As a new Raider fan (mid 2009), I’m doing my best to learn more about the amazing history of the Oakland Raiders. As an Oakland resident I knew that they had a storied history, and my Dad had told me about the invincible Raiders back in the day, when every 4th quarter was a Kenny Stabler comeback, and the Silver & Black were feared from coast to coast.
However, I stumbled across a copy of Badasses, and soon realized that there was much more to this story!
The author does a general overview of the 1970’s team and gets short interviews with many of the players from the era. Not a groundbreaking book, but a quick and educational story of one of football’s greatest eras. The great characters on the team, their post-season battles with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the story of The Snake, Ted Hendricks, Coach Madden and the notorious training camps up in Santa Rosa.
It helped me get a better sense of the 70’s and a time when football had much fewer rules. Tough times and rough players made for a brutal combination on the field. Some say that today’s athletes are greater, but I wonder how they would handle the Badasses!
I hope that between Hue Jackson, Richard Seymour and Jason Campbell they can begin to reshape the team into the bullies of the past. Obviously there’s no going back to those days, but if we can get anywhere near as nasty as those guys we’ll be hauling in the AFC Championship trophies in no time.
Here’s to the Oakland Raiders, long may they be feared and hated!