Raiders roll the dice on Las Vegas strip


The Raiders will open the 2020 season at Allegiant Stadium in Vegas.

Cameron Bevan-Abel '22, Sports Editor

In April of 2016, Mark Davis, owner of the former Oakland Raiders and son of former owner and all-time legend Al Davis, announced he planned to move the team to Las Vegas. In January 2020, Mark Davis of cially announced the team as the Las Vegas Raiders.

Just less than 40 years ago, Al Davis moved the team from Oakland to Los Angeles after winning Super Bowls in 1976 and 1980. They ended up winning the Super Bowl in the franchise’s second year in L.A. in 1983, but have not won since.

The Oakland Raiders started as a franchise in the AFL in 1960 and merged along with the other AFL teams to the NFL in 1970. Al Davis was a co-commissioner in the AFL alongside Chief’s legendary owner Lamar Hunt for a couple of years and disapproved the merger. At the time, Al Davis was also the owner of the Oakland Raiders. He also coached them from 1963-1965.

The Raiders moved to Los Angeles in 1982, but moved back to Oakland in 1995. After not getting past the Divisional round since 1990, when star running back Bo Jackson suffered a career ending injury against the Bengals in the playoffs, the Raiders hired the former Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Coordinator Jon Gruden as the head coach. In his fourth year in Oakland, Gruden led the team to the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

Thanks to an obscure rule called “The Tuck Rule,” Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson’s forced fumble on second year quarterback Tom Brady was overturned. The Patriots did not blow their chances as the all time leading scorer Adam Vinatieri made a game tying 45-yard kick in the snow. The Patriots won in overtime and won the Super Bowl as well as five others in the next two decades.

Jon Gruden was red and the Raiders promoted Bill Callahan to Head Coach. He was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach of the Raiders and also a member of the coaching staff of the Eagles with Gruden. Gruden was the one who convinced Callahan to go to Oakland with him.

The Buccaneers hired Gruden as head coach and he led them to the Super Bowl in his first year there. Callahan also led his team to the Super Bowl, making for a revenge- lled Super Bowl matchup. This hyped-up game left viewers something to be desired as the Raiders were blown out.

Gruden may have had one of the best defenses of all time with the Buccaneers that season, but that did not matter because he also knew their entire game plan, having been the coach for the four previous seasons and with Callahan not changing much of the offense. The Raiders went 4-12 the following season and Callahan was red.

Over the last 17 seasons in Oakland, the Raiders went through 10 different head coaches, 19 different starting quarterbacks, one playoff appearance, and their record was 92-180.

With the team now in Vegas, they might have some serious playoff expectations. The Raiders were still in playoff contention a until Week 17, barring the weight of playing in arguably the toughest schedule in the league. It was unlikely for them to contend for the playoffs going into the season, but standing at a 6-4 mark having just gone through the toughest part of the schedule, the Raiders seemed fit to play in January. Yet, they lost four games straight.

The Raiders last moment representing Oakland was a Derek Carr pass batted down at the line of scrimmage on a two-point conversion in the final seconds leaving Denver victorious by one point.

Now, the franchise is officially in Las Vegas, playing in Allegiant Stadium, which is set to finish construction in July or August.

Athletic Director Jay’Sen Morris, a Raiders fan, said the move could help rebuild the broken down franchise. “The Raiders have a real rich tradition and it goes back a long time. Raiders are tough, gritty and the bad boys of the NFL.”

He added, “Now it’s kinda hard to pinpoint their reputation…they haven’t really reached the place people expect them to reach. They need to rebrand themselves and find an identity or at least tie their identity to their historic roots.”