A Big Raid That Really Paid Off – An S.I. Vault Article

autographed 1967 topps isaac lassiter

#114 – Isaac Lassiter


I was skimming through Sports Illustrated’s online article vault, and came across this piece that was written about the Oakland Raiders in 1967.  Looking back nearly 50 years, this article packed a lot of great history into just one page.

I was particularly interested to see that early reviews of the Tom Flores-Daryle Lamonica trade had the Bills getting the better end of the deal.  Of course Lamonica went on to become AFL MVP in 1967, his first year with the Raiders.  But at the time the article was written, Lamonica was doing well, while Glenn Bass, who also came to Oakland in the trade, had been cut in training camp by the Raiders.  Also, Al Davis is quoted as saying that Lamonica was the quarterback that he had wanted for a few years, so long as he couldn’t get the Jets to deal Joe Namath.  Imagine Broadway Joe in Silver & Black!

That Raiders defense was also suffocating.  They had Willie Brown and Kent McCloughan at cornerback, with Dave Grayson waiting in the wings.  Rodger Bird and Howie Williams played the safety positions.  Their defensive line was absolutely dominant – Ike Lassiter, Dan Birdwell, Tom Keating and Ben Davidson.  Their linebackers were perhaps the most unheralded unit on the defense, but still pulled down four interceptions and recovered 10 fumbles while making tackles all over the field.  Eleven Angry Men, indeed!


Todd Tobias (790 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

2 Responses to A Big Raid That Really Paid Off – An S.I. Vault Article

  1. Tom says:

    The Chargers had a choice, in the 1967 Draft with the 14th pick they could have taken Alan Page who the Vikes took with the 15th pick or Gene Upshaw taken by the Raiders with the 17th pick. With the 14 th pick in the 1967 NFL Draft the Chargers select Ron Billingsley.

  2. 1967 says:

    That off-season pre-1967 Raiders team had one of the greatest off-seasons talent acquisition that I remember.

    Via trade (QB Darye Lamonica BUF & CB Willie Brown DEN), free agent (PK/QB George Blanda HOU & WR Warren Wells KC) & draft choice (Gene Upshaw, OG) – three Hall-of-Famers & two more that might have been; Al Davis was a genius.

    The Raiders also stole at least one game that year from my Chiefs, as Otis Taylor got almost 5 yards behind Willie Brown only to drop a bomb from Len Dawson out in OAK that would’ve been a game-winning score for the/my defending AFL Champion Chiefs and the Raiders 13-1 that year becomes 12-2… yup, I still carry the scar/a grudge : )

    Luck plays a part game results as as well fitting the right talent the right team.

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