It is time to hit the polls and find out which Raider team is the greatest of all-time. If you need a refresher, and you missed them, check out my review of the 1983, 1980, 1976 squads by clicking on the links. This is a tough poll. It is like picking a favorite child, only harder.
The '83 squad destroyed teams in the playoffs, and they won with style and flash. The '80 squad gelled after a 2-3 start, and then won the Super Bowl with a QB everyone considered to be a bust. The '76 squad was the first, the nastiest and, at 15-1, they almost rolled through the season undefeated.
I am going with the 1976 team. I love the character and the attitude of this team. I love their toughness and the renegade nature. This team featured one of the hardest hitting, and most feared, defenses the league has ever seen. They also had what very likely is the hardest hitting offensive line in history. Art Shell and Gene Upshaw paved the way for this offense's success. They steam rolled everything in their path.
Then there is Ken Stabler. Stabler is one of a kind, and he offers one of my favorite quotes when he said, "People have different metabolisms. I didn't need a lot of sleep to play a football game. I studied my playbook by the light of the jukebox." And a quote like that is endearing only if the athlete succeeds, and succeed he did. Stabler's levels of clutch were off the charts, and he did it all while calling his own plays.