Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ten on the Tenth: Memories of the Oakland Raiders

Photo Credit: http://www.raider-dna.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/blanda-lamonica.jpg
This post may not make sense to many people outside the U.S. (and perhaps not even to many people outside my age and geographic demographic), but the recent passing of Al Davis, renegade owner of the Oakland Raiders American football team got me thinking.   I wasn't a big fan of Mr. Davis, but I still had a strong reaction to news of his death.  After wondering why, I realized something about myself that I didn't know before.  I am a big sports fan, and the first team I ever followed was the Oakland Raiders. I hadn't realized before that the Raiders really mark the beginning of my life-long passion for sports. So, in conjunction with Shimelle's Ten on the Tenth posts, here are ten memories of the Oakland Raiders.
1. As a little girl, watching football with my father. It seemed important to him that I pick a favorite team, so I picked the Raiders. And I fell in love with the cast of characters, most of whom played in the late 60's and early 70's.
2. George Blanda, the Quarterback.  Old, grey, distinguished. I think he reminded me of my dad.
3. George Blanda, the kicker. Yes, the same man. He'd throw for a touchdown and then kick the extra point. Or he'd kick a field goal. How cool is that? He continued as a kicker long after he stopped being a quarterback.  Not surprisingly, he was the highest scorer in the NFL for a long time.
4. Daryle Lamonica, the mad bomber, quarterback following George Blanda.  That's the two of them up top.
Photo credit: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_BJN9yiDLRQA/TLIN-SQrXqI/AAAAAAAAAPU/U_7bXKS-VMI/s1600/Football%2520NFL%2520-%2520Campioni%2520Fred%2520Biletnikoff.jpg
5. Fred Biletnikoff.  Most awesome wide receiver. Ever. 
6. Kenny "the Snake" Stabler.  Quarterback after Lamonica. You can't make this stuff up.
Photo credit: http://product.images.fansedge.com/76-02/76-02907-J.jpg
7. Ray Guy. Revolutionized the role of punter. He looks like he weighed 110 pounds soaking wet, but boy could he make that ball fly!
8. Art Shell. First African American head coach in the NFL's modern era.
9. Jim Plunkett. Mexican American quarterback. And he went to Stanford. Talk about walking right through stereotypes.
10. Silver. Black. That pirate logo.
Where do passions begin? Are they with a person before birth? Or are they born and nurtured by experience? I don't know, but for me, one started sitting on the sticky Naugahyde couch next to my dad, watching a flickering black and white TV set. Thanks for the memories, dad, and for starting my life-long love of sports.

17 comments:

Jane said...

I got my love of english football from my dad too

Alison said...

You're right Rinda...this is like a foreign language to me!...but your enthusiasm and love of the game, as well as for your dad, makes it a great read!
Alison xx

Linda said...

Interesting post Rinda! I too am English and know very little about American Football

Sian said...

It's an unknown quantity to me too - but TTO does follow NFL and is even in an online forum league thing where they all try to pick winners. He watches over the internet on a Sunday night.

And I did once see the Boston Red Sox play. My one and only baseball game

Jimjams said...

You're right - it didn't make much sense to me - but what did shine through is your love of the game and what a great lifelong gift your dad has given you!

Nihao, Cupcake! by Margie said...

Very nice tribute. I remember when they played in LA and they practiced at a high school only a few miles from my housee. My brother and his friends would hang out waiting for autographs.

Irene said...

Mmm! A good way of gathering memories together. I'm afraid I'm an armchair sportswoman..F1 motor racing is my favourite. My Dad loved horse racing, but I could never get into that. x

Irene said...

I started learning about Football when my brother played for St. Thomas High School. I still don't know all the rules. My husband and two boys hate when I watch a game with them because I ask to many questions. But I do like to see a game when it is snowing or raining.

Ginger said...

Hubby and lots of the guys I know love to watch the NFL - even more than the CFL... I do watch some of the NHL and it's funny but the last time I went to see my doctor we talked sports and I surprised him with how much I know about CFL and hockey. I use to watch lots of F1 and CART/Indy car racing (hubby watches it all) but stopped when Paul Tracy lost his ride with Forsythe. So, I guess I do like to watch sports, but I pick and choose when and what that might be!

Anonymous said...

i spent my childhood watching the Raiders with my grandfather (an original season ticket holder) ... i listened to him curse Al Davis and cheer Ken Stabler! I was also strangely touched by two childhood/teenage icons, Steve Jobs and Al Davis...

Mariana in CA

Connie said...

great info ~don't watch football much!

Melissa said...

What a wonderful Ten post Rinda, great reflections on the beginning of your love of sports. I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan and my dear hubby is a Cleveland Browns fan, so when we married we agreed to be a two-team family! LOL He's taken his time adopting "my" team, but this year he got a Dallas Cowboys license plate cover for his new car.

Beverly said...

Great post, I remember Kenny Stabler and Jim Plunkett. I have never been a fan of pro sporst but love college football and basketball. On Saturdays in the fall you'll find me in the stands or at a sports bar (for most away games) watching my Pirates of ECU...a love my Daddy introduced me to as well.

Miriam said...

Your love of the sport really comes across in your post Rinda. Years ago American football used to be on our tv & my husband & I used to love watching it, I wonder what happened to it.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Wonderful collection of memories. I was a Steelers fan growing up, since we were only an hour from Pittsburgh it was sort of an obligation, but I always liked the Raiders better, just for the name & colors.

humel said...

The football bit might be over my head rather but the warmth and affection for your father translates perfectly :)

becky ruppel said...

Exactly my feelings-I've been a Raider fan all my life, since I was from Fresno and Daryl Lamonica was from Clovis. My daughter went to her first NFL game two weeks ago, and it was the Raiders...
And I met Jim Plunkett-I was at a Raider Niner game in a box and he walked in wearing his Super Bowl ring...talk about star struck....