The Greatness of the Raiders Gameday MAGAZINE 47 The Raiders — who began play in the American Football League in 1960 — enter their 56th year of professional football competition, including the last 45 as a member of the National Football League. In five memorable decades — the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and the 2000s — the Raiders have been dominant in professional football since Al Davis first pledged in 1963 to build the finest organization in pro sports. During these decades of dominance, the Raiders have won an AFL championship, four American Football Conference championships, and three world championships of professional football, participated in five Super Bowls, played in 14 championship games, won or tied for 17 division championships, had 21 playoff seasons, finished 34 seasons at .500 or better and played in 40 postseason games. Pro football’s dynamic organization placed first in the AFC West in 2000, 2001 and 2002 despite playing among the toughest schedules in the NFL in each of those seasons. With their appearance in Super Bowl XXXVII, the Raiders became the first NFL team to have had a season end in the Super Bowl in four different decades. The Raiders are the only team to have been in Super Bowls in the ‘60s, the ‘70s, the ‘80s and the 2000s. The Silver and Black are the only AFC team — and one of just two NFL teams (Minnesota) — to have a season that advanced to the conference championship game in the ‘60s, the ‘70s, the ‘80s, the ‘90s and the 2000s. The Raiders are one of only two original AFL teams to have captured three world championships of professional football with Super Bowl victories. The Raiders are one of only four AFC teams to have won more than one Super Bowl since 1980. In their five Super Bowl appearances, the Raiders have been led by four head coaches and started four quarterbacks. With four postseason victories, the Raiders were the first of the AFC West teams to win multiple postseason contests in the new millennium by six years. Since 1963, when Al Davis first took over the failing Oakland franchise that had struggled to win only nine of 42 league games in the initial three seasons of the new AFL and pledged to build the finest organization in sports, the Raiders have dominated professional football in terms of consistent victory. During those memorable 55 years in Oakland and Los Angeles, the Raiders have won 437 league games, tied 11 and lost only 388. “Commitment to Excellence” has never been an idle phrase to those who have proudly represented the Raiders organization during the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and the new millennium as shown by their domination of pro football. More than 20 of the great players who proudly wore the Silver and Black, as well as Owner-Leader Al Davis and legendary Head Coach John Madden, have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Raiders have also produced five Coaches of the Year. In addition, 62 Pro Bowl players have made 182 Pro Bowl appearances representing the Silver and Black. In 1970, as the Raiders began their second decade of play, the merger between the AFL and NFL became a reality on the field. In the 1970 through 2012 period of interconference play, the Raiders have compiled a remarkable 92-73-1 record against present National Football Conference rivals. Another innovation came to professional football in 1970 — “Monday Night Football.” The Raiders’ domination of this prime-time television series has seen the Silver and Black build an incredible 37-27-1 record in Monday night play. In the 44 years of this series, the Raiders are 15- 8-0 in “Monday Night Football” games at home. Through the decades — the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and now the 2000s — the Raiders have had the greatest players, the greatest coaches, the greatest plays and participated in the greatest games in the annals of professional sports. Challengers to Raider domination of professional football will arise as they have in the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and the new millennium. The Raider organization will continue to meet these challenges.
2015 Oakland Raiders GameDay B
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