The Raiders Debt To The Vikings, Chargers, and Bills
Most Raiders fans don’t know it, but they owe a debt of gratitude to three franchises in the NFL. Without the Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers, and Buffalo Bills, the Raiders may not even exist right now.
In 1960, the owners of the Minnesota AFL franchise rights were convince by the NFL to not join the AFL and instead join the NFL. This led the AFL to have only seven teams instead of its stated goal of fielding eight teams. The AFL moved to replace the Minnesota franchise, but what city would get a professional football team? The owner of the then Los Angeles Chargers stepped up and threatened to also leave the AFL unless another west coast team was added. The AFL, not wanting to lose another franchise, agreed and put a team in Oakland, California.
The Raiders had a not-so-successful first year in pro football and in fact had lost over $500,000. On the verge of folding and ceasing operations, they were saved by a loan given to them by Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson. The Raiders would go on to be one of the more successful teams of the late 60’s, 70’s, and early 80’s.
If the Vikings hadn’t left the AFL there would’ve been no need for another team to be added.
If the Chargers hadn’t threatened to leave the AFL, the next team added would’ve most likely been in a different city.
If the Bills owner hadn’t loaned the Raiders the necessary funds to continue operations, the Raiders may have gone out of business.
Two teams that had the same effect on the Raiders getting into the league and one team that enabled them to stay in the league. So, lets hear it Raiders fans – where’s the “Thank You” to the Vikings, Chargers, and Bills?