Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oakland Raiders

I'm weeks behind with all my football card blogs, but it's been hard to stay motivated about football and football cards, what with Spring, baseball, the Phillies, yard work, taxes, and what not. If I can catch up to my original schedule, all these football cards will be completed by Thanksgiving.

Here are the 1971 Oakland Raiders. Only 2 all-stars here (compared to the five on their arch-rival Kansas City Chiefs!) I just got the Charlie Smith card a few weeks ago, which was the last card I needed to complete the set.

In 1970 under 2nd-year coach John Madden, the team went 8-4-2, finishing 1st in the AFC West. In the playoffs, they beat the Dolphins, but lost the conference championship to the Colts. In 1971 they also finished 8-4-2, but that was only good enough for 2nd place, behind the Chiefs (10-3-1).

Daryle Lamonica - After 4 seasons as a backup in Buffalo, Lamonica came to Oakland in 1967 and was the #1 QB from 1967-72. His best season was 1969, when he led the AFL in attempts, completions, passing yards, and TDs. Daryle played 2 more seasons (1973-74) in Oakland as Ken Stabler's backup.

Charlie Smith - Smith was the Raiders' 4th-round pick in 1968. Charlie was the Raiders' starting halfback in '69, '70, '72, and '73. He played 7 seasons in Oakland before finishing his career in 1975 with the Chargers.

Hewritt Dixon - Although he has a card, Dixon's last season was 1970. He played tight end and halfback for the Broncos from 1963-65, and was the Raiders' starting fullback from 1966-70.

Fred Biletnikoff - Fred was a 2nd-round pick in 1965, and played his entire career (1965-78) with the Raiders. He made the Pro Bowl 6 times, and played in Super Bowls II and XI. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

Jim Otto - Otto is widely considered to have been the best center in the AFL. He played his entire 15-year career (1960-74) with the Raiders, and made the Pro Bowl in 12 consecutive seasons. One of the few players to wear double-zero, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.

George Blanda - Blanda's career goes way back to 1949, when he was drafted by the Bears. George was the Bears' kicker from 1949-58, but was the starting quarterback only during the 1953 and 1954 seasons. He was out the league in 1959, but the advent of the AFL in 1960 gave him a 2nd career, as he became the Houston Oilers' starting QB and kicker from 1960-66. The following season he moved to the Raiders, where he continued as the team's kicker and 3rd-string QB from 1967-75. He played for 26 seasons, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981.

Gus Otto - Gus was the Raiders' 4th-round pick in 1965, and played right linebacker for Oakland for his entire career (1965-72). He was the starter in all but his last season.

Kent McCloughan - Kent played left cornerback for the Raiders for his entire career (1965-70), and was the starter for all but the 1969 season.

Willie Brown - Willie began his career as the left cornerback for the Denver Broncos from 1963-66. He played the rest of his career (1967-78) as Oakland's right cornerback. This 9-time Pro Bowler was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.

Mike Eischeid - Mike punted for the Raiders (1966-71) and the Vikings (1972-74). He was also a placekicker in his rookie season.

After posting these cards and giving the completed blog a once-over, I noticed that (except maybe for Biletnikoff) all these cards have pretty much the same pose!

Also check out the 1968 Raiders.

Next time: New Orleans Saints