Q: Why are the Raiders called the team of the decades?
Davis: Well, that’s because there are five decades in which the American Football League and the National Football League have played professional football. And during those five decades, there’s only one team that has played in the Super Bowl four of those decades. And that’s the Raiders. They played in the Super Bowl four of the five decades. They played in the 60s, they played in the 70s, they played in the 80s and in 2000 (actually 2002), they played in the Super Bowl, and No. 2, Gil, in each decade, beginning in 1970, the first 10 years of the decade, the Raiders played in the championship game. In 1980, the Raiders played the San Diego Chargers in the championship game.
In 1990, the Raiders played the Buffalo Bills played in the championship game and in the year 2000, the Raiders played the Baltimore Colts (Ravens) in the championship game. So in every decade, beginning in 1970, 80, 90, 2000, we played in the championship game and it’s our hope that in the year 2010, which we’re getting ready to start, repeat the Raiders hope that they do again what they’ve done in the last four decades, play in the championship game.
Q: Tell me about the 50 years you talk about, tell us about your feelings now that it has been 50 years since the NFL-AFL merger . . .
Davis: Well, they were exciting years for me, as you know, I was the head coach and general manager of the Raiders. I was asked to be commissioner of the American Football League against the venerable traditions of the great National Football League. We were in competition, and then because of strict competition and because of the rules and the regulations of player allocation, we were forced into a merger.
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