79

Who would be Raiders’ first HOF class?

Received an e-mail from the 49ers during a weekend off with a headline worthy of “The Onion.”

It read:
“EDWARD J. DEBARTOLO JR. TO BE INDUCTED INTO
EDWARD J. DEBARTOLO SR. 49ERS HALL OF FAME”

Al Davis wasn’t in the first class of inductees, although maybe he should have been. (Now that would have made for a great headline).

Al has regaled the media more than once with the story of how he helped broker the deal that allowed DeBartolo the elder to purchase the 49ers from the Morabito family, with Eddie Jr. yipping at his father’s heels, saying, “Can I have it? Please Dad, can I have it? Please!”

So maybe those weren’t his exact words, but I doubt Davis would mind if that’s the way it was portrayed.

That’s a long way of pointing out the 49ers are opening their own Hall of Fame, while the Raiders, who kicked the idea around in public upon their return to Oakland in 1995, still don’t have one.

Nor do they have a “Ring of Honor” or anything else for a with a team that considers tradition such an important part of its existence. With the original AFL teams being recognized this year in “legacy” games, it would have been a perfect year for the Raiders to have their own introductory class.

I wrote about this back in 2005, but I’ll take another crack at the first 10 enshrinees, with one stipulation for the first class of players:

Only true “Raiders” go in first. That means you were either drafted by the Raiders or became a star with the Raiders. And it also means George Blanda (a cast of thousands), Ted Hendricks (Colts, Packers), Jim Plunkett (Patriots, 49ers) and Art Powell (New York Titans) become eligible next year.

Before getting to the players, four men enter the non-player’s wing:

Al Davis, coach, owner: The architect of a brand name that has fallen on hard times, but in its prime played with a singular style and purpose which placed it alongside the Yankees and Celtics.

John Madden, coach, 1969-78: Record was 112-39-7 overall, and only the Pittsburgh Steelers prevented Madden from more than one ring.

Tom Flores, coach, 1979-1987: Twice as many rings as Madden and was the last Raiders coach with the ability to operate effectively while in a true partnership with the boss.

Bill King, radio play-by-play: 1966-1992: If you grew up in the Bay Area and followed the Raiders during the days when sold out home games were blacked out, your memories are even more vivid than if you saw the games on television. Unless you experienced it through King’s voice, you’d never understand.

THE PLAYERS

Jim Otto, center, 1960-74: The only All-AFL center the league ever had, Otto sacrificed his body but not his spirit and remains a Raider to the core. If he’s not the toughest man who ever lived, he’s in the top five. Named to Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

Gene Upshaw, guard, 1967-81: Before he started running interference for the players as the union chief, Upshaw was one of the greatest pulling guards in NFL history. Named to Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

Art Shell, tackle, 1968-82: Entire career distilled into a single afternoon when he made Jim Marshall disappear in the Raiders’ first Super Bowl win, Shell remains the standard by which his position is judged. Named to Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989. (No need to make mention that whole second coaching go-around in 2006).

Willie Brown, cornerback, 1967-78: Acquired from Denver along with quarterback Mickey Slaughter for defensive tackle Rex Mirich and a third-round draft pick, Davis thought Brown perfect for the bump-and-run defense. Brown played it as if he invented it. Named to Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984.

Dave Casper, tight end, 1974-80, 1984: If he’s not the best tight end of all time, he’s in the conversation. Dominant as blocker and receiver, participant in two plays which should be shown in an endless loop somewhere in the imaginary Hall of Fame facility “The Ghost to the Post” and the “Holy Roller.” Named to Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

Marcus Allen, running back, 1982-92: Before he committed the cardinal sin of a Raiders player by publicly feuding with Davis over money, Allen was the dominant running back in franchise history and without peer as an all-around back (running, receiving, blocking), saving his best game for the last Raiders’ win in a Super Bowl. Named to Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Fred Biletnikoff, wide receiver, 1965-78: Did Biletnikoff ever measure off a pattern so that he came up an inch shy of a first down? Not that I remember. MVP of the Raiders first Super Bowl win and one of the great route runners and possession receivers of all time. Named to Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988.

Howie Long, defensive end, 1981-93: Didn’t matter whether Long was aligned as an end in a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense, whether teams went at him or away from him, whether they run or passed. Few players consistently whipped the man in front of him as consistently as one of the last throwback defensive linemen. Named to Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

Cliff Branch, wide receiver, 1972-85: This is what Davis was thinking about when he drafted Darrius Heyward-Bey. One of the byproducts of the team superiority of the Steelers over the Raiders was that they put both Lynn Swann and John Stallworth in the Hall of Fame, when neither man had the impact Branch had on the Raiders. Will never get a sniff at Canton, but he goes in with honors here.

Jack Tatum, safety, 1971-79: The personification of the intimidation factor the Raiders used to live by in their glory years, Tatum’s Super Bowl blow-up on Minnesota wide receiver Sammy White remains an NFL Films classic. Still among the standards by which hard-hitting safeties are judged, Tatum was so feared the league slowly legislated his style of play out of the league through rules changes.

Ken Stabler, quarterback, 1970-79: OK, we’ll make it 11. Inadvertently edited Stabler out of my initial list, and wasn’t willing to take anyone else out . . . no-brainer as the quarterback who finally delivered a Super Bowl win in addition to being the master of the two-minute drill.

ORGANIZED TEAM ACTIVITIES

The Raiders will hold the first of their organized team activities this week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Media access will be Wednesday following a 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. practice.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    Go Raiders (I mean Lakers!)

  • Raider240

    Um No Ken Stabler? I am not sure he is as worthy of the NFL HOF. But certainly he would be in the all Raider HOF? He was under center when they won their first championship right?

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    Jerry, the more you pander to these morons, the harder they’re going to turn on you when you decide to be a journalist again and report on how bad Al Davis is doing.

  • RaiderRockstar

    report on how bad Al Davis is doing.

    ***

    he’s 0-0. it’s a new season retard

    how bad was Arthur Blank doing this time last year?

  • RaiderRockstar

    be back later

  • http://Raiders.com RaiderTW

    San Diego: Prior to the 2007 season, the Chargers last playoff victory came in 1994. The trophy case remains void of a single Lombardi Trophy.

    Kansas City: The Chiefs only Super Bowl victory was 40 years ago and last playoff win was in 1993. 16 years have gone by without a single playoff victory and you want to harp on the Raiders recent 6 season swoon?

    Denver: Since Elway hung up his cleats after the 1998 season, the Broncos have won 1 divisional title and 1 playoff game.

    Oakland: To put the above facts in perspective, the Raiders have won 4 playoff games, 3 divisional titles and appeared in the Super Bowl within the last 9 years.

  • CantstandtheHaters

    John Madden, coach, 1969-78: Record was 112-39-7 overall, and only the Pittsburgh Steelers prevented Madden from more than one ring.

    …on major ‘roids

  • M Lonetree

    I have read the rationales(read prejudices)behind Bill King never having been elected to any Hall of Fame. None of them are worthy reasons that he should be unhonoured.
    As the voice of the Raiders it is the reason why those film clips such as the Holy Roller and Ghost to the Post use his call of the play. No one could set the scene nor deliver the play as it unfolded as Bill King.

    He was simply the best I ever heard at describing to me via radio what was occurring on an NBA basketball court, an NFL football field, or a MLB baseball diamond…at least he got to call championships in all three of those sports. RIP.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    RaiderTW, all you’ve demonstrated with that rundown is that at one time, Al Davis put winning above all else. Since him and Gruden fell out, he hasn’t.

  • ottocrat

    What about Gorilla Rilla?

  • OAKlifer

    hmmmm…. willie over Lester… i can see it I geuss

  • DKnight007

    LOL….Oh the pathetic GOP and their grasping at straws to try and get power back by making a futile effort to go after Pelosi, when it was quite obvious the CIA didn’t tell her everything under orders from war criminals and liars like Cheney and Rumsfeld.

  • OAKlifer

    San Diego: Prior to the 2007 season, the Chargers last playoff victory came in 1994. The trophy case remains void of a single Lombardi Trophy.

    Kansas City: The Chiefs only Super Bowl victory was 40 years ago and last playoff win was in 1993. 16 years have gone by without a single playoff victory and you want to harp on the Raiders recent 6 season swoon?

    Denver: Since Elway hung up his cleats after the 1998 season, the Broncos have won 1 divisional title and 1 playoff game.

    Oakland: To put the above facts in perspective, the Raiders have won 4 playoff games, 3 divisional titles and appeared in the Super Bowl within the last 9 years.

    ********************************

    Thanks TW Good work brother!!!!

  • DKnight007

    If Russell doesn’t step it the heck up and if he makes too many critical mistakes that cost us games, then I’m all for giving Garcia a shot.

  • HayesDaze37

    Well, duh!

    C’mon JMac — not only does #37, The Judge, the great Raider Lester Hayes, belong in the Raiders HOF…he should already be in the NFL HOF. He would be, too, if he played for a team like Pittsburgh (not that I think the HOF voting is BS or anything…).

    Lester Hayes is one of the NFL’s all-time greatest cornerbacks, and his contribution to the Raiders was at least as valuable as those made by the the great Mike Haynes — who’s already in the HOF, mainly because he cut his teeth somewhere other than Al Davis’s Oakland.

    Lester Hayes not being in the NFL HOF is one of the HOF’s top-10 voter screw jobs.

  • M Lonetree

    George Atkinson.

  • DKnight007

    RaiderTW Says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 9:49 am
    San Diego: Prior to the 2007 season, the Chargers last playoff victory came in 1994. The trophy case remains void of a single Lombardi Trophy.

    Kansas City: The Chiefs only Super Bowl victory was 40 years ago and last playoff win was in 1993. 16 years have gone by without a single playoff victory and you want to harp on the Raiders recent 6 season swoon?

    Denver: Since Elway hung up his cleats after the 1998 season, the Broncos have won 1 divisional title and 1 playoff game.

    Oakland: To put the above facts in perspective, the Raiders have won 4 playoff games, 3 divisional titles and appeared in the Super Bowl within the last 9 years.

    ^^^^^
    Send this to BSPN and NFL Network and maybe they will wake the hell the up!

  • RaiderRockstar

    MR thinks every white person living outside of CA or NY is a redneck.

    MR: If you ever graduate high school, travel. make a trip around the world, or at least see a few states.

  • HayesDaze37

    Repost

    It’s a great week to be a Raiders fan. Isn’t it?

    Gruden to MNF? Great move for him and for the network…but he’s no Madden — no Everyman — and the world will find out soon enough. Without his trademark scowl, he’s just another boring analyst now.

    Gruden will ditch the network for the first big college head coaching job offer to come his way…NFL teams aren’t likely to hire his “larger than life” personality to be an assistant coach — too much of a distraction. HC or nothing for Gruden…and unless he gets to replace one of next season’s early NFL firings, he’ll be at college soon enough.

    Speaking of distractions…

    Anybody truly thinking Vick would be a good addition to this team is off their rocker. Think about just a few things like

    1. the distractions from football;
    2. the distractions from football;
    C. what if Vick beat-out JaMarcus? Ready for Vick to be the face of YOUR franchise?

    No, I don’t think Vick can win the job immediately. But, six months of football later, Vick is going to be a good player again. Not great — he never was.

    Why bring a never-was-great QB to a team that already has a never-was-great veteran QB on it in Garcia?

    Garcia’s capable enough for his role as professional backup to push Russell — adding Vick to the mix instantly sets this team back to Step-1 in it’s QB quest.

    No way to Vick. No way, no how.

  • M Lonetree

    DKnight007,

    name one QB in the history of the game who made no mistakes and did not cost his team games. Especially a QB in his early development. Give JRuss the keys, a roadmap and let him go for it. He’ll learn how the car handles on turns and rough roads only by driving it.

    Jeff Garcia (aka retread) – career playoff victories, 1 (if memory serves me and that was the result of the NY Giants getting jobbed by the officials).

  • OAKlifer

    hmmmm…. willie over Lester… i can see it I geuss
    ************

    Lester Hayes not being in the NFL HOF is one of the HOF’s top-10 voter screw jobs.

    MY setiments excatly……

  • Coach on Wheels

    MARCUS ALLEN

    Those two words sum up why there is no Raiders HOF. AL would decide who goes in and he’d be accountable when he left out “disloyal” players who deserved to be there.

    Interesting to see how many linemen are on there versus flashy RB (1), strong-arm QBs (0), and speedy WR (1). Linemen win championships.

  • OAKlifer

    If Russell doesn’t step it the heck up and if he makes too many critical mistakes that cost us games, then I’m all for giving Garcia a shot.

    *********
    Ahhhhh.. Come on DK007,

    Russell at this point in his carrer is better off the alot of the greats manning and elway to name a few…..

    err… i mean to name a couple

  • HayesDaze37

    Football, boys n’ girls n’ ‘tweeners…football…

  • Nnamdi21

    OAKlifer Says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 10:15 am
    hmmmm…. willie over Lester… i can see it I geuss
    ************

    Lester Hayes not being in the NFL HOF is one of the HOF’s top-10 voter screw jobs.

    MY setiments excatly……

    ================================

    Fuk the whole “He used stick em” argument. That didn’t put him in position to make the grabs or blanket recievers or make huge returns did it?

    His 1980 season was one of the best ever.

  • M Lonetree

    Mistabrown,

    any and all governments lie to their people.
    any director of any governmental agency lies to other governmental agencies, as well as the people.
    and intelligence organization lies to everyone it ever encounters.
    guess it all depends on the definition of “lie”. as even the lies are lies.

  • Nnamdi21

    M Lonetree Says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 10:22 am
    Mistabrown,

    any and all governments lie to their people.
    any director of any governmental agency lies to other governmental agencies, as well as the people.
    and intelligence organization lies to everyone it ever encounters.
    guess it all depends on the definition of “lie”. as even the lies are lies.

    ===================================

    Everybody does it so it must be ok right?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Offense:

    QB Jeff Garcia
    QB Bruce Gradkowski
    QB Danny Southwick
    RB Gary Russell
    FB Lorenzo Neal
    FB John Paul Foschi
    WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
    WR Louis Murphy
    WR Shawn Bayes
    WR Nick Miller
    WR Samie Parker
    TE Brandon Myers
    TE Chris O’Neill
    OT Khalif Barnes
    OT Erik Pears
    OT Marcus Johnson
    OG Jonathan Compas
    C Samson Satele

    Defense:

    DE Matt Shaughnessy
    DE Stryker Sulak
    DL Desmond Bryant
    DT Ryan Boschetti
    LB Slade Norris
    LB David Nixon
    LB Frantz Joseph
    CB Jason Horton
    SS Mike Mitchell
    SS Jerome Boyd

    ***

    Please rate your TOP 10 new Raiders who make an impact in the 2009 NFL season (coaches excluded). Please rank in order with the biggest contributers on top! Thanks

  • OAKlifer

    N21 & H37,

    Thats what I like to see our corners in different era’s being REPRESENTED…..Lester was the man that whole D-fense allowed him to take chances…AND stickem wasnt illeagal so……just another rule change in NFL history made possible by ours truly!!!

    and ohh yhea bout Nnamdi….Watch the Fuc OUT!!!NUFF SAID

  • RaiderRockstar

    Thats your upper lip.

    ***

    nice one jagoff

  • Coach on Wheels

    Now they just need a play-by-play guy besides Mike “Sleepy” Tirico.

  • HayesDaze37

    Garcia can take this team to 8-8 his first year here. He’d probably take us to 8-8 every year.

    JaMarcus has a chance — a chance — to become a great NFL QB. Not just average…not just good…but great.

    That’s something everybody needs to keep in mind as the veteran looks better than the kid in practice, and maybe even in preseason games.

    8-8 would be a nice turn after so many bad years. However, the chance at greatness with our young QB must nbe priority #1…because 8-8 just ain’t gonna cut it.

  • Nnamdi21

    Mike Mitchell will likely see action this year, but Hiram Eugene earned a shot too.

    He made corect reads, TD saving tackles and laid big hits in limted action last year.

    Word.

  • Nnamdi21

    49. Yup yup

  • RaiderRockstar

    Huff24 > Nnamdi21

  • Nnamdi21

    50. Yup yup.

    Russell’s the future and the only way to get him the experience is to get him the reps live fire.

    Needs to work on his foot placement. The basics and fundamentals.

    Most of his errant throws where when his feet were awkward.

    Hopefully with some better Wides and hopefully better protection…

  • OAKlifer

    Please rate your TOP 10 new Raiders who make an impact in the 2009 NFL season (coaches excluded). Please rank in order with the biggest contributers on top! Thanks

    ******************************************

    QB Jeff Garcia
    FB Lorenzo Neal
    WR Darrius Heyward-Bey

    4)OT Khalif Barnes
    OT Erik Pears
    OT Marcus Johnson
    OG Jonathan Compas
    C Samson Satele
    *********************

    if that dosnt work then my pick is Staele at 4 but all those guys will push the right side of the line and we need that….

    TE Brandon Myers
    SS Mike Mitchell

    LB Frantz Joseph…Thats right makes the team backs up MLB has 45 solos 1 pick 3 forced fumbles and 1 sack

    WR Louis Murphy

    DE Stryker Sulak=
    DE Matt Shaughnessy=

    9 and ten go hand and hand we need a replacement for Burgess and with some fesh faces it will either push some one else…Gunheim/richarson/whoever to take that spot or one of those two will shine

  • Nnamdi21

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 10:29 am
    Huff24 > Nnamdi21

    ========================

    RR = Entitled republican

  • Nnamdi21

    Lets hope Bey has a huge year

  • Nnamdi21

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 10:31 am
    N21 = Entitled democrat

    ======================

    Nope. N21 = American

    far as entitlemnet goes, nope. Broke azz broke

  • OAKlifer

    What are you on about? Never mind…

    ************************************

    hmmm Im on it all I think…..

    was that a retorhical question????

  • M Lonetree

    Nnamdi21,

    good morning.

    as a child on travels with the family often when we’d stop to get gasoline the opportunity would be used to utilize the facilities. as often was the case we would find a filthy restroom. my father always echoed the same words, “don’t touch nothing”.

    I feel the same about all human governance.

  • RaiderRockstar

    nice job OAKlifer #55

    here’s my list in order

    1. Garcia
    2. Neal
    3. DHB
    4. Satele
    5. Barnes
    6. Mitchell
    7. Myers
    8. Pears
    9. Shaughnessy
    10. Murphy

  • RaiderRockstar

    as often was the case we would find a filthy restroom. my father always echoed the same words, “don’t touch nothing”.

    ***

    My dad always hollered “just use your shirt!”

  • Nnamdi21

    61 Glas to hear it and good morning to you to.

    Ideally, we’d take care of ourselves, but compassion for our fellow man should be considered.

    Thats what makes us human…

    Enjoy the day!

  • Nnamdi21

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 10:38 am
    as often was the case we would find a filthy restroom. my father always echoed the same words, “don’t touch nothing”.

    ***

    My dad always hollered “just use your shirt!”

    ============

    LOL!

  • M Lonetree

    Nnamdi21,

    post 63 is entirely accurate. some forms of human governance do indeed need to be despised more than others.

  • RaiderRockstar

    just kiddin’ guys

  • RaiderRockstar

    bbl

  • Nnamdi21

    66. Incorrect. Open your eyes mang. Your letting them destroy us with your blind loyalty

    Enjoy your day and I’m glad we could have a civil disagreement

    PEACE!