Marcus Allen is gone, and so is Jim Otto and Ben Davidson and Dave Casper and Jack Tatum.
The years of the vertical offense and owner Al Davis’s brilliant brashness and announcer Bill King’s wondrous calls, too, are in the past.
But one thing has remained constant with the Oakland Raiders: those silver and black uniforms.
Currently, the NFL Network and NFL.com are conducting a nationwide fan poll on the greatest uniforms in the history of the league, and the Raiders are very much in the thick of things. Though the Raiders’ commitment to excellence may be argued over the past decade, their commitment to sartorial splendor has remained solid. So in the battleground over best threads, the Raiders in 2013 still are in their glory years.
It’s down to the final 16 in the contest, overseen by NFL.com columnist Dave Dameshek, and voters have until 6 p.m. this Sunday to vote at nfl.com/greatestuni.
The Raiders are the top-seeded team in the AFC Uniforms Bracket and are pitted against the Houston Texans. The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers are going head-to-head on the other side of the AFC contest. In addition, in the AFC Throwback Bracket, the Raiders of 1963 are the No. 3 seed, going against the New England Patriots of 1984-87. The top-seeded San Diego Chargers (1961-65) and Miami Dolphins (1970-72) also remain.
In the NFC, the 49ers are the No. 1 seed, and are in the final four along with the Packers, Seahawks and Saints. The NFC Throwback Bracket teams are the No. 1 seeded Eagles (1960-63), Los Angeles Rams (1973-80), Atlanta Falcons (1966-67) and Carolina Panthers 2012 alternate (seriously?).
The Raiders being a top seed was almost a given. For decades, the Raiders’ uniform and logo has been simple, striking and perfect. Has any uniform ever been a match with its owner and persona than the Raiders'? It’s been a favorite of fans across the U.S., even for those who’ve never been to Oakland or watched a game in person. The uniforms were the brainchild of Davis himself, who changed the color scheme to silver and black in 1963 from its original black, gold and white.
As Dameshek noted when about the Raiders uniforms when making them a No. 1 seed in his contest: “As long as (there are) uniform rankings, the Raiders will be at, or at least very close to, the top. … When it comes to uniforms, the Raiders just win, baby.”
Or, as one diehard Raiders fan wrote, in response to the Raiders’ Twitter plea to vote for the silver and black in the poll: “Finally we are top seed on something.”