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Relocated NFL Teams: The Los Angeles Raiders

There was a stint between 1982 and 1994 when the Oakland Raiders of the NFL were based in Los Angeles. During that time, they were known as the Los Angeles Raiders. The Raiders franchise had started in 1960 as an expansion franchise for the NFL. They experienced problems in getting a good home stadium through much of their time in Oakland. In 1983, with the city of Oakland unable to make improvements to the Oakland Coliseum, the team relocated to Angeles and thus the Los Angeles Raiders came to be. The relocation was not smooth sailing though. Raider’s owner, Al Davis’ first application for a move in 1980 had been shot down 22-0 by NF owners. A 1982 ruling for a petition filed by Davis and the Los Angeles however paved the way for the move. The Los Angeles Coliseum which had recently lost its previous tenants, the Rams, would be the home base of the Raiders.

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The team did not have to wait long to start enjoying success. After exiting in the playoffs during the strike shortened season 1982 season, they came back stronger in 1983 and battled all the way to Super Bowl XVIII. Along the way they had dispatched the Steelers and the Seahawks in the playoffs. They never looked like losing as they went to halftime with a 21-3 lead before extending it to cruise to a 38-9 victory. After that victory though, the raiders were unable to replicate such levels of success as playoffs appearances grew few and far between with time.

Al Davis was not a man who loved to mince words before dishing them. In the years following the Super Bowl XVIII win, a stormy relationship developed between Davis and star quarterback Marcus Allen. The disagreements stemmed from a contract dispute and this led Davis to publicly refer to Allen as a “cancer to the team.” During the 1989 season, Allen sat out a lot of games due to injury. Davis again attacked the QB, accusing him of faking injuries. Allen found himself relegated down the pecking order as Davis brought in Bo Jackson. The feud deteriorated to its worst point in December 1992 when Allen said in a broadcast interview that Davis had threatened to ruin his career and was now trying to stop him from entering the Hall of Fame by denying him game time. He eventually left the team for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993. He would return to haunt Davis though when the Raiders played the chiefs in a regular season game. The 34 year old star rushed 33 times for 132 yards to help the Chiefs down the Raiders. During the game he also surpassed the 10000 mark in career yards rushed and his former teammates lined up to give him congratulatory hugs.

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    Why Did The L.A. Raiders Relocate?

    The main bone of contention during the move from Oakland to LA had been the city’s refusal to install luxury boxes at the Oakland Coliseum. Although the LA Coliseum was not in stellar condition either and had been in fact abandoned by the Rams a few years before, Davis had elected to move his team there. He had pegged his decision on the assumption that the NFL would approve pay-per-view broadcasts for games. This would have given the Raiders a lucrative source of income with LA being the nation’s second largest TV market. He had also hoped to persuade the city officials to install his much coveted luxury boxes. None of these came to pass though and as early as 1986 Davis had started negotiations with other cities. Additionally, fan apathy had begun to set in as the team declined and the 100,000 seater stadium rarely sold out. Insecurity around the stadium also made Monday Night Football fixtures impossible to host at the Coliseum. Partial improvements were made at the LA Coliseum in 1993 but were halted due to financial difficulty. At this point, Davis gave up on LA and decided to move his team back to Oakland in 1994 where the second iteration of the “Oakland Raiders” came to be. In 2014, reports emerged of the Raiders’ intention to return to Oakland but in December a one year extension to the Oakland Coliseum lease was signed. After that, only time will tell whether Oakland fans are set for another heartbreak.

    Who Were Some Notable Players on the L.A. Raiders?

    Marcus Allen QB 1982-1992
    Howe Long DE 1982-1993
    Bo Jackson QB 19871990
    Tim Brown 1986-1994 WR
    Mike Haynes CB 1983-1989
    Ray Guy P 1982-1986
    Lyle Alzado DE 1982-1985
    Marc Wilson QB 1982-1987
    Chris Bahr 1982-1988
    Matt Millen LB 1982-1989
    Bill Pickel DT 1983-1990
    Mervyn Fernandez WR 1987-1992
    Ethan Horton 1987-1993
    Willie Gault 1988-1993
    Lionel Washington 1987-1994
    Jeff Jaeger 1989-1994

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