Category Archives: Oakland Raiders

Jets @ Raiders Film – Preseason 1963

I found this neat bit of film on YouTube recently.  It shows the highlights of the New York Jets playing a preseason game in 1963, against the Oakland Raiders.  The game, played before a mere 8,317 fans, featured the former Titans in all-white uniforms, before they unveiled the new jet logo.

Cannon: A Long, Long Run – A Book Review

While browsing new releases on Amazon a couple of months back, I was pleased to see that a new biography on AFL legend, Billy Cannon, had been written.  I placed my order, and when the book arrived, I set it on my stack to read.  I completed it just the other night, and sadly, have mixed feelings about it.

Billy Cannon is a fascinating figure.  An All-American and Heisman Trophy winner from LSU, the AFL’s first marquee draft choice, a two-time AFL champ, Super Bowl II participant, dentist and felon convicted of counterfeit.  There is enough juicy stuff there to keep a storyteller busy for quite some time, and I must say that author Charles deGravelles did a fine job of covering most of the material.  In fact, I found the book to be very well-written.  DeGravelles touts Cannon’s attributes, but also of pointing out his flaws.  He digs a bit into Cannon’s psyche, and tries to determine what led to his ingrained streak of rebellion that got Cannon into several spots of trouble throughout his life. read more

The Oakland Raiders Biletnikoff and Wells

I’ve always liked old team yearbooks for the photos and tons of information jammed into their pages.  The image below comes from a page in the 1968 Oakland Raiders yearbook, which I was reading through this evening.  Knowing full-well that the Raiders won the AFL championship in 1967, and that they had a strong vertical passing attack, it comes as no surprise that Fred Biletnikoff and Warren Wells would put up big numbers, but wow!  Take a look… read more

Minnesota-Oakland AFL Connection

Most AFL fans understand that Minnesota was originally scheduled to have an AFL team when the league began play in 1960.  Through a series of backroom dealings, the Minnesota ownership group backed out at the last minute, after being promised an NFL expansion franchise.  This news was brought to the AFL group by New York Titans owner, Harry Wismer, who announced to the crowd, “Boys, it looks like it’s the Last Supper.”  In classic dramatic Wismer fashion, he proceeded to call Max Winter, head of the Minnesota syndicate, “Judas,” during a series of heated exchanges. read more

An Interview with Tom Flores

One of the benefits of being an autographed card collector is that when I send a card in the mail to a former AFL player, I also have the opportunity to ask if they would be interested in doing an interview for Tales from the American Football League.  I had just such an experience recently when I sent an interesting new RetroCard (more on those in a future post!) to former Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, Tom Flores. read more