Oakland Raiders

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 21:08

The history of Oakland Raiders

About the NFL team Oakland Raiders.

Based in Oakland, California, the Oakland Raiders are a member team of the American Football Conference Western Division, NFL. They were established in 1960 as the American Football League’s eighth charter member. The team has won in three Super Bowls and in twelve division championships. The Raiders also boast of thirteen talents who made it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The beginning was a struggle for the Raiders. For the first three years, the team was embroiled in trouble, both in and out of the field. When Al Davis took over as general manager and head coach in 1963, things began to change. The Raiders had since enjoyed an unbeatable record from 1963 to 2002. Within this period, they only suffered seven losing seasons. Davis soon became a managing partner of the franchise in 1966.

The Raiders moved to Los Angeles for a while in 1982. It was during this year that they won the Super Bowl for the third time. They moved back to Oakland in 1995.

From 1960 to 1962

When the owners of the Minneapolis expansion team accepted to join the NFL in 1959, it left a slot in the AFL. The AFL selected Oakland as the venue for the replacement team – pushed by a threat from the owner of the Los Angeles Chargers to forfeit if there is no second team on the West Coast. The new Oakland team took in the draft picks left by the Minneapolis owners. Sponsors within Oakland were found, and a limited partnership was formed. Initially, the new team was called the Oakland Señors. This was fortunately changed to the third prize winner of the team-naming contest, Oakland Raiders. The team emblem was said to have been patterned against the profile of Randolph Scott. The Raiders chose the Kezar Stadium as their home field.

The team finished the season with a 6-8 record and an apparent lack of funds. This necessitated a loan from Ralph Wilson Jr., founder of the Buffalo Bills.

With the loss of money, Y. Charles Soda dropped out of the partnership. Ed McGah, Robert Osborne, and F. Wayne Valley soon bought out the other partners. McGah bought out Osborne; and Valley was made the team's Managing General Partner.

The team was then moved exclusively to Candlestick Park. For the 1961 season, the Raiders finished with a 2-12 record. The team would move again in 1962 to Frank Youell Field, their first home in Oakland. In 1962, they earned a dismal 1-13 record.

From 1963 to 1981

After a losing streak, Al Davis was hired as head coach and general manager. He was a San Diego Chargers assistant coach, and considered the youngest to have been assigned his designation with the Oakland Rangers.

Davis immediately implemented the “vertical game” for the offensive strategy. He also changed the colors of the team to silver and black. Under his leadership, the Raiders earned a 10-4 record in 1963, and an 8-5-1 record in 1965.

David then left the team to take on an AFL Commissioner job. When the NFL and AFL merged in 1966, he was back with the Raiders as co-owner and head of football operations. Davis would handpick head coaches; and for the 1967 season, it was head coach John Rauch who led the team into the Super Bowl. During the Super Bowl II, the Raiders were beaten by the Green Bay Packers 33-14.

The following years also saw important wins, enough to qualify for the playoffs. The Raiders would lose the  opportunity to go back to the Super Bowl twice, taking on the New York Jets in 1968 and the Kansas City Chiefs in 1969.

John Madden became the team's head coach in 1969, and this effectively relaunched the franchise into one of the most successful in NFL history. The team won seven division championships during this time. The Raiders likewise fought and beat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI, 32-14.

While the team was slowly becoming a force to reckon with in the NFL, the corporate side was also going through an upheaval. In 1972, Davis made a move to wrest control of the franchise by revising the partnership agreement while Valley was out of the country. McGah sided with Davis, which angered Valley when he came back. Valley soon sold his shares and, shortly after, Davis had full control of the team.

Madden left coaching in 1979 and became a football commentator on TV. Tom Flores took over, becoming the first Hispanic head coach in the NFL. In 1980, the Raiders won their second NFL championship 27-10, this time against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jim Plunkett led the offensive, while starting quarterback Dan Pastorini recovered from leg injury.

From 1982 to 1994

After a legal battle, Davis was able to move the team to Los Angeles, with the Los Angeles Coliseum as their home field. The Raiders got an 8-1 record in 1982, in a season shortened by a players' strike. In 1983, they made it to the Super Bowl, winning for the third time with 38-9 against the Washington Redskins.

Between 1986 and 1989, the Raiders performance was so-so, with records no better than 8-8. Tom Flores was then replaced as head coach by Mike Shanahan. Shanahan was later on fired by Davis at the start of the 1989 season. Art Shell took over his job, thereby becoming the first African-American to become head coach in the NFL.

Shell led the team in the AFC Championship in 1990, and two more playoffs qualifications after that. The coach was fired after a 9-7 record in 1994 and was replaced by Mike water for the 1995 season.

From 1995 to Today

The Raiders moved back into Oakland in 1995, after the approval of the NFL and the Alameda Country Board of Supervisors. Three more losing seasons came (under White and successor Joe Bugel). Coaching duties were then given to Jon Gruden, the offensive coordinator for the Eagles, and things started to pick up. The team had 8-8 records for 1998 and 1999. It was 12-4 in the 2000 season. The Raiders advanced into the divisional championship, only to lose to the Baltimore Ravens 16-3. In 2001, they again went for the divisional championship, only to lose to the New England Patriots in a controversial 16-13 game.

When Gruden was released from his contract to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bill Callahan took his place. Under the new coach, they won the division championship in 2002 and made the Super Bowl for the fifth time. They lost the Super Bowl to the Buccaneers 48-21 under Gruden, who had supposedly let them in on several of the Raiders’ offensive plays.

The 2003 season was worse for the Raiders, posting a 4-12 record. Callahan was soon fired and Norv Turner took over. The team further incurred losing records, until Turner was fired in 2005 and was replaced by returning coach Art Shell.

Under Shell, the Raiders lost the initial five games for the 2006 season. They finished with a dismal 2-14 record, which is the worst since the team started in the 60s. By January 2007, Shell was again fired by Davis as head coach. He was replaced by Lane Kiffin, the offensive coordinator for the USC college team and the youngest coach with the Raiders at 31.