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Relocated NFL Teams: The Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders were a football team that played in the NFL from 1960 to 1982. The team began in 1960 as an expansion team for the AFL. The slot taken by Oakland was initially meant for Minnesota but it was later reassigned to the West Coast city. The team was initially to be called the Oakland Senors but the name was dropped because of disapproval from the public. San Francisco native and former college football coach Eddie Erdelatz was picked as the team’s first head coach, the origin Of the ‘Raiders’ moniker is not exactly clear but it is likely connected with the team’s first principal owner Chet Soda and his partners.

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The Raiders were one of the most successful football teams during their active years. They managed a haul of three Super Bowls and won their division nine times. They made the playoffs 12 times out of 22 years in play. The Raiders began their life in competition with a 37-22 loss to the Houston Oilers on September 11, 2960. Two weeks later they exerted revenge on the Oilers with a with a narrow 14-13 victory. They would finish the 1960 season with a 6-8 record. They lost the first two games of the 1961 season with a combined score of 99-0 and were unable to recover sufficiently despite firing coach Erdelatz, as they finished with a dismal 2-12. They sunk even lower the following season as they posted a 1-13 record. In 1963, they improved by a huge margin as they managed a second place finish with a 10-4 record.

The Raiders kept improving and made their first Super Bowl appearance in 1967. They however lost 33-14 to the Green Bay Packers. They narrowly lost the 1968 AFL championship and then had a series of average seasons before they managed to reach the Super Bowl, in 1976. This time they atoned for their loss nearly a decade earlier, beating the Minnesota Vikings in the contest held in Pasadena. Wide receiver Fred Biletkinoff was largely to thank for that win. With the team widely billed to make a move away from Oakland, they beat the odds to reach Super Bowl XV. They defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 which precipitated a very uncomfortable situation during the awarding of the trophy. At the time the Super Bowl was played, the Raiders were involved in a bitter court battle with the NFL over the league’s refusal to allow the Raiders to relocate to a more conducive home. Pete Rozelle, the league commissioner found it awkward presenting the Lombardi to his nemesis Al Davis, the president of the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders spent one more season in Oakland, in which they posted a 7-9 record.

Why the Oakland Raiders were Relocated

From the very start, Raiders owner Al Davis was not satisfied with the condition of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and tried to get the cty to make improvements. The addition of luxury boxes and additional seats, with the intention of increasing gate collections was his main goal. Oakland County however refused to meet these demands and Davis began to plan a move to LA where the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was available to the team. The NFL however shot down this move and when Davis defied the directive and tried to move the team anyway, the league took the battle to court. The court held up the league’s decision and this kept the Raiders in Oakland for one more season. Davis in return countered with an antitrust lawsuit which he won at the appeal level in 1982. The much coveted move to LA finally materialized prior to the beginning of the 1982 season, with the team being renamed the Los Angeles Raiders. The league did not officially recognize the move but let it stand until 1995 when the Raiders moved back to Oakland on their own volition and remain there to date. The City of Oakland did finally make repairs to the Coliseum worth $220 million and that is part of what convinced Al Davis to return the team. The Raiders pay some of the lowest rent in the league and do not pay maintenance fees or game-day operation fees.

Oakland Raiders Notable Players

Fred Biletnikoff WR 1965-1978

Dave Casper QB 1974-1981

George Blanda PK/QB 1967-1975

Willie Brown CB 1967-1978

Ted Hendricks LB 1975-1981

Jim Otto C 1960-1974

Art Shell G 1968-1982

Gene Upshaw G 1967-1981

Dan Conners LB 1964-1974

Pete Banaszak RB 1966-1978

Ted Hendricks LB 1975-1983

Dave Dalby C 1972-1981

Jeff Barnes LB 1975-1981

Ken Stabler QB 1970-1979

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Did the Raiders once relocate?

In 2009,

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