1983 LA Raiders: Fourth Best Team in the ’80s Bull Market Era

I’ll say this: If the 1983 Raiders are the fourth best team in the 1982-1987 Bull Market Era, the other three must have been coached by Saint Peter with Moses as the offensive line.

But Raiders fans instead have Al Davis: owner; president; play caller; iconoclast; baby, just win, baby, because Al has an unparalleled commitment to excellence and, in the early '80s, was the scourge of Alameda County.

No matter how insufferably weird you think Al is—and I fall in the “Al is excruciating, like a howling domestic cat that insists on wailing through the early morning” Camp—the '80s Al knew the NFL game like no other. 

Al produced. He produced the XI champion in 1976 with a 16-1 team, arguably (suck it up, 1972 Dolphins) the best of the decade of the 1970s. Al produced the XV winner in 1980 with a wild-card team. And Al Davis got his Raiders in XVIII directly in the face of the 16-2 defending Super Bowl champion Redskins in 1983 and simply took them apart piece by piece to the tune of a 29-point winning margin. 

He’s difficult to argue with, the Bizarre One.

Difficult to challenge he is, especially when he wins a Super Bowl with a coach (John Madden) and a quarterback (The Snake), and then wins again four years later with a different coach (Tom Flores) and quarterback (Jim Plunkett, who in the anti-sociopathic sense is the Anti-Snake). 

Well, it was 1982, and Al Davis made the prudent decision to keep the same coach and signal caller. Nothing like stability. Prudent it was, but Al gets a little bored, I guess, and uproots a billion-dollar enterprise, and Mary, Mother of God, changes cities to Los Angeles.

AD, like Al Davis, like ADHD.

Say, Al, we say with a palpable concern, there’s already an NFL team in LA, my man. 

Al replies, “Not like mine, baby!”

Spot on w...

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