Las Vegas Fans: A Raiders History Lesson

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders won’t officially be in Las Vegas until 2020. But that doesn’t mean the newest Raider Nation outpost can’t start getting more knowledgeable on all things Raiders.

Last March 27th the NFL owners voted 31-1 to allow the Oakland Raiders to move to Las Vegas. However, the Raiders will not physically relocate until their new state-of-the-art stadium is built and completed in 2020.

Those of you in Las Vegas who have been fans of the Raiders for years wont have any issues adjusting, and probably already have your $100 dollar deposit already placed for your households PSLs. For those of you that don’t know much about the Raiders, or their mystique, here is a crash course in how to become a Raiders fan in Las Vegas and knowing their history.

First you are getting a team that has a storied history. That history was shaped by the legendary owner Al Davis. He coined phrases like, Commitment to Excellence, Pride and Poise, The Will to Win, and Just Win Baby. To Al Davis these were not just catch phrases though. They are a creed to live by, and they are still used in the Raiders organization today.

Davis, and the Raiders, believed strongly in the civil rights and equal rights for all. Tom Flores, was the Raiders first Latino quarterback and the first Hispanic head coach to win not only one, but two Super Bowl championships. Amy Trask, who would one day become the Raider’s president, was the first woman in the role in the NFL. And Art Shell was the first African-American, in the Super Bowl Era, named head coach as well.

Then there are the Raider’s Legendary players. Kenny “The Snake” Stabler, Daryl “The Mad Bomber” Lamonica, Jim Otto, “Big” Ben Davidson, Art Powell, Cliff Branch, Freddie Biletnikoff, Art Shell, Gene Upshaw, “Old Man” Willie Brown, Dave Casper “The Ghost,” Ted “The Stork” Hendricks, Jim Plunkett, Ray Guy, Marcus Allen, Howie Long, Greg Townsend, Tim Brown, Mike Haynes, Jack Tatum and George Atkinson – just to name a few.

Honestly I could keep going for about 50 more pages.

Super Bowls, Conference Championship Games & Controversy.

The Raiders have played in five Super Bowls since founded in 1960:

  • In Super Bowl II, the Silver and Back lost to legendary coach Vince Lombardi and his Green Bay Packers.
  • In January 1977, Super Bowl XI was the Raiders first NFL Championship as they downed the Minnesota Vikings 32-14 in the Rose Bowl.
  • A few years later, in 1981, the Raiders won their second in Super Bowl XV with a dominating performance over Philadelphia, 27-10.
  • Super Bowl XVIII: The Raiders, with a record-setting performance from Marcus Allen (191 yards, two TDs, and was named Super Bowl MVP), stomped Washington 38-9 in a lopsided affair.
  • Super Bowl XXXVII saw the Raiders face their former head coach in Jon Gruden who beat Oakland 48-21 in what has been the Raiders latest appearance in the big game.Loss to Tampa Bay Also the Raiders have been to
  • Of Note: The Raiders have played in 14 AFL/AFC Championship games, winning five of them.

Then there is the controversies. The Raiders are the victims of the three worst calls in playoff history. Honestly, every Raider fan, who watched those games, can tell you, in detail, exactly what they were doing when these horrible calls happened. Its the Raiders Fans JFK Moment.

What are those moments?

  • The Immaculate Reception 1972 vs Pittsburgh,
  • The Tuck Rule 2002 vs New England,
  • The Lytle Fumble 1977 vs Denver

Not only that, but the Raiders are the most penalized team in NFL History. All of which makes most fans a bit less trusting of the men, and now women, in the black and white stripes.

What does all this mean? So now that we have you caught up in Raiders History 101, lets tell you what you are getting right now.

Right now you are getting a team that is a Super Bowl contender for the foreseeable future. You are getting a pre-built fan base that will travel to your city, by the thousands, called Raider Nation. They are some characters for sure. Violator, Gorilla Rilla, and El Senor – just a few of The Black Hole‘s most notorious fans. You will see them bring a tailgating event like you have never seen, a fantastic pre-game bonding moment for all Raiders fans alike.

But here is the kicker. When the Raiders finally move to Las Vegas, guess what? It will be your team. And as such, don’t try and mimic the culture that was in Oakland, or Los Angeles. Make your own traditions. Make your own culture. Because the reality is they will be your team for the next 30-50 years and possibly beyond. You don’t have to dress up like its Halloween every game day if you don’t want to. Just grab a jersey, meet some people and create your own wonderful memories.


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