The Oakland Raiders are one of the most popular, and the most hated, teams in the National Football League. The fans of the team feel there is something genuine in the legendary silver and black mystique that surrounds it. The team has been a part of many of the most memorable plays and games in pro football history. Legend has it that many rules, from the rule prohibiting the use of Stick-um to the rule regarding using the helmet as a weapon, were put in place specifically because of the Oakland Raiders. There is a great deal known about the franchise, but here are five things you probably don’t know about the Oakland Raiders.
1. Raiders running back Marcus Allen was the first player in the history of the NFL to gain more than 10,000 yards rushing and more than 5,000 yards receiving during his career.
2. At the time that Raiders head coach John Madden retired from coaching he had coached in the league for ten years, won a Super Bowl ring, would eventually be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and was the youngest coach ever to reach 100 victories. Amazingly, he was also just 42 years old.
3. The Raiders franchise is the only NFL team to win championships in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
4. During the team’s second season of play in 1961, the Oakland Raiders played their home games across the bay in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.
5. The Raiders Super Bowl XV win over the Philadelphia Eagles allowed them to become the first Wild Card team ever to win the big game.
From the sometimes strange and sometimes near genius moves and strategies of Al Davis to the team’s coaches and players, the personalities surrounding the Raiders have always been a large part of the team. Some of the more famous players that have worn the silver and black include Jim Otto, Fred Biletnikoff, George Blanda, Willie Brown, Art Shell, Gene Upshaw, Marcus Allen, Ted Hendricks, Howie Long, Mike Haynes, Dave Casper, Lyle Alzado, Randy Moss, Jim Plunkett, Lester Hayes, Ray Guy, Pete Banaszak, Cliff Branch, Tim Brown, Bo Jackson, Rocket Ismail, Jerry Rice, Warren Sapp, Otis Sistrunk, Ken Stabler, Jack Tatum, Greg Townsend, Daryle Lamonica, Todd Christensen, Kerry Collins, Tom Flores, John Matuszak, Mark Van Eeghen, Rich Gannon, Tyrone Wheatley, Charles Woodson, Matt Millen, and Bob Golic. With characters and players like this is it easy to see how the Raiders have made their mark on the National Football League. The Oakland Raiders are one of the irreplaceable franchises in the NFL, and the love them or hate them, the league is better off because of their existence.