Throughout the history of the Oakland Raiders, there have been many greats and numerous Hall of Famers. But who were the most distinguished men to don the silver and black? Let’s take a look at the most legendary members of Raider Nation.
And please keep in mind, there are only so many Raiders who can be included on this list. There will be some worthy candidates left off, so feel free to mention your most legendary Raiders in the comments.
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Is there any doubt that it all has to begin with the man himself, the late Al Davis? With the way the team struggled in his final years, it was easy to forget just how great Davis was in his prime.
This was a man who challenged the NFL time and again, thumbing his nose at the establishment and winning football games while he did it. The silver and black, “Commitment to Excellence” and “Just Win, Baby” were all the brainchild of Davis.
Everything the Raiders ever have been and ever will be is thanks to him. Davis was the consummate bad ass and is rightfully enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Just rest in peace, baby.
Before Peyton Manning and Drew Brees were setting records, before Dan Marino was lighting the world on fire and before Brett Favre was completing passes through double coverage, there was Daryle Lamonica.
Nicknamed “The Mad Bomber,” Lamonica averaged nearly 15 yards per completion. By comparison, Manning and Brees have averaged less than 12 yards per completion.
Lamonica was the first in a long line of Raiders quarterbacks who relied on the “vertical passing game,” which no doubt endeared him to Al Davis.
Al Davis was always known for breaking barriers, and he broke a big one when he hired Flores to be his head coach. Flores, a Hispanic, made history by becoming the first minority coach to win the Super Bowl.
He brought two championships to Oakland in a four-year span and now serves as the color commentator on the Raiders’ radio broadcasts.
Now allow me to ask a question I have asked many times before: Why isn’t Flores in the Hall of Fame?
Long was one of the NFL's best defensive linemen and actually spent his entire career in the silver and black. But Long has become even more famous as a broadcaster, providing smart, eloquent commentary on Fox for many years.
For a franchise so often associated with ruffians and brutes, Long is a model citizen who represents the shield as well as any other former Raider.
Who knows how to break off legendary runs on Monday Night Football? Bo knows.
One of the greatest athletes you will ever see, Jackson was an unbelievable combination of size, speed and strength. When he wasn’t blowing past defenders on the football field, he was moonlighting as an all-star baseball player for the Kansas City Royals.
His career was cut tragically short by a bum hip, but there was no denying how electrifying Jackson was as a tailback.
Madden was the first coach to bring the Raiders a Super Bowl victory, which is enough of an accomplishment to merit inclusion on this list. But Madden is also the winningest coach in Raider history and the youngest coach to reach 100 career victories.
Despite his great coaching career, Madden is much more famous as a color commentator. Arguably the best analyst in NFL history, Madden gave simple but interesting insight every time he was on your TV.
Perhaps most importantly, Madden has remained loyal to the Raiders. He advised Mark Davis last year after Al Davis’ passing, and you can still find him taking in a Raider game from time to time.
Madden is the elder statesman of Raider Nation.
There were many dark days for the Raider Nation in the '90s and '00s, but there was always one shining star amid the darkness: “Touchdown” Timmy Brown.
No matter how terrible the quarterback (looking at you, Jeff Hostetler), Brown always came up with big catches and lots of yards. Brown racked up 1,000 receiving yards for nine straight seasons at one point and ranks sixth on the all-time touchdown reception list.
One day Brown will be enshrined in Canton. It will be well deserved.
Can we just pretend that Shell’s last stint as the Raiders’ coach never happened? Because Shell deserves better than to be remembered as a colossal failure.
After a Hall of Fame career as an offensive tackle for the Raiders, Al Davis made Shell the first black head coach in football’s modern era. Shell was solid that first time around, even leading the Raiders to the AFC Championship Game.
Although Davis always said he regretted firing Shell the first time, Shell’s return to the sidelines in 2006 was an unmitigated disaster.
Regardless, he still contributed a great deal to what Davis would call “the greatness of the Raiders.”
Was there a scarier man in the secondary that Tatum? This guy was so fierce, he was nicknamed “The Assassin.”
If you were a receiver coming over the middle, the last thing you wanted to see was a black jersey with the No. 32 heading toward you. Tatum was a Pro Bowler, an All-Pro and Super Bowl champion.
But what he’ll be remembered for most is rearranging organs with his vicious hits.
Who was more of a Raider than Ken Stabler?
His nickname was “The Snake.” He threw the ball deep and threw it often, and he had a reputation as a notorious ladies man. If that’s not the description of the quintessential Raider quarterback, I don’t know what is.
Stabler zoomed to 100 career victories in just 150 games and led the Raiders to their first Super Bowl victory in 1977. Arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Stabler inexplicably isn’t in the Hall of Fame—but at least we know he’s a legendary member of Raider Nation.