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Raiders DE Justin Tuck: Expect A Bloodbath Against 49ers The Oakland Raiders found the perfect tonic for the team’s most lopsided loss in more than a half-century: the schedule. Instead of spending Monday dwelling on a 52-0 loss to the St. Louis Rams, the Raiders […]

Top 5 Memorable Regular Season Matchups Between Raiders, 49ers The San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders head into a rare regular season matchup Sunday at O.Co Coliseum with two very different outlooks, at least for their fan bases.

Opponent Profile: 49ers Face Must Win Against Cross Town Rival Raiders The 49ers travel to Oakland this week to take on the Oakland Raiders. This game means everything to the 49ers and nothing to the Raiders who will only look to ruin San Francisco's season as well.

Raiders try to move on from lopsided loss ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - The Oakland Raiders found the perfect tonic for the team's most lopsided loss in more than a half-century: the schedule. Instead of spending Monday dwelling on a 52-0 loss to the St. Louis Rams, the Raiders have already turned their attention to this week's ...

Team Grades: Raiders Get A Big Fat ‘Fail’ In St. Louis The 2014 Oakland Raiders had nothing on the field Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, as the Silver & Black couldn't follow up their first win of the season with anything positive. The 52-0 loss in Week 13 was as bad as it gets in the modern-day NFL.

Raiders-Rams fantasy projections, Week 13: Tre Mason, Derek Carr, Kenny Britt among the names to watch The Week 13 matchup between the Oakland Raiders and the St. Louis Rams features an emerging running back that could make a big impact on Sunday. Rookie running back Latavius Murray will be out this week, having failed to clear the NFL's concussion protocol. After an explosive performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, he will be replaced in the lineup by Darren McFadden.

Oakland Raiders vs. St. Louis Rams: Full Report Card Grades for Oakland Bad. Ugly. Pathetic. Embarrassing. Pick any negative term you want to describe the performance of the Oakland Raiders Sunday, and you'll be right. There's really no other way to describe how they played in a 52-0 loss to the St. Louis Rams . A team almost has to try to play this poorly for four quarters. There isn't a single thing in this game that went well for Oakland. There's not one positive ...

Rapid Reaction: Oakland Raiders A few thoughts on the Oakland Raiders' 52-0 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday: What does it mean: The Raiders seemed eager to build off their first -- and so far, only -- win and had hoped to create some late-season momentum. Instead, they came out, got punched in the mouth and never got off the mat. This one was ugly in every facet, and that’s putting it lightly. This is the second-worst ...

Oakland Raiders vs. St. Louis Rams: Full Report Card Grades for St. Louis The St. Louis Rams (5-7) clobbered the Oakland Raiders (1-11) by a score of 52-0 in what was by far St. Louis' most dominant and promising performance of the 2014 season.  The Rams came out of the gates firing, and the Raiders just stood by helpless. St. Louis scored three first-quarter touchdowns and held Oakland to three-and-outs on its first three drives.  St. Louis extended that commanding ...

Raiders suffer 2nd-worst defeat in franchise history The Oakland Raiders were historically inept. And they'd thought they had some momentum coming into Sunday's game.

Oakland Raiders History

The early years (1960-1962)

A few months after the first AFL draft in 1959, the Minnesota Vikings accepted an offer to join the established National Football League as an expansion team in 1961, sending the AFL scrambling for a replacement.

At the time, Oakland seemed an unlikely venue for a professional football franchise. 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. The team inherited the Vikings' draft picks. As no AFL team ever played in the Twin Cities, that area has never been considered to be affiliated with the Raiders.

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, which included general partners Harvey Binns, Don Blessing, Charles Harney, Ed McGah, Robert Osborne, and Wayne Valley, headed by managing general partner Chet Soda, a local real estate developer, as well as numerous limited partners. A "name the team" contest was held by a local newspaper, and the winner was the Oakland Señors. After a few weeks of the fledgling team (and its owners) being the butt of local jokes, the owners changed the team's name to the Oakland Raiders, which had finished third in the naming contest. The original team colors were black, gold and white. The now-familar team emblem of a pirate (or "raider") wearing a football helmet was created, reportedly a rendition of actor Randolph Scott.

When the University of California refused to let the Raiders play home games at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, they chose Kezar Stadium in San Francisco as their home field. The team's first regular season home game was played on September 11, 1960, a 37-22 loss to the Houston Oilers. The Raiders finished their first campaign with a 6-8 record, and lost $500,000.

Soda dropped out, and on January 17, 1961, Valley, McGah and Osborne bought out the remaining partners. Soon after, Valley and McGah purchased Osborne's interest, with Valley named as the managing general partner. That year the Raiders moved to Candlestick Park and finished 2-12. Total attendance for the season was about 50,000. Valley threatened to move the Raiders elsewhere unless a stadium was built in Oakland. 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 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was being built. The Raiders finished 1-13 in 1962, losing their first 13 games before winning the season finale, and attendance remained low.  

Al Davis comes to Oakland (1963-1981)

After the 1962 season, Valley hired Al Davis, a former assistant coach for the San Diego Chargers, as head coach and general manager. At 33, Davis was the youngest person in professional football history to hold the positions. Davis changed the team colors to silver and black, primarily because those colors stood out in an era when most people watched football games on black-and-white television sets. 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 early 1966, Davis left the Raiders and became Commissioner of the AFL. His actions as Commissioner, together with the favorable contract negotiated with the NBC television network, resulted in the landmark AFL-NFL merger, whereby the NFL agreed to include all ten AFL franchises in an expanded 26-team NFL. The merger, however, left Davis embittered. He had envisioned a professional football landscape not unlike that of Major League Baseball, with two independent leagues sharing a common draft and playing a championship game at the end of the season. He felt betrayed by the AFL owners, who jumped at the chance to extinguish the newer league so they could receive NFL franchises. He resented the fact that a "football man," like himself, was subject to the whim of owners whose expertise was far outside the realm of the game. Davis' goal, therefore, was to become an owner himself.

With the merger, the position of AFL 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. Though the owner of but a 10% interest in the Raiders, he became the team's third general partner---the partner (for the time being) in charge of football operations.

Six years later, in 1972, with Valley out of the country for several weeks attending the Olympic Games in Munich, Davis' attorneys drafted a revised partnership agreement that gave Davis total control over all of the Raiders' operations. McGah 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. The courts sided with Davis and McGah. As a result, Valley sold his interest in the team, and Davis---though owning but a small portion of the team---was firmly in charge.

On the field, the team Davis had assembled and coached steadily improved. With John Rauch as the new head coach, the Raiders won the 1967 AFL Championship, defeating the Houston Oilers 40-7. The win earned the team a trip to Super Bowl II, where they were beaten 33-14 by Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers. In 1968 and 1969, the Raiders again won Western Division titles, only to lose the AFL Championship to the eventual Super Bowl winners, the New York Jets (1968) and Kansas City Chiefs (1969). In 1970, the AFL-NFL merger took place and the Raiders joined the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the newly merged NFL.

In 1969, John Madden became the team's sixth head coach, and during the 1970s his Raiders became one of the most successful franchises in the NFL, though the team was slow to win recognition as a football powerhouse due to one heartbreaking loss after another in AFC Championship games, most notably at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then, after finishing 13-1 in 1976, the Raiders defeated the Steelers 24-7 in the AFC Championship game, and went on to win their first NFL championship in Super Bowl XI over the Minnesota Vikings 32-14 in Pasadena, California.

Madden left the Raiders (and coaching) in 1979 to pursue a career as a television football commentator. Madden's replacement was former Raiders quarterback Tom Flores, widely considered the first Hispanic head coach in the history of the NFL. Flores guided the team to a win in Super Bowl XV over the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10 and over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII. In the victory over Philadelphia, the Raiders became the first ever "wild card team" (i.e., team making the playoffs without winning its division) to win a Super Bowl.  

Los Angeles Raiders (1982-1994)

In their last season in Oakland, the team slipped to 7-9, finishing last in their division for the first time since 1962. In 1982, the Raiders moved to Los Angeles to play their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Davis had tried on several occasions to get the city of Oakland to expand the Coliseum, only to be turned down. The Los Angeles Raiders won Super Bowl XVIII the following year, the team's nucleus largely inherited from Oakland. In a short pep talk prior to the game, Davis told his team, "Just win, baby! Be right!" As a result, the phrase "Just win, baby!" became Davis' catchphrase. Perhaps ironically, that Super Bowl victory would prove to be the team's last, at least through the 2005 season.

In 1987, the Raiders drafted dual-sport athlete Bo Jackson after he originally decided to not play professional football in 1986 (when drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round). Davis's perceived infatuation with Jackson caused a major rift between Davis and star running back Marcus Allen, who eventually left to play for the Kansas City Chiefs.

During the 1989 season, Davis fired head coach Mike Shanahan and replaced him with former Raider lineman Art Shell. Shell was the first African-American head coach of the modern NFL era. Shell led the Raiders to the AFC Championship game in the 1990 season, where they lost a lopsided affair to the Buffalo Bills, 51-3.

The team's fortunes faded after the loss. They made two other playoff appearances during the 1990s, and finished higher than 3rd place only three times. This period was marked by the career-ending injury of Bo Jackson in 1990, the failure of troubled quarterback Todd Marinovich, the departure of Marcus Allen in 1993 and the retirement of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long after the 1993 season.  

Back to Oakland (1995-present)

On June 23, 1995, Davis signed a letter of intent to move the Raiders back to Oakland. The move was greeted with much public fanfare, and the 1995 season started off well for the team. They 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.

In 1998, Al Davis strayed away from his habit of hiring a head coach from the team's ranks for only the second time in franchise history when he hired Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Jon Gruden, a young assistant who first worked for the 49ers under head coach Bill Walsh. Under Gruden, the Raiders started to play with a sense of discipline that had been lacking in previous years.

The 2000 season, the team's 3rd under Gruden, was the team's most successful in a decade. Led by veteran quarterback Rich Gannon, the team finished 12-4 and advanced to the AFC Championship, losing 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, but lost their divisional playoff game to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the controversial "Tuck Game." The game was played in a heavy snow storm, in which an apparent fumble by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was recovered by Greg Biekert. The play was reviewed and determined to be an incomplete pass.

Shortly after the 2001 season, the Raiders made an unusual move that involved trading Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for cash and future draft picks. Bill Callahan, former offensive coordinator and offensive line coach of the Raiders during Gruden's tenure, was named head coach. The sudden move came after months of speculation in the media that Al Davis and Gruden had fallen out with each other both personally and on a business level.

The Raiders finished the 2002 season with an 11-5 record and clinched the top seed in the playoffs. Gannon was named MVP of the NFL, and the Raiders made their fifth Super Bowl appearance following the season. They lost Super Bowl XXXVII to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, now coached by Gruden, by the score of 48-21. The Raiders finished the 2003 season, their second year under Callahan, with a record of 4-12. This season, and the team's fans utter devotion despite the poor record, is chronicled in "Better to Reign in Hell," a book written by two English professors from San Diego. The title is derived from an assertion by Satan in Paradise Lost by John Milton that it is "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven." At the end of the 2003 regular season Callahan was fired and replaced by Norv Turner.

The team's fortunes did not improve in Turner's first year. They finished the 2004-2005 season with a losing record of 5-11, with only one division win (Where they beat the Denver Broncos in Denver by 1 point). Other season highlights included a nationally televised home win against the Buccaneers, who they lost to in the Super Bowl almost 3 years prior. However, Rich Gannon was injured during the game, which eventually resulted in his later retirement. Kerry Collins, who led the New York Giants to a Super Bowl in 2001, took over.

In early 2005 the Raiders acquired Pro Bowl wide receiver Randy Moss via a trade with the Minnesota Vikings. They also picked up Lamont Jordan from the New York Jets.

The season started off on a sour note. They lost their first three games, despite showing some great performances nonetheless. They would win their next three out of four games. However, after a close loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, they suffered a massive meltdown when playing another division rival, the Denver Broncos. Kerry Collins threw three interceptions, something he hadn't done in any of the prior games. Shutout 23-0 at the end of the third quarter, the Raiders posted a touchdown and a field goal to start the fourth. However, another Collins interception late in the fourth quarter, which was returned for a Denver touchdown, squandered any hopes for a comeback, and they lost 31-17. The Raiders would get their fourth and final win of the season against the Washington Redskins, coach Norv Turner's former team. They even lost to the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets, who both ended up last in their respective divisions as well (though the Raiders will play both again in 2006). After being blown out by the Broncos again, the Raiders went 0-6 in their division for the first time since 1962.

The Raiders would end their season with four wins and twelve losses, one less win than 2004. They were last in the AFC West for the second year in a row, and it was their third consecutive losing season. Coach Norv Turner was fired. Art Shell, who is frequently regarded as one of the most prolific offensive linemen in NFL history, won two Super Bowls and went to multiple Pro Bowls as a member of the Raiders, received an interview. Since firing him, Davis has said numerous times that he has regretted the decision. Art Shell was named Head Coach on February 11, 2006.

Shell's staff for the 2006 season will consist of new offensive coordinator Tom Walsh (who was assistant head coach under Shell during his earlier tenure with the Raiders) and new offensive line coach Jackie Slater. Irv Eatman, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs, will assist Slater in coaching the offensive line. Special teams coach Joe Avezzano, who took the position in 2004, will be replaced; Rob Ryan will return to the team for his third season as defensive coordinator.

Collins, who had a 7-21 record as a starter over two seasons, was cut from the team as a measure to create salary cap space [4].  

Tickets

Up until 2006, ticket prices for Okland Raiders games were the highest in the NFL. Sitting in the highest area from the field (Sections 335-355), dubbed "Mount Davis", cost $46 plus extra charges. This is one of the main causes for Raider games typically not selling out to full capacity (only half of the home games in 2005 sold out). However, in 2006, ticket rights are now handled by the Raiders and not Alameda County. The "Mount Davis" seats have officially been lowered to $26, and the Raiders are now in charge of PSLs  

Davis extends ownership of the team

Ed McGah, the last of the original eight general partners of the Raiders, died in 1983. Upon his death, his interest was devised to a family trust, of which McGah's son, E.J. McGah, was the trustee. The younger McGah was himself a part-owner of the team, as a limited partner. He died in 2002.

Several members of the McGah family filed suit against Davis and the Raiders in 2003, alleging mismanagement of the team by Davis. Among their specific complaints, the McGahs alleged that Davis had 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. (It should be noted that the Raiders' limited partnership agreement is not of public record.)

In 2004 the lawsuit was settled out of court. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but it has been reported that under its terms Davis has purchased the McGah family's interest in the Raiders, and for the first time owns a majority interest, speculated to be between 60-70% of the team. Davis is the Raiders' sole general partner (as president of A.D., Inc.). In recent years, the Raiders have not made public the names of its limited partners, who continue to own between 30-40% of the team.  

Legal battles

The Raiders have been involved in several lawsuits with the cities of Los Angeles and Oakland, as well as with the NFL.

  • When the NFL first declined to approve the Raiders' move from Oakland to Los Angeles back in 1980, the team along with the Los Angeles Coliseum successfully sued the league for violating antitrust laws.
  • They were the only team that was not a defendant in the USFL's ultimately unsuccessful antitrust suit against the NFL; Davis was a witness for the USFL in that action.
  • The Raiders sued the city of Los Angeles after the city backed out of a stadium deal for the team.
  • After relocating back to Oakland, they sued the NFL for interfering with the team's negotiations to build a new stadium at Hollywood Park prior to the move. The lawsuit further contended that the Raiders had the rights to put an NFL team in Los Angeles, and thus were entitled to compensation from the league for giving up those rights by moving to Oakland.
  • They sued the city of Oakland and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority over Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs). When the team moved back from Los Angeles, the Raiders agreed to sell PSLs to help pay for the renovations to their stadium. But after games rarely sold out, the Raiders filed lawsuits, claiming that it was 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 and that they will discontinue PSLs as of the end of the 2005 season. [6]
  • The Raiders sued the Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for infringed upon key trademark elements of the Raiders' brand, including the Buccaneers' pirate logo and the Panthers' silver and black color scheme. The Raiders wanted the courts to bar the Buccaneers and Panthers from wearing their uniforms while playing in California. However, since the lawsuit was filed in a state California court, the lawsuit was tossed out because federal courts only have jurisdiction on intellectual property issues. [7] The Raiders have yet to appeal the ruling.
 

 


 

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