The Smoke Signal

2020 Las Vegas Raiders

Abbi Kissee

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The Raiders were founded in 1960 as members of the American Football League. They played at Kezar Stadium and Candlestick in San Francisco for two seasons before finding their home in Oakland where they played in a converted high school stadium. The team struggled with poor performance and financial difficulties. In 1963 that all changed when the team was taken over by head coach and eventual owner Al Davis. His first line of business was the team’s new look, they began to wear their silver and black uniforms. In 1965 construction started on the 54,000 seat Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum opening September 18, 1966. In 1967 after several years of improvement, the team won its first AFL Championship.

In 1982 the Raiders relocated to Los Angeles where they played two road games and their debut in Los Angeles was put on hold when the NFL players embarked on a two-month strike. When the season resumed the team finished with the best NFL regular season record. One year later they went on to win their third and last Super Bowl championship. The team’s wins declined greatly following the 1985 season. In 1995 the team returned back to Oakland where they would provide an instant spark as the Raiders playing in front of true and passionate fans. After several years of continued weakness, the team had a brief period of success during 2000 and 2002. Throughout 2003 to 2015 the Raiders failed to post a single winning season. In 2011 owner Al Davis passed away where the Raiders team was taken over by his only son Mark Davis. 2012 for the first time in 40 years the Raiders had a full-time general manager. In 2016 the Raiders finally ended their postseason drought where they would end with a 12-4 record.

On March 27, 2017, the NFL team owners voted with a 31 to 1 to relocate the Raiders to Las Vegas. The Raiders will remain in Oakland until they begin the 2020 season in Las Vegas. Quarterback Derek Carr said, “As I sit here and see a vote that takes the Raiders to Las Vegas, I am overwhelmed with emotion. I don’t know how we should feel. I feel the pain of our fans in Oakland. I also see the joy on the faces of our new fans in Las Vegas. As players, we will show up and give everything we have. We will compete and we will do our best to bring a championship to the entire Raider Nation. While I am from California and would have loved playing in Oakland my whole career, I understand the business side of the NFL. It affects us all. Oakland, our team loves you, and my family and I love you! We will be resilient and we will stay together because that’s what true Raiders do. We are loyal, even when it’s hard. We stick together, especially when it’s tough. So Las Vegas, you can count on us bringing a piece of Oakland with us and you are getting a tough, loyal, and competitive fan base and team. When the time comes, I hope you are ready. For now, it’s about 2017 and our diehards in Oakland. God bless and go Raiders!”

Mark Davis stated, “My father always said the greatness of the Raiders is in its future and the opportunity to build a world-class stadium in the entertainment capital of the world is a significant step forward achieving that greatness. The Raiders were born in Oakland and Oakland will always be a part of our DNA. We know some fans will be disappointed and even angry, but we hope that they do not direct that frustration to the players, coaches, and staff. We plan to play at the Coliseum in 2017 and 2018 and hope to stay there as the Oakland Raiders until the new stadium opens. We would love nothing more than to bring a championship back to the Bay Area.”

Throughout the years the team has won 15 division titles (3 AFL and 12 NFL), four AFC Championships (1976, 1980, 1983 and 2002), one AFC Championship (1967), and three Super Bowl Championships (XI, XV, and XVIII). 14 former members of the Raiders have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The fan base of the Raiders is not just in Oakland but everywhere. They are not a town, they are not a city, they are not a state they are a nation. Raider Nation.

Abbi Kissee, Videographer

Abbi Kissee is a senior at Ripon High School and this is her second year on the Smoke Signal News staff. She looks forward to sharing with the school and...

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2020 Las Vegas Raiders