DVD Review (Posted on 02-10-2016)
"Just win, baby."
Three simple words for a vicious, win-hungry team who have represented the silver and black shield since its birth in the late fifties. It's understandable that fans of the Raiders are often scoffed at and ridiculed but there's a reason: they too have absorbed the aggressive mentality the coaching management have integrated in their team making them play football without fail and without tears/complaints. Play football or you're off the team, it seems to be, but that's what brought the Raiders up to where they are. With this two-DVD set, whether you're an all-time fan or just enjoy the sport of professional football, there's a lot to enjoy in this package.
First DVD is all about the birth and history of the Raiders. When things started, the team hasn't chosen a place to call their "home!" As the team began hanging on a thread, attendance was low, and football fans rather watched the 49ers than the ailing, what-kind-of-loser-cheers-for-this-team Raiders. Who's responsible for revamping the Raiders eventually making them contenders against the big men? His name is Al Davis. Mr. Davis, you'll learn, has shown passion and dedication for the Raider club and has never failed the team's path to success. Davis was also responsible for picking up players and giving no-named players a huge chance to get on the field and prove themselves; In other words, if you can play Raider football using their philosophy, you will get chosen to play for the team. Having done this, as opposed to doing what other team owners do in waiting for a big-name draftee, Davis has discovered and showcased raw and excellent talents that have ever played Raider football, or perhaps the sport of football all in all. From a head coach to AFL commissioner, prior to the merging of the AFL and the NFL, Davis has worked his way around to know the game and the business of football, yet still fully committing himself to the Raiders.
"We did not come to Oakland and the East Bay for the sake of a job. We came because we believe in the future of this team, and the future of this area. My enthusiasm has not diminished for the job in the years to come. And I hope your enthusiasm will continue, and come what may, be proud, too, that you are a vital part of the progress of this football team."
— Al Davis
After the history, you learn about how the Raiders tackled their way into the winner's circle featuring big time names like Fred Biletnikoff, Daryle Lamonica, George Blanda, Kenny Stabler and Gene Upshaw, along with the rivalries they have ignited, namely against, oh man, the Pittsburgh Steelers. You'll realize how furious that matchup was, and if you say "Steelers" to a big-time Raider fan, s/he will grind their teeth so hard that flames will spew out of their mouth from all that friction. With fists of rage going against teams like the Jets and the Dolphins, and even the "unrealistic" touchdown—robbery—against the Chargers, you begin to feel the team members' high blood pressure when going against the Steelers; It's that serious. Oh, yeah, let's not forget the Broncos as well—winners of Super Bowl 50 (the internet would've exploded in excitement had the Raiders been on there instead of the Panthers, huh?). Along the way, you get an inside look at football's grand icon John Madden and his tenure in winning with the Raiders, including the struggles and the will never to give up until the trophy has been awarded to the silver and black.
Now that the Raiders have made noise showing and proving themselves in all of pro football, you'll see some of the successes, the losses and the controversies involving their club and the whys and the why nots. Without spoiling too much, unless you, Raider fan, clearly remember these moments, the first has to be the missed call against the Broncos. The second was the "zaniest" play in Raider history against the Chargers and third is actually kind of fun, so I'll say this: 24 to 7, final score. These are, what I think, are the most crazy but enjoyable stories about the franchise yet it's so dramatic and so much fun. Even if you're a casual football fan, I'm certain you'll drop your jaw at least once. Other than that, and many other stories from former Raiders crew and even their rivals, you see the coaching successors, the trades and the records Raiders have broken in their history—something the silver and black fans should stand tall and be proud of. You also learn of head coach Art Shell, whom Davis hired because he can do the job, but also becoming the first black coach in the NFL. With records broken and amazing players who have become legends, you see the Raiders in their move to Los Angeles and then back to Oakland. This included a small interview with Tiger Woods who is a proud fan of the Raiders, when they moved to LA having become crosstown rivals against the Rams (especially so now that the Rams are back in Los Angeles). Speaking of legends, you learn about the amazing God-like work of Bo Jackson, who is actually one of my favorite athletes. Compared to this modern day, he's like a Russell Wilson; Yes, Bo Jackson played the game of football AND baseball, and was a huge deal during his rise and success. He made such a great impression that Toy Headquarters (THQ)
produced a video game for the Nintendo Game Boy
titled, "Bo Jackson - Two Games In One: Bo Jackson Hit And Run Baseball/Football
." (Sure, I'll review that game on this website soon.)
In the new millennium, you learn about new coach John Gruden as well. I must admit: I like Gruden's style of coaching, as it almost reminds me of that man doing the voiceover promoting Barry's Tickets
. Nevertheless, Gruden pushed all he could as he went on to have his own segments in sports broadcasts on the NFL, let alone being a correspondent in various live NFL games as well. (Just had to make a small mention to those unfamiliar with Gruden, that he was actually involved in the sport of football, and not some nonentity who knows football and was randomly hired to talk and commentate on the NFL by ESPN.)
In the Specials
menu are deeper look-ins at the controversies, and the memorable moments/plays mentioned in the feature presentation on this first DVD. Think of them as "topics to further discuss about along with other Raider/football fans," along with more exclusive interviews never before seen. Of all the bitter rivalries who've clashed against the Raiders, that robbery against the Chargers was unbelievable to me....but awesome
Onto the second DVD of this package features the Raiders against the Colts (formerly Baltimore). While not an actual full game, this is like a "docu-drama" but instead of the "drama," it's sports ("docu-sports?"). In other words, you get to watch the game while clips from exclusive interviews and further commentaries are interspersed throughout. This is a fascinating watch of a classic game, while the folks at NFL Productions were nice enough to include simple graphics showing the roster, the score and some instant replays. Why this game against the Colts? Four words: "Ghost to the Post." Along with the craziest moment against the Chargers, this too was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen from the Raiders; Check this out and enjoy for yourself. Oh, and make sure you don't miss "Immaculate Reception." Ah yes, Raider beauty.
The Specials on the second DVD are more look-ins at more games finished in dramatic, yet controversial, fashion with the Raiders. Included with all those? The Raiderettes. A 16-minute presentation, think of this as Time Warner SportsNet's reality show Laker Girls
and the process in which the ladies undergo to audition and become a dedicated Raiderette. This showing also remind me of the rare DVD series The  FANTASY -Behind The Scenes- DVD by Luxor Hotel & Casino (reviewed here)
, filled with sexy interviews and shoots. Now, because beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, check out Kathleen Lizarraras and Linda Sobek. A little disclaimer: these ladies where shot during the nineties, so if their beauty seems too "old school" for you, then go ahead and skip this (though you shouldn't). Because the fashion styles of the seventies have come back, namely for women, I'm sure that you'll find these Raiderettes gorgeous and amazing. Well, of course they are; Styles in the nineties made women look like real
women, unlike today. Anyway, I'm not sure if Raiders have their own TV channel, but if they do, I strongly recommend producing a reality series featuring the auditions and progresses in becoming a Raiderette, if it hasn't been done so. I know there is one for the Cowboys' cheerleaders, but in case any of you executives in TV/online programming and/or folks in the NFL Productions department who are reading this, I suggest doing so. What I'm trying to say is I actually enjoyed that special featuring the Raiderettes—not because the females are beautiful, but it was well edited and well crafted that it should become its own program.
Overall, excellent work from NFL Productions in collaboration with Cinedigm in producing a wonderful DVD package for both Raider fans and football fans in general. Yes, I know, some football seasons display horrid records and terrible playing from the crew. However, with this DVD, watching it should be a keen reminder why you're a fan and feeling good about your team's successes all throughout the years. And because the Raiders are currently in talks possibly moving to Las Vegas**, talking and praising the Raiders and their progress in winning championships makes this DVD review the perfect recall as to why and how the Raiders became so good and the icons who made it all happen. Without the presentations coming off as a "school lecture," these DVDs are enough to keep you watching and enjoy the fun. This is an excellent package to have.
Always commit to excellence!
This news is currently developing.
UPDATE (Feb 11, 2016): Raiders sign a new lease to stay in Oakland for the 2016-2017 season. (Source: ESPN - Raiders owner Mark Davis calls lease deal 'win-win' for both sides
UPDATE (March, 27, 2017): NFL Owners vote 31-1 in relocation of the Raiders to Las Vegas, Nevada; Dolphins only team voted against. (Sources: ESPN - Owners vote 31-1 to OK Raiders move; Dolphins vote against
, and NFL.com - Saying goodbye to Oakland
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© 2008-2019 written and reviewed personally by Kris Caballero.
DVD Coordinating Producers
National Football League