The (then Oakland) Raiders have one of the richest traditions in sports history, especially when it comes to the Bay Area. Many players are associated with the uniform number they wore, but who in Silver and Black wore it best?
Everyone in Raider Nation has their favorite players, that’s nothing new. However, let’s see what the Bay Area thinks as far as the Raiders and who were the “best” to put on specific numbers.
Before you unleash your wrath on us, remember this is subjective. I’m sure Steve Berman, who listed some of these players for The Athletic, caught some heat.
00. Jim Otto
2. Nnamdi Asomugha*
3. Daryle Lamonica
12. Ken Stabler
It’s hard to argue with any of the first four. You’re talking about arguably the two greatest Raiders quarterbacks in history. As far as Asomugha, Berman mentioned that even though the corner is known for wearing No. 21 in the NFL, his number in college was 2. In Berman’s list, No. 21 went to Frank Gore of the San Francisco 49ers.
32. Jack Tatum
42. Ronnie Lott
63. Gene Upshaw
66. Gabe Jackson
The next group of Raiders are just as impressive. Upshaw, who could be considered the greatest Raiders player of all time, was a clear cut choice for No. 63. You also have two of the greatest safeties ever cover the defensive backfield for the Raiders in Lott and Tatum. Gabe Jackson? That’s an interesting one, obviously this list focused on Bay Area sports, so maybe not too far fetched. The reason? Jackson had his best years in Oakland.
72. Lincoln Kennedy
76. Steve Wisniewski
78. Art Shell
The next batch of Raiders in the 70’s number range were some of the greatest offensive linemen in team history. All three are Hall of Fame worthy, goes to show you that no matter what decade we’re in, the Silver and Black always have great maulers in the trenches.
81. Tim Brown
83. Ted Hendricks
89. Amari Cooper
93. Tommy Kelly
Here’s where Raider Nation can have some debate. At numbers 81 and 83, Brown and Hendricks are safe. Brown is arguably the greatest receiver in the history of the Raiders and Hendricks was a stalwart of the legendary defenses of the 70’s and 80’s eras. Let’s hear your thoughts, considering that this only applies to the Oakland Raiders as Los Angeles was originally excluded from the list. Can you think of any other players more notable than Cooper with No. 89 and Kelly with No. 93? Let’s hear what you have to say Raider Nation.
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