Wednesday, September 21, 2016

15 Silver and black facts about your Oakland Raiders!

1. The Oakland Raiders were first granted a professional football franchise on January 30, 1960 in the now-defunct AFL. They joined the NFL in 1970 with the AFL-NFL merger.

2. The Raiders won football’s ultimate prize, a Super Bowl Championship, three times:
Super Bowl XI on January 9, 1977, 32-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings
Super Bowl XV on January 25, 1981, 27-10 win over the Philadelphia Eagles
Super Bowl XVIII January 22,1984, 38-9 win over the Washington Redskins

3. Entering the 2016 season, the Raiders’ all-time NFL record stands at
389 wins, 354 losses and 6 ties.

4. While they don’t often play each other, the Raiders have a heated rivalry with the adjacent San Francisco 49ers to capture bragging rights and Bay Area fan attention. 

5. In fact, they’ve only played 13 times with the Raiders winning 7 and the 49ers 6. They aren’t slated to play head-to-head again until 2018 (unless they both meet in the Super Bowl before then!)

6. Since 1961, the team cheerleaders have been called the Raiderettes, often known as "Football's Fabulous Females".

7. Part of the Raiders’ checkered history includes a move from their native Oakland to Los Angeles in 1982. Spurned by Oakland’s refusal to improve their stadium and add luxury boxes, Al Davis and the Raiders moved to the 95,000-seat Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum after a lengthy legal battle, where they played until 1994, before moving back north.

8. The all-time record holders among Raiders players include:
Marcus Allen – most rushing yards with 8,545 yards (1982-1992).
Ken Stabler - most passing yards with 19,078 yards (1970-1979).
Tim Brown – most caught passes with 1,070 receptions (1988-2003).
Sebastian Janikowski – all-time Raiders leading scorer with 1,574 points and growing (2000 to current).

9. The Raiders are famous for their silver and black pirate logo and uniforms, but those weren’t always the team colors. In fact, the original Raiders’ jerseys were gold and black, with gold stripes on the sleeves.

10. Although they soon switched to all silver and black uniforms, it wasn’t the end of color changes. The team used to wear silver jerseys when they played on the road, and black ones at home. But on sunny days the reflection caused a problem for TV cameras and viewers, so the NFL asked them to change to black road jerseys.

11. “Just win, baby!” was a Raider rallying cry made famous by owner Al Davis, but Davis originally proclaimed “Just win! Be right!” and Raider linebacker Phil Villapiano added the “baby” to the end.

12. The Raiders’ official credo is “Commitment to Excellence,” in reference to a line from a speech by Winston Churchill.

13. The team we know so well as the “Raiders” almost never was, since the original team name was left up to a fan contest, which voted for “The SeƱors.” But after plenty of ridicule and jokes, the name was changed after only 48 hours.

14. The official team song is The Autumn Wind, a ballad of bad-guy buccaneers (and football teams) that’s played before every home game. In fact, the song was originally written impromptu by David Morocom, an employee of NFL Films, to accompany footage of the Raiders.

15. The Raiders now play in venerable Oakland Coliseum, which they’ve shared with the Oakland A’s baseball team since 1968 (except for the years in Los Angeles). In fact, the A’s dirt infield is still bare and visible for Raiders games, and the midfield and end zones are devoid of any Raider logos or badging like you see on other NFL fields. 

16. The unofficial name for Raiders fans is “Raider Nation,” known for their undying loyalty, rambunctious behavior, and colorful costumes to express their fandom. Al Davis coined that phrase was back in 1968.

17. “The Black Hole” is a particularly rowdy (and sometimes dangerous!) area of fans at home games, located on field level in the end zone in sections 104-107 in The Coliseum.

18. Famous California rapper Ice Cube recorded a song called "Raider Nation" in 2009, as well as contributing to a documentary about the role of Raiders clothing and gear in 1980s Los Angeles gang culture.

19. Over the years, the Raiders have featured a host of players that are former Heisman Trophy Winners, including Marcus Allen, Bo Jackson, Tim Brown, Charles Woodson, Billy Cannon, Desmond Howard and Jim Plunkett.

19. John Madden is one of the most iconic Raiders and football “lifers.” Madden was the Raiders head coach starting on February 4, 1969 and went on to a surprisingly good 12-1-1 record that year, with a close loss in the AFL Championship game. 

20. Madden went on to coach the Raiders for 10 seasons and his lifetime winning percentage (including playoffs) is the second best in league history! In fact, Madden led the Raiders to their first Super Bowl and never had a losing season, and went on to become a household name as an announcer and for his Madden Football video game.

21. When the Raiders hired Art Shell as their head coach in 1989, he became the first African American head coach in the NFL. The Raiders had also hired the first ever Latino head coach in the NFL when they brought on Tom Flores in 1979. 

22. The Raiders ushered in a new era of leadership when they hired Jack Del Rio has head coach on January 14, 2015, replacing fired coach Dennis Allen and then interim coach Tony Soprano.

23. This year’s team shows particular promise to soon overcome the Raiders playoff and even Super Bowl draught. With young stars Khalil Mack (1st player ever to be selected as an All-Pro at 2 positions the same year), wide receiver Amari Cooper (first Oakland Raider rookie to reach 1,000-yards) and budding QB star Derek Carr  (53 TD passes in his first two seasons are the 2nd–most in NFL history) they Raiders are poised for an epic resurgence!

24. However, there is a cloud over the future of the team remaining in Oakland, as plans are underway for the Raiders to relocate to Las Vegas. On September 15, 2016, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee voted to approve an initial $750 million funding package for a new stadium to host the Raiders. 

25. But if history has shown us one thing, it’s that no matter where the Raiders play the diehard Silver and Black fans will remain loyal! 

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