Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders

dean bertoncelj / Shutterstock.com

The Oakland Raiders were formed in 1960 and play in the National Football League’s (NFL) American Football Conference West division. They play at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum, which is based in Oakland, California.

During their history, they have won three Super Bowls, one American Football League Championship, and four American Football Conference titles. Traditionally, they have been known as the “villains of the NFL” thanks to their reputation of tough play and their long-time owner Al Davis’ motto “Just win, baby”.

Fast Facts

  • Full Name: Oakland Raiders
  • Conference: American Football Conference
  • Division: West
  • Location: Oakland, California
  • Stadium Name: Oakland Alameda Coliseum
  • Year Established: 1960
  • Owner: Mark Davis
  • Head Coach: Jack Del Rio
  • Manager: Reggie McKenzie
  • Nickname: Raider Nation
  • Mascot: Raider Rusher
  • Team Colours: Silver, black


NFL Street Parade on Regent Street in London

NFL Street Parade on Regent Street in London

(Nando Machado / Shutterstock.com)

The Oakland Raiders were founded in 1960 and were one of the original members of the American Football League. The early years for the Raiders were not good and suffered three losing seasons until Al Davis was hired in 1963 as head coach who helped turn the team’s fortunes around. Davis became part owner of the team in 1966, which prompted him to begin buying out and, in some cases, forcing out other owners. He gained complete control of the Raiders in 1976.

1967 saw the Raiders win the AFL championship, thanks to star players, such as Jim Otto and Daryle Lamonica. They went on to their first Super Bowl but were sadly beaten by the Green Bay Packers. Davis hired John Madden as head coach in 1969 and this saw the Raiders become one of the best teams in the NFL, posting a winning season in every one of his 10 seasons with the team, as well as winning the franchise’s first Super Bowl in 1977. It was during this period that the Raiders gained their reputation as a no nonsense, tough tackling team, thanks to such players as Gene Upshaw, Jim Otto, Art Shell, and Winnie Brown. This period also saw a trio of future Hall of Famers in the team – Ken Stabler, George Blanda, and Fred Biletnikoff. When Madden moved on in 1979, he was replaced with Tom Flores who took the team to another Super Bowl win in 1981.

The start of the 1980s also saw a lot of off-field action for the Raiders. With owner Davis being unhappy with the condition of the home stadium, he agreed in 1980 to move the franchise to nearby Los Angeles. Initially, the NFL stopped the move but Davis managed to get this overturned and moved in 1982. In each of their first four seasons in LA, the Raiders qualified for the playoffs and won another Super Bowl in 1984. The team, during this time, was full of stars, including Bo Jackson, Marcus Allen, and Howie Long.

The Raiders eventually moved back to Oakland in 1995 and initially struggled with form. However, over time their form began to grow thanks to players, such as Jerry Rice and Rich Gannon, and they booked a place at the Super Bowl in 2003, which they eventually lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since then, the team have been in poor form and have failed to make one appearance in the playoffs.

Super Bowl Appearances

2002 Super Bowl XXXVII Oakland Raiders 21 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48

Super Bowl XXXVII was played at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. It pitched the Raiders against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was watched by over 88 million viewers who also saw a halftime show featuring Shania Twain, Sting, and No Doubt. The first quarter was close between the teams but, in the second quarter, the Buccaneers took a 17 point lead and, from that point on, the Raiders found themselves dominated, eventually losing 48-21.

1983 Super Bowl XVIII Washington Redskins 9 – Los Angeles Raiders 38

Played at the Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida, Super Bowl XVIII saw the Raiders take on the much-favoured Washington Redskins. Famed for being the Super Bowl broadcast that first introduced the world to the Apple Macintosh, the game saw the Raiders outclass their opponents with running back Marcus Allen winning the Most Valuable Player award.

1980 Super Bowl XV Oakland Raiders 27 – Philadelphia Eagles 10

Watched by 76,000 in the Louisiana Superdome, Super Bowl XV saw the Oakland Raiders take on the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite being pre-match favourites, the Eagles were beaten by the Raiders 27-10. Quarterback Jim Plunkett was named as the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player.

1976 Super Bowl XI Oakland Raiders 32 – Minnesota Vikings 14

Played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, Super Bowl XI was watched by over 100,000 in the stadium and a television audience of 62 million. Despite being pre-match favourites, the Raiders were comprehensively beaten by the Minnesota Vikings who eventually ran out 32-14 winners.

1967 Super Bowl II Green Bay Packers 33 – Oakland Raiders 14

Played in Miami at the Miami Orange Bowl on January 14, 1968, Super Bowl II pitted the Raiders against the Green Bay Packers who were the overwhelming favourites and defending champions. The Raiders were comprehensively beaten by the Packers in front of the 75,000 fans at the stadium with an eventual score of 33-14.


Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Oakland Alameda County Coliseum

(kropic / bigstockphoto.com)

The Oakland Raiders play at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum – a multipurpose stadium that is also the home to the Oakland athletics of Major League Baseball. Opening in 1966, it is one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL and has a capacity of 56,000 for football games. This makes it the smallest stadium in the NFL.

In terms of design, it is unusual in that the playing surface is actually below ground level which means when viewed from the outside, the stadium looks rather short for a major stadium. As well as football and baseball, the stadium has also hosted a number of other events such as the AMA Supercross Championship and gigs by U2 and Lenny Kravitz.

As a stadium, it is badly out-dated when compared to other NFL stadiums and there has been much talk of a replacement from both the Athletics and the Raiders.

Famous Players

Gene Upshaw (1967-1981)

Starting 297 straight games as a Raider, Upshaw is the definition of consistency. Leading the way to two out of the three Raiders Super Bowl victories, Gene Upshaw has the honour of being the first ever full-time guard to be inducted into the Pro Football hall of Fame.

Art Shell (1968-1982)

A third round pick in the 1968 NFL draft, Art Shell is another Rider to be inducted into the Pro Football hall of Fame. Winning two Super Bowls with the Raiders he was also elected to eight Pro Bowls.

Jim Otto (1960-1974)

Jim Otto is one of the most recognizable names in Raiders history and did not miss a game for 15 seasons. A fantastic player, he is recognized by Raiders fans as one of the best players ever to play for the franchise.

Ken Stabler (1970-1979)

Ken Stabler is the Raiders all-time leading passer and finished his Raiders career with 19,078 yards and 150 touchdowns. A real winner, he had an outstanding record of 69-26-1 and drove much of the Raiders’ success throughout the 1970s.

Did You Know?

  • The Oakland Raiders are often referred to as the most hated team in the NFL.
  • The Raiders are the only NFL franchise to have won championships in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
  • The Raiders are the first ever wild card team to win a Super Bowl by beating the Philadelphia Eagles at Super Bowl XV.
  • Unlike many other teams in the NFL, the Raiders do not retire numbers.
  • Famous Oakland Raiders fans include Ice Cube, MC Hammer, and Tom Hanks.