As any Raider fan can tell you, one of the late Al Davis's many quirks as owner was his stout refusal to do a whole lot in terms of publicly honoring former players. I'm talking about retiring jersey numbers, starting a ring of honor, and things like that.
But now that the new Raiders era is fully underway with Mark Davis and Reggie McKenzie, I've been thinking about that policy. I get where Al was coming from, in that I think it's healthier for a franchise to focus on the future than to dwell on the past. But I still think it would be nice if Oakland did something more to connect the greatness of the past to the current team.
We started seeing this to a small degree with the custom of bringing in Raiders greats of the past to light the Al Davis Torch at the coliseum. But how cool would it be to see players like Jim Otto, Ken Stabler, Howie Long, and others stand up and receive full honors for their commitment to excellence?
I don't know if retiring numbers is practical, since the team would run out pretty quickly, but something like a ring of honor would be great. It wouldn't help win football games of course, but I think it could be done in such a way that it doesn't make the Raiders just like every other team in the NFL.