Monday, June 24, 2013

Oakland Raiders "High Five"

There's been a lot of fun discussion about Pro Football Talk's "Mt. Rushmore" series, whereby you choose the four top titans of your favorite football team through history. 

Of course, the fun part is being forced to limit it to four, which is challenging. 

So I'm going to poach PFT's game and make it (slightly) easier by calling it Oakland Raiders High Five--ie: your top five Raiders icons through history. 

There are no criteria, such as most talented or most valuable or best stats or anything like that. It's just the High Five for whatever reasons you want to state.

Here's my High Five:

1. Al Davis

No explanation needed. Outlaw. Groundbreaker. Visionary. Coach. Commissioner. Owner. Three Lombardi trophies. A legacy like no other...

2. John Madden

Just a truly epic figure and the embodiment of the rollicking 1970s heyday. The perfect captain for an eccentric and intimidating band of misfit pirates.

3. Ken Stabler

Iconic and clutch, and next to Madden, the face of the sensational Raiders of the 1970s. Just too cool to leave off this list.

4. Howie Long

Now that he's goofing around with Terry Bradshaw on Sunday mornings, it's easy to forget what a force Howie Long was... Watch this video to the end to jog your memory. 

5. Jack Tatum

This is a sentimental pick. The name. The look. The epic hits. The durability (10+ starts in nine out of 10 seasons). The embodiment of a true "Raider."

This was a hard list to build...Otto, Blanda, Hendricks, Willie Brown, Tim Brown, Upshaw, Shell, Biletnikoff, Gannon...So hard to whittle it down. But there you have it.

Now, what's your High Five?