Fans of the Oakland Raiders are not ignorant to the fact that the media hasn’t typically shown the team a lot of love over the years. Especially over the last couple of decades, the Raiders have been a perennial punching bag for the media. Despite making some really good moves this offseason, the media still persists on their negative coverage of the team. However, there’s one thing that nobody should disagree about and that’s the fact that the Raiders teams of the 70s and early 80s were legendary. Those teams won three super bowls over a seven-year period. However, according to Fox Sports analyst Colin Cowherd, the 1976 Raiders team that went 13-1 and won a Super Bowl isn’t among the five greatest teams ever.
Analyst Egregiously Omits ’76 Raiders Team From All-Time Best Teams List
Colin Cowherd took to his radio show on Thursday morning to list his five best NFL teams of all time. He notably omitted the 1976 Raiders team and included teams that didn’t even win the Super Bowl the year that he said they were at their best. The most baffling thing about Cowherd’s list is that he says that the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers team is among the top five, but the Raiders beat that team on their way to the Super Bowl. The only thing that could make sense is that he meant the 1978 Steelers team that won the Super Bowl, but that’s still an error on his part. Cowherd also included the 1985 Chicago Bears teams, the 1992 Dallas Cowboys teams, the 2007 New England Patriots team and the 2013 Seattle Seahawks teams. All great teams, yes, but them all being better than the ’76 Raiders team is beyond questionable.
Cowherd’s rationale was that these teams “literally felt like they intimidated other professional athletes.” Really? What team inspired more fear than the band of outlaws that was the Raiders of the 70s? When NFL.com decided to have the fans rank the best teams of all-time, the ’76 Raiders took the top spot.
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Just How Good Was That 1976 Raiders Team?
There’s nothing Raiders fans love more than to complain about the media, but should the 1976 Raiders actually be considered among the great teams ever? This John Madden led squad was littered with Hall-of-Fame talent from top to bottom. On the defensive side, there was Ted Hendricks and Willie Brown, two of the best defenders of all time. Plus, there was Jack “the Assassin” Tatum, who should be in the Hall-of-Fame. Talk about striking fear into players.
The offense was unbelievably loaded, also. They had five players that ended up in the Hall-of-Fame in Ken Stabler, Gene Upshaw, Dave Casper, Art Shell and Fred Biletnikoff. That’s not to mention Cliff Branch, who was one of the best deep threats at wide receiver ever. Don’t forget about Hall-of-Fame punter Ray Guy, either. To make a long story short, this team was dominant. They dominated the AFC and blew out the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl. It’s likely those older Raiders teams get overlooked because of how bad the Raiders have been in the 2000s. They also got a lot of hate because they were the bad boys of the NFL. Playing dirty and cheating was encouraged for the Raiders back in the days. Regardless, the ’76 Raiders team should always be considered among the NFL’s greatest.