Raiders have moved on…again

The Oakland Raiders have officially relocated to Las Vegas now that the 2019 season is over.

Both Raiders and 49ers fans alike still remember some of the most memorable moments throughout the team’s history in Oakland. Some were great, some laughable, and some even epic failures.

Let’s look at the ones that truly stand out.

In 1969, the Raiders hired John Madden to be their new head coach. During Madden’s first two seasons in Oakland, the Raiders reached back-to-back AFC Championship games in the 1969 and 1970 seasons.

Sophomore Carson Aynesworth remembers one of the most memorable moments in Raiders’ history from this era with the play forever remembered as the Immaculate Reception.

“During the game Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw a pass to running back John Fuqua,” Aynesworth recalled. “The ball bounced off the helmet of safety Jack Tatum or fell out of Fuqua’s hands. As the ball fell it was picked up by Steelers fullback Franco Harris.”

The Raiders lost the playoff game 13-7 when Harris scored a touchdown on that play.

Oakland would remain a playoff contending team during Madden’s tenure and win their first title by wining Super Bowl XI over the Vikings in 1976.

Madden would retire following the 1978 season, but he helped cement the Raiders status in the NFL.

Oakland won its second title under coach Tom Flores in 1980, but after the 1981 season owner Al Davis moved the Raiders to Los Angeles, where the team would win their Super Bowl.

Sophomore  Brendan Gaffei recalls one of his favorite LA Raiders moments.

“Running back Marcus Allen’s 74 yard running touchdown as a pivotal moment in the teams history,” said Gaffei, recalling Allen’s score that helped the Raiders dominate the Redskins 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII.

After reaching the playoffs in back-to-back seasons in 1984 and 1985, the Raiders declined over the next few years, leading to Flores’ departure in 1987.

The Raiders returned to Oakland after the 1994 season, but there have been few highlights since. During the 2001 playoffs, one of the most notorious moments in Raiders history occurred  with the “tuck rule” game against New England.

Cornerback Charles Woodson knocked the ball out of quarterback Tom Brady’s hand, and was recovered by the Raiders. But the referees reversed the call and said the play was an incomplete pass, allowing the Patriots to go on to win their first of six Super Bowls.

“The tuck rule changed the game and ruined the Raiders chance to reach the Super Bowl,” sophomore Teddy Booras said.

After that disappointment, the Raiders still advanced to, but lost, the Super Bowl the following year. This loss began a period of disappointment and failure, as the Raiders missed the playoffs for 14 straight years.

But in 2016 the Raiders finished with a 12-4 record, marking their only playoff appearance since 2002.

Unfortunately Quarterback Derek Carr fractured his tibula in week 17, all but ending their title hopes. The Raiders would go on to lose in the Wild Card round to the Houston Texans and return to the basement of the league.

But Raiders fans felt that a franchise revival came on Jan. 26, 2018, when Jon Gruden returned as head coach. Gruden, who coached the team from 1998-2001, signed a 10 year $100 million contract, the richest for a head coach in history.

In his first year returning as head coach, Gruden immediately angered fans by trading away star linebacker Khalil Mack.

“Trading the team’s best players in Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper was awful,” sophomore Dominik Barretto said.

But in 2019, the Raiders made a splash by trading for star wide receiver Antonio Brown.

But Brown would cause chaos for the team. One of his issues was wanting to wear his old helmet despite it being banned, and then threatening to retire from football.

Brown continued to have issues such as getting frost bite on his foot and being fined $54,000 by the team before being released without ever playing a game for the team.

“I was really excited for Antonio Brown to play for the Raiders, but after what he did he wasn’t worth it,” said sophomore Zack Glick who has been a loyal Raider fan said.

In their final season in Oakland, they made a strong push, but missed the playoffs again, leaving Oakland amid boos and cheers. The send off couldn’t have been more fitting for a team that has frustrated its fans since returning to Oakland.

They’re Vegas’s problem now.