Gotta love those 70s uniforms and those double-bar face cages
Ok I was aged 1 when the Oakland Raiders won Super Bowl XI. Little did I or anyone who was at the game or watching the game on television realise the winning head-coach would end up fronting the greatest American Football computer/console game franchise in global history.
Nor did people think that the 1976 Raiders would 36 years later be voted the www.nfl.com 'best' Super Bowl winning team ever.
It's time to consider if this is a bunch of Californians with too much time to spare, kinda like the Cleveland Browns fans who managed to get their former running back Peyton Hillis to become the 'cover boy' for the Madden 2012 game, or if the Silver and Black were truly the greatest Super Bowl team to ever lift a Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Having watched every Super Bowl live from 1987 (Super Bowl XXI won by the Giants) right up to this year and.....well ANOTHER Super Bowl win by the Giants, I like to think that I am entitled to join in the 'greatest' debate.
Despite my loyalties lying elsewhere I cannot look beyond the absolutely magnificent 49ers team of 1989. For all the hype surrounding Tom Brady as the greatest quarterback ever he now has two Super Bowl losses on his C.V. and other so-called greats from the past 30 years, namely Dan Marino, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning, they have just two Super Bowl wins between them.
49ers quarterback Joe Montana remains the quarterback that I have the most respect for to this day. His sheer focus, calmness and ability to make decisions like Deep Blue after drinking a swimming pool full of Red Bull is an image that still remains fixed in my mind.
There are records that people say will 'never be broken' but every year it seems someone plays more games, throws for more yards, more touchdowns, quicker than ever before.
I'll put it here that NO-ONE will ever break Montana's record of having not thrown a single interception in four complete Super Bowls. By winning Super Bowl XVI, XIX, XXIII and XXIV Montana proved that he was inhuman, not getting intercepted in 122 passing plays, tossing 11 touchdowns and running in two for an additional 12 points.
Ken Stabler, the Raiders quarterback of 1976, also managed to complete his entire Super Bowl experience without being intercepted, but it was ONE game long and he only needed to complete 12 passes in the entire game to help his team to the win.
The '76 Raiders were without doubt the team with the greatest bunch of characters, like the Wimbledon F.C. of the 1980s, full of cast-off's too crazy to fly over the cuckoo's nest let alone be considered on any other NFL team's roster.
With the likes of 'Tooz' 'The Snake' and 'The Mad Stork' to name a few the '76 Raiders sounded like a bunch of native American Indians had given them tribal names, but they were all real.
Problem was the '76 Raiders did not win their Super Bowl by 45 points (like the '89 49ers did). They won by 18.
The '76 Raiders also suffered a 17-48 loss to the New England Patriots in the regular season, and barely got past them when they met again in the playoffs, reversing the score with a narrow 24-21 win at home.
Sorry good readers of www.nfl.com I have to respectfully disagree with your collective judgement, I do not consider the '76 Raiders to be the greatest Super Bowl winners of all-time. The craziest yes, but the greatest no.