Looking Back at the Silver and Black Attack

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Looking Back at the Silver and Black Attack

The franchise began as the Minnesota franchise of the new American Football League in 1959.

In an all out effort to stop the new league the established NFL expanded into the Twin Cities with the Vikings and into Dallas with the Cowboys.

Lamar Hunt's Dallas Texans made the decision to stay put in Dallas and compete with the older league but the cash strapped ownership group in Minneapolis decided their odds would be better in the San Francisco east bay area.

With the local newspaper, the Oakland Tribune, a contest was held to name the new franchise. The winner was a Fremont Calif., woman who came up with the moniker Oakland Senors.

hat name was changed to the Raiders almost at once but the Black and Gold colors would last for the first three years of the Raiders existence.

From the 1960 season and through the 1962 campaign the Raiders put a ragtag mix of castoffs onto the field and in 1962 reached a low point when the lost the first 13 games of the season.

As a fan it was tough rooting for a losing team that no one seemingly wanted.

Without an adequate stadium in Oakland and being turned down in a bid to use Cal Berkeley's Memorial Stadium the team played their initial games at Kezar Stadium, a large high school field on the edge of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

Things changed in 1963. A young assistant to San Diego's offensive guru Sid Gillman, was hired to take over as the Raiders head coach.

His name was Al Davis. The changes were swift and direct. Davis made some personnel changes while putting an entirely new offensive scheme in place and he got results.

In his first season, the Raiders improved on their 1-13 record from 1962 with a 10-4 mark in 1963. The franchise was now on the map. They continued with winning records through 1966 when they traded their All-Star wide receiver, Art Powell, to the Buffalo Bills and brought in Darrell Lamonica to quarterback the Al Davis offense.

From 1967 until 1981, the franchise was more successful than any other in professional football winning over 80 percent of their games, appearing in the playoffs 11 times and appearing in three Super Bowls while winning two of them.

I was at every one of the Raiders' home games during that stretch and was asked by another writer on Bleacher Report to see some of the pictures I took of players of that era.

Here are a few I scanned for him to see. I hope you enjoy them.

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