"Holy Toledo!"

November 18, 2007

Oakland & Minnesota

Filed under: NFL — Bill @ 1:44 am

Long before Fran Tarkenton & Kenny Stabler, way back in 1960 there was a time when the American Football League was seeking a franchise in Minnesota. Due to competition the National Football League stepped in at the last moment and stole the team away from the A.F.L.. Suddenly the N.F.L. Vikings were born.

A void was left and the AFL wanting to expand had to search for other cities in which to place a team.  Atlanta was thr front runner but Paris Hilton’s grandfather Baron refused to sign off on the Atlanta deal. East of San Francisco in a rapidly growing port town was Oakland, California. It took until the last moment but the A.F.L. did finally award a team to Oakland.

A contest was held to name the team and they were to become the Oakland Seniors. The Seniors name quickly faded and the Raiders were born.

For the first few years the Raiders were (as they are today) the laughing stock of the AFL. They lost most of their games and it continued until a former assistant coach from the San Diego Chargers came along named Al Davis.

Al took this group of losers and made them into champions. He formed the team colors and made them fight to become winners. The rest, shall we say, is history.

Ironically in 1977 way back when they said that John Madden couldn’t win the big one, his team beat the NFL champion Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI. It was the first championship for the Oakland Raiders and it came against the very franchise that they had almost become.

There is a long history that entangles the cities of Oakland and Minnesota. Besides the Raiders & Vikings consider the USFL & the NHL connections as well (stories to be told later). My only hope is that at least on this given Sunday that those NFL fans watching today’s game realize it.

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