Oakland Raiders: 30 Iconic Moments In Franchise History

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Sep 21, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; An Oakland Raiders helmet with an “AL” sticker sits on the ground during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

1. October 8, 2011 – The Passing of a Legend

On January 18, 1963, Al Davis took control of the Oakland Raiders as the team’s head coach and general manager. His hiring was quintessential Al Davis. According to witnesses to the negotiations, Davis’ opinion of Valley and McGah wasn’t too great – he was reportedly quoted as saying, “they didn’t know the right questions to ask him.”

After owner F. Wayne Valley and his general partner Ed McGah offered him a one year deal to coach the team, Davis declined, insisting on a multi-year deal and full control over football operations. They agreed to a three year deal and the die was cast.

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Davis built the Raiders from the ground up – from their silver and black uniforms to the roster that was a dominant force in the league.

His take no prisoners approach to building his team landed him the job as AFL Commissioner in 1966 as the league’s owners sought to compete toe to toe with the older, better established NFL.

Some people will only remember Davis as the half-crazed looking guy in the track suit who liked to sue the league a lot. They’ll remember the bloated contracts he handed out to aging stars in the hopes of winning another title – a move that didn’t work and put his franchise in a very tough spot for a number of years.

Though his later years weren’t great and didn’t come anywhere close to recreating the glory days of the franchise, they also don’t illustrate the genius of the man. He forgot more about football on a daily basis than most people will ever know. And his importance in shaping his iconic franchise, as well as helping shape the NFL as we know it today, can never be overstated.

Next: Raiders Get Back To Being Offensive

Davis is a legend and a giant in the sport. There may never be another like him. Just Win, Baby.