-4-1 in 1973, the Raiders reached the AFC Championship, but lost 27-10 to the Dolphins.
In 1974, Oakland had a 12-2 regular season, which included a nine-game winning streak. They beat the Dolphins in the divisional round of the playoffs in a see-saw battle before falling to the Steelers in the AFC Championship. On the 1975 season opener, the Raiders beat Miami and ended their 31-game home winning streak. With an 11-3 record, they defeated Cincinnati in the divisional playoff round, but again fell to the Steelers in the conference championship.
In 1976, The Raiders beat Pittsburgh in a revenge match on the season opener and continued to cement its reputation for hard, 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 Knoll for libel after the latter called safety George Atkinson a criminal for the hit. The Raiders won 13 regular season games and a close victory over New England in the playoffs. They then knocked out the Steelers in the AFC Championship to go to Super Bowl XI. Oakland's opponent was the Minnesota Vikings, a team that had lost three previous Super Bowls. The Raiders stood at 16-0 at halftime, forcing their opponent 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 lost the division title to Denver. They settled for a wild card, beating the Colts, but then fell to the Broncos in the AFC Championship. During a 1978 preseason game, Patriots WR Darryl Stingley was tragically injured by a hit from Raiders FS Jack Tatum and was left paralyzed for life. Although the Raiders achieved a winning record at 9-7, they failed to qualify for the playoffs.
After ten 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 fifth week of the 1980 season, starting quarterback Dan Pastorini broke his leg and was replaced by former number-one draft pick Jim Plunkett. Plunkett led Oakland to an 11-5 record and a wild card berth. After playoff victories against the Houston Oilers, Cleveland Browns, and San Diego Chargers, the Raiders went to Super Bowl XV, facing the heavily favored Philadelphia Eagles. the Raiders clinched their second NFL championship in five years with a 27–10 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV. With the victory, the Raiders became the first ever wild card team to win a Super Bowl." Two Super Bowl records of note occurred in this game: 1) Kenny King's 80-yard, first-quarter, catch-and-run reception from Jim Plunkett remained the longest touchdown Super Bowl pass play for the next 23 years; and 2) Rod Martin's three interceptions of Eagles' quarterback Ron Jaworski still stands today as a Super Bowl record. Reflecting on the last ten years during the post-game awards ceremony, Al Davis stated "...this was our finest hour, this was the finest hour in the history of the Oakland Raiders. To Tom Flores, the coaches, and the athletes: you were magnificent out there, you really were."  The team would not see a repeat performance in 1981, falling to 7-9 and a losing record for the first time since 1963.
Raiders' running back Marcus Allen (1982-1992) was the Super Bowl XVIII MVP.Prior to the 1980 season, Al Davis attempted unsuccessfully to have improvements made to the Oakland 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 three-fourths 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 New York 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 team had another successful regular season in 1984, finishing 11-5, but a three-game losing streak forced them to enter the playoffs as a wildcard, where they fell to the Seahawks. The 1985 campaign saw 12 wins and a division title, but that was followed by an embarrassing home loss to the Patriots.
The Raiders' fortunes declined after that, and from 1986 through 1989, Los Angeles finished no better than 8–8 and posted consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1961–62. 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 fill-ins 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 Coliseum.
As early as 1986, Davis began to seek a new, more modern stadium away from the Coliseum. The neighborhood around it was considered dangerous at the time (which caused the NFL to schedule the Raiders' Monday Night Football appearances as away games - the NFL would not even consider allowing the Raiders to use Anaheim Stadium for Monday night games). In addition to sharing the venue with the USC Trojans, the Coliseum 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 was rarely able to fill all of them even in the Raiders' best years, and so most Raiders home games were blacked out on television. Numerous venues in California were considered, including one near Hollywood Park in Inglewood and another in Carson. In August 1987, it was announced that the city of Irwindale paid Davis USD $10 million as a good-faith deposit for a prospective stadium site. When the bid failed, Davis kept the non-refundable deposit.
Raiders' wide receiver Tim Brown spent sixteen years with the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, during which he established himself as one of the NFL's most prolific wide receivers.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.
Shell's five-plus-year tenure as head coach in Los Angeles was marked particularly by a bitter dispute between star running back Marcus Allen and Al Davis. The exact source of the friction is unknown, but a contract dispute led Davis to refer to Allen as "a cancer on the team." By the late 1980s, injuries began to reduce Allen's role in the offense. This role was reduced further in 1987, when the Raiders drafted Bo Jackson—even though he originally decided to not play professional football in 1986 (when drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round). By 1990, Allen had dropped to fourth on the team's depth chart, leading to resentment on the part of his teammates. In late 1992 Allen lashed out publicly at Davis, and accused him of trying to ruin his career. In 1993, Allen left to play for the rival Kansas City Chiefs.
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 well as by the NFL. The move was greeted with much fanfare, and under new head coach Mike White the 1995 season started off 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 just $525,000 a year in rent — a fraction of what the nearby San Francisco 49ers pay to play at Candlestick Park — and do not pay maintenance or game-day operating costs.
After two more unsuccessful 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 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, 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 finished 10-6 and won a second straight AFC West title 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 have led to a Raiders victory; 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.
Shortly after the season, the Raiders made an unusual 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 New York Jets and Tennessee 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.
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. 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 finish, the team's worst record 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.
One season into his second run as head coach, Shell was fired on January 4, 2007. 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. 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, Al Davis fired Kiffin on September 30, 2008. 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.
Their 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 3rd 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. At the end of their 2009 campaign, the Raiders became the first team in NFL history to lose at least 11 games in seven straight seasons .
In 2010, the Raiders became the first team in NFL history to go undefeated against their own division yet fail to make the postseason (6-0 in the AFC West, 8-8 overall, 3 games behind the New York Jets for the second Wild Card entry). On January 4, 2011, The Oakland Raiders' 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. 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. On October 8, 2011, Al Davis died.
Main article: List of Oakland Raiders seasons== Logos and uniforms== When founded in 1960, a "name the team" contest was held by the Oakland Tribune, and the winner was the Oakland Señors. After a few weeks 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 1960–1962. 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, crossed swords, and the head of a Raider wearing a football helmet. 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 numbers, while the white jerseys have black numbers. Originally, the white jerseys had 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 for the season. However, in 1971 the team again displayed black numerals and have stayed that way ever since (with the exception of the 1994–95 season where they donned the 1963 helmets with the 1970 silver away numbers).
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. However, the high temperature in Oakland that day was only 72 degrees.
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 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 (1982–1994).
The Raiders did play one regular season game at California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, CA. On September 23, 1973 they played the Miami Dolphins in Berkeley due to a scheduling conflict with the baseball Oakland Athletics. The team defeated the Dolphins 12-7, ending the Dolphins' winning streak.
During the Los Angeles years, the Raiders played in the 93,000 seat Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Members of Raider Nation are known for attending games in elaborate costumesAl Davis coined slogans such as "Pride and Poise," "Commitment to Excellence," and "Just Win, Baby"—all of which are registered trademarks of the team."
Main article: Raider NationThe 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, 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, 105, 106, and 107) frequented by the team's rowdiest and most fervent fans.
Al Davis created the phrase Raider Nation to describe the fans of his beloved franchise in 1968.
In September 2009, Ice Cube recorded a song for the Oakland 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.
Raider games are broadcast in English on 20 radio stations in California, including flagship station KITS Live 105 (105.3 FM) in San Francisco. Additionally, games are broadcast on ten radio stations in Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada, and Utah. 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. Raider games are also broadcast in Spanish on six radio stations, including station KZSF (1370 AM) in San Jose and five other stations in California's Central Valley. Erwin Higueros handles play-by-play in Spanish, with Ambrosio Rico doing commentary. Compass Media Networks is responsible for producing and distributing Raiders radio broadcasts as of the 2010 NFL season.
Bill King will always be the Voice of the Raiders. Hired in 1966, he called approximately 600 games for Al Davis. The Raiders awarded him all 3 rings. King left after the 1992 season. It's Bill's radio audio heard on most of the NFL Films highlight footage of the Raiders. King's call of the Holy Roller (American football) has been labeled (by Chris Berman, among others) as one of 5 best in NFL history. Bill King died in October 2005 from complications after surgery. Scotty Sterling, an Oakland Tribune sportswriter served as the "color man" with King. The Raider games were called on radio from 1960 to 1962 by Bud (Wilson Keene) Foster and Mel Venter; from 1963 to 1965 by Bob Blum and Dan Galvin.
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 (click here for further information). Thus, regardless of the previous season's record, the Raiders receive a disproportionate number of Sunday Night, Monday Night and/or Thursday Night games, compared to the rest of the league.
Further information: Chiefs-Raiders rivalryThe 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 has an old rivalry with Oakland as well, but the rivalry became less relevant with the Seahawks moving from the AFC West to the NFC West.
The Denver Broncos and the Raiders have been divisional rivals since the two teams began play in the AFL in 1960. While the Raiders still hold the advantage in the all-time series 59–42–2, 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. The Raiders have won 4 of the last 5 encounters, and in the 2010 season they outscored the Broncos 98-37.
The Broncos' first ever Super Bowl appearance (in the 1977 season) was made possible by defeating Oakland in the AFC Championship.
The Kansas City Chiefs and the 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. Kansas City leads the overall series 53–47–2.
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. 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. The Raiders hold the overall series advantage at 57–44–2.
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 are 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 pre-season, the pre-season game between the rivals was marked by brawls 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 pre-season games between the Raiders and 49ers.
The rivalry between the Raiders and the 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 on a controversial penalty. The two teams met in a divisional-round playoff game in 2002, which became known as "The Tuck Rule Game". Late in the game, 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 two of the last three 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 on the 2005 season opener in New England with the Patriots ruining Randy Moss's debut as an Oakland Raider 30-20; the most recent meeting saw the Patriots victorious, 31–19 during the 2011 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 the blame), 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 due to some late-season and playoff meetings from 2000-2002. The Raiders won the most recent matchup 34-24 on September 25, 2011.
The Pittsburgh Steelers' rivalry with the Raiders 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 subsequently filed a $2 million defamation lawsuit against Noll and the Steelers, which he lost. Most recently, Oakland was beaten 35-3 by Pittsburgh on November 21, 2010.
As mentioned earlier, the Raiders and 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, with the Raiders winning four times.
- Regular Season Record (all-time): 425-348-11  (as of week 13 of the 2011 NFL season)
- Playoff Record (all-time) : 25-18 (last appearance after 2002 season)
- The New York Jets were known as the New York Titans.
- The Tennessee Titans were known as the Houston Oilers.
W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties
|Raiders records against all of the other 31 NFL franchises|
|Team||1st met||Regular Season||Playoffs|
|Green Bay Packers||1972||25||5||0||.500||0||1||0|
|Kansas City Chiefs||1960||247||53||2||.471||1||2||.333|
|New England Patriots||1960||214||15||1||.483||1||2||.333|
|New Orleans Saints||1971||25||5||1||.455||0||0||--|
|New York Giants||1973||27||4||0||.636||0||0||--|
|New York Jets||1960||21||15||2||.579||2||2||.500|
|San Diego Chargers||1960||257||44||2||.563||1||0||1.000|
|San Francisco 49ers||1970||26||6||0||.500||0||0||--|
|St. Louis Rams||1972||28||4||0||.667||0||0||--|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1976||26||1||0||.857||0||1||0|
A few months after the first AFL draft in 1959, the owners of the yet-unnamed Minneapolis franchise accepted an offer to join the established National Football League as an expansion team (now called the Minnesota Vikings) in 1961, sending the AFL scrambling for a replacement. 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. Accordingly, the city of Oakland was awarded the eighth AFL franchise on January 30, 1960, and the team inherited the Minneapolis club's draft picks.
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 (1908–1989), a local real estate developer, and included general partners Ed McGah (1899–1983), Robert Osborne (1898–1968), F. Wayne Valley (1914–1986), restaurateur Harvey Binns (1914–1982), Don Blessing (1904–2000), and contractor Charles Harney (1902–1962) 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 percent 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.
Legally, the club is a limited partnership with nine partners — Davis' heirs and the heirs of the original eight team partners. Since 1972, however 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 percent), which gave him for the first time a majority interest, speculated to be approximately 67 percent 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 percent 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 the age of 82. According to a 1999 partnership agreement, his wife Carol would assumee full control of the team. After Davis' death, Raiders chief executive Amy Trask said that the team "will remain in the Davis family."
Hawaiian Airlines is the official carrier for the Raiders. This Hawaiian Boeing 767 wears the Raiders logo on its fuselage.According to a 2006 report released by Forbes Magazine, the Raiders' overall team value of US $736 million ranks 28th out of 32 NFL teams. The team ranked in the bottom three in league attendance from 2003–2005, 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 10 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 amount. 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 USFL 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.
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.
Willie Brown is a former American Football cornerback. He is currently on the coaching staff of the Oakland Raiders.The Pro Football Hall of Fame has inducted eleven players who made their primary contribution to professional football while with the Raiders, in addition to owner Al Davis and head coach John Madden. The Raiders' total of thirteen Hall of Famers. Notes:
- 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.
|Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders Hall of Famers|
|No.||Player||Inducted||Positions||Years with Raiders|
|80||Jerry Rice||2010||Wide Receiver||2001–2004|
|--||John Madden||2006||Head Coach||1969–1978|
|76||Bob Brown||2004||Offensive Tackle||1971–1973|
|80||James Lofton||2003||Wide Receiver||1987–1988|
|32||Marcus Allen||2003||Running Back||1982–1992|
|87||Dave Casper||2002||Tight End||1974–1980, 1984|
|75||Howie Long||2000||Defensive End||1981–1993|
|29||Eric Dickerson||1999||Running Back||1992|
|--||Al Davis||1992||Team, League Administrator||1963–2011|
|78||Art Shell||1989||Offensive Tackle||1968–1982|
|25||Fred Biletnikoff||1988||Wide Receiver||1965–1978|
|16||George Blanda||1981||Quarterback, Placekicker||1967–1975|
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, 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).
There is speculation that the team may have removed number 2 from circulation, however, as it was last worn by JaMarcus Russell in 2009 before being released, due to the stigma of Russell being one of the biggest draft busts in the history of professional sports. When the team drafted Terrelle Pryor in the 2011 Supplemental Draft, he was issued number 6 despite number 2 (the number he wore at Ohio State) not being used, and Pryor wasn't given an explanation why he didn't receive the number.
|Oakland Raiders staff|
Special Teams Coaches
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