The NFL- Raider Rules

By Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: July 22, 2012
Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter
Just Do It

Just Do It

OAKLAND, CA. (BASN)—The National Football League and the Oakland Raiders have not seen eye to eye throughout the last 62 years. The American Football League and the NFL merged into one in 1966 with Al Davis the commissioner of the younger league. Davis the true general wanted to undercut the senior league by raiding the league and signing their star players. Davis stated many times the NFL had the advantage over the AFL because of teams located in major cities.
Tthe two leagues agreed not to sign free agents. The New York Football Giants broke the agreement signing free agent field goal kicker Pete Gogolak from the Buffalo Bills in 1966. The war was on led by Al Davis.
Davis challenged the NFL many times and wanted to be commissioner of the NFL. It did not happen. The Oakland Raiders have had some interesting games the past 62 years with the impetus for changing league rules. Many believe the NFL wanted to pay Davis back with the Five Raider Rules listed below.
Remember November 1968? The Oakland Raiders were playing Joe Namath and the New York Jets at Oakland Alameda County Coliseum. The Jets seeminingly had an insurmountable lead in the 4th quarter. Executives of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) had to make a decision; either stay with the game or leave the game for Walt Disney’s Sunday night show.
The game was closing in on the hour of seven in the east four in the west. The Walt Disney Wonderful World of Color was scheduled from 7-8. On this night Disney televised the movie “Heidi”. The NBC executives made the choice to leave the football game and the Oakland Raiders made one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history winning the game 43-32.
East coast and Midwest Raider fans were outraged because they did not see the end of the game. NBC, CBS, and ABC made new television contracts with the NFL stating that the networks would never leave an NFL late game in progress but would push back regularly scheduled programing.
The 2nd Raider rule was the elimination of stickum. In the late 60’s and early 70’s Jack Tatum, Fred Biletnioff, and other Oakland Raider receivers and defensive backs used a new chemical substance. This yellow gooie, sticky gel was placed on player’s socks before the game started and they would place it in their hands during the game so that the football would stick to their hands. It was also used to keep their hands on opposing players so that it would be difficult to separate from each other. The League banned the substance in 1970.
This play got its name from a loyal Pittsburgh Sports broadcaster one day after it happened on the astroturf field. The name stuck.
In December 1973 old foes would meet again in the American Football Conference Title game. The Oakland Raiders traveled to Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium to meet the up and coming Steelers. Oakland Quarterback Ken Stabler and the Raiders scored what seemed to be the winning touchdown with minutes left, but it was not enough.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw never gave up and started the last drive of the game with time running out, Bradshaw threw the ball to John “Frenchy” Fuqua on a simple S pass pattern. The football bounced off of an unknown helmet in a crowd of players into the hands of fullback Franco Harris, who’s hands barely touching the ground. Harris caught the ball and ran 40 yards down the sideline for a Steeler touchdown and a Pittsburgh victory. This was one of the most controversial plays in NFL history.
The rule stated in 1973 only one offensive player could touch the ball to advance it. If a defensive player touched the ball in-between then it could be advance. Raider fans to this day believe that Jack Tatum never touched the football. Steeler fans said this was a legal play. The controversy will live on forever.
In the Winter Meetings of 1974 the league changed the rules and many offensive players can touch the pass as long as it does not touch the ground first.
The rumors still exist that at the end of the game the referees went to the phone bank and asked what happened on the play and how many Pittsburgh Police officers were stationed at Three Rivers Stadium. The answer came back within minutes the film was inconclusive and that there were only 150 Pittsburgh police personal on duty. The referee ran to the middle of the field and signaled Steeler touchdown and history was changed forever.
The Steelers won two more Super Bowls while the Raiders won one Super Bowl in the 1970’s decade.


In September 1978, the Oakland Raiders traveled to San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium and the San Diego Chargers. The Raiders were on a drive with time running out. Ken Stabler dropped back to pass, with a throwing motion fumbled the ball forward, then pushed the ball to tight end Dave Casper. Casper in turn kicked the ball towards the end zone before recovering the ball. The officials looked at each other then signaled Raider touchdown and another Silver and Black victory.
During the winter league meetings in 1979 the administrators created a new rule. No offensive player can move the football forward after it is fumbled by another offensive player.
This was a battle for eminent domain and the owner Al Davis seemed to have the upper hand.
In the 1982-83 season The Oakland Raiders packed their bags and headed south to the Hollywood City of Los Angeles. The NFL, Al Davis, the City of Oakland, and the Raiders were in a nasty legal battle. The league did not want the Raiders moving anywhere and Mr. Davis saw an opportunity to make money and challenge the National Football League anti-trust law.
The NFL and City of Oakland could not stop Al Davis as they lost the antitrust and bad faith violations suit. “A United States Federal District Court Jury ruling that the NFL bylaw, stating that a franchise could not move unless 21 of the 28 owners gave their approval, was a violation of Federal Antitrust Law.
This Federal court ruling voided the NFL bylaw and allowed the Oakland Raiders to become the Los Angeles Raiders”, This opened the door for other teams to move to the city of their choice by their respective owners.
A year later the Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis in the middle of the night with owner Bob Irsay. They became the Indianapolis Colts. Three years later the Saint Louis Cardinals moved to Tempe Arizona and became the Phoenix Cardinals. This team would finally become the Arizona Cardinals.
The last franchise to move was in the early 90’s. The Houston Oilers wanted out of the 35 year old Astro Dome and moved to Tennessee to become the Titans.
The NFL panicked and feared other teams would follow the Oakland Raiders. The league changed the bylaws that prohibited teams from moving without consent of the majority to minority. No team has challenged this new rule.
In 2001 the Oakland Raiders were playing the New England Patriots in the American Football Conference Championship. A fierce nor’easter struck the greater northeast during game time. The two teams battled all evening long. Then the unbelievable happened. The Oakland Raiders had a 13-10 lead with minutes left in the game.
The Patriots drove down the field when Tom Brady fell back in the pocket to throw a pass on 3nd down in the 4th quarter. The Oakland Raider corner back Charles Woodson seemed to have sacked Brady. While Brady was going down he moved his arm forward losing the football. Linebacker Glenn Biekert seemed to have recovered the ball and the Raider defense ran off the field with the football.
All Raider fans knew this was a fumble and the game over with the Raiders heading to the Super Bowl. Oh, but hold on there, the officials wanted to review the play. The officials in the replay booth determined that Brady’s arm was going forward thus it was an incomplete pass. New England kicked a field goal to tie the game and then won the game 13-10 in overtime for the AFC crown and a trip to the Super Bowl. This was the first time in the playoffs that this one year rule was enforced.
So the Silver and Black have their mark all over the NFL rulebook and will most likely introduce new rules as time passes.
As the late Al Davis stated many times JUST WIN, BABY and the Raiders have done just that in spite of the rules.

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod