The end of another poor Raider season does not change my enthusiasm for the team. I have followed the Raiders closely for forty years and will never forget the players and the coach to whom I devoted so many of my hours rooting to victory.
In my favorite Raider era, Coach John Madden and company made it to the playoffs six straight seasons. They won the Super Bowl and later sent many of the players (and Madden himself) to the Hall of Fame. The time when Stabler quarterbacked and threw passes to Branch and Biletnikoff rocked because the team never gave up on winning the game.
I have written a tribute to this team. I describe a game when so-called "experts" opined that the Raiders should "throw" a game to the Bengals because it would help knock the dreaded Steelers out of playoff contention. I discuss some heartbreaking losses and analyze some of the worst calls in the history of the NFL which caused these losses, such as the "Immaculate Reception" and the "Rob Lytle Non-Call." I talk about the near-miss against the Steelers in the 1975 AFC Championship Game, in which the announcers had written the Raiders off until Stabler connected with Branch, who almost slipped away from a tackle as the game ended.
The Raiders, of course won much more often than not. The won by playing hard and playing down to the last play, even if it meant rolling the ball on the ground to get a touchdown! If this is your favorite team, please accept my gift of long excerpts of three chapters of my recent book here.