Jim Otto dead, American football player

The Las Vegas Raiders are a professional American football team based in Las Vegas, Nevada, that competes in the National Football League (NFL). The Raiders have won three Super Bowl championships (1977, 1981 and 1984), an American Football League (AFL) championship in 1967, and four American Football Conference (AFC) titles. They are viewed by many as the “villains” of the NFL due to their historical tendency toward rough play, and embody the motto coined by their former owner Al Davis: “Just win, baby.”

The Raiders were founded in 1960 as one of the AFL’s original eight teams. After three losing seasons, the franchise hired Al Davis in 1963 to serve as head coach and general manager. Davis implemented a “vertical” passing tactic, which relied on long throws to stretch the opposing defense, and quickly turned the team into a contender. After a brief three-month stint as AFL commissioner in 1966, Davis became part owner of the Raiders and began buying out (and, in some cases, ousting) the other owners, gaining full control of the team in 1976.

With an offense led by quarterback Daryle Lamonica and center Jim Otto, the Raiders won the AFL championship in December 1967, a victory that led them to their first Super Bowl the following January (a loss to the Green Bay Packers). John Madden was hired as head coach in 1969, and under his direction the Raiders became an elite team, posting back-to-back winning seasons during Madden’s 10 years at the helm and taking the franchise’s first Super Bowl in 1977. It was During this period the Raiders forged an image of a tough team, comprised of relentless players such as future Hall of Famers offensive linemen Jim Otto, Gene Upshaw and Art Shell; linebacker Ted (“the Stork”) Hendricks; defensive end Ben Davidson; and cornerback Willie Brown, who occasionally crossed the line into foul play. These teams also featured three other future Hall of Famers: tight end Dave Casper, kicker George Blanda and wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff, plus energetic quarterback Ken (“the Snake”) Stabler. Madden’s successor, Tom Flores (who was the Raiders’ first starting quarterback), led the team to another Super Bowl victory in 1981.

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