The Raiders may have moved to Las Vegas, but the franchise left its mark on the State of California as few have.
So it’s no surprise that the late owner of the team, Al Davis, and former Raiders coach John Madden, who passed recently, were both inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2022.
Here’s a video of the event put together by the Raiders’ official Twitter account.
“The two of them were in a class all their own.”
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) July 1, 2022
Veteran sportscaster Jim Gray spoke at the event, saying in the above video, “I know that Al would be so pleased that he and John Madden are being inducted together in the same class. Because the two of them were in a class all their own.”
Gray, who knew Al Davis for years before Davis passed away in 2011, also tweeted photos from the induction. Here he is with the busts of Davis and Madden, along with the younger Davis and current owner of the Raiders, Mark Davis, and Madden’s immediate family.
Al Davis was inducted into California Sports Hall of Fame with John Madden. Great night for the @Raiders and Mark Davis and Virgina and Mike Madden! Both had a COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE! Just Win Baby! pic.twitter.com/YQ3QgideFv
— Jim Gray (@JimGrayOfficial) June 28, 2022
That’s an enthusiastic Raiders slogan drop from Gray in his tweet, going with Just Win, Baby, and Commitment to Excellence.
To make more sense of Gray’s enthusiasm, here are photos of Gray with both Mark and Al Davis, taken many years apart.
Back in the day … Jim with AL DAVIS pic.twitter.com/taHuZT22rO
— AFL Godfather (@NFLMAVERICK) May 31, 2018
The Davis family and the Raiders clearly made an impact on Gray. And together, Madden and Al Davis dominated opponents at an unreal clip, impacting the NFL forever.
Madden, who didn’t coach any team but the Raiders (Madden moved on to an iconic broadcasting career after coaching), had a .759 winning percentage, the highest in NFL history for a coach with at least 100 wins. After the 1976 season, Madden’s bunch won it all in Super Bowl XI.
As for Davis, he moved the Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles and back to Oakland again. The franchise won Super Bowls in each city — two as the Oakland Raiders and one as the LA Raiders. How’s that for a lasting impact?
Now that legacy has moved on to Las Vegas. But the Raiders’ imprint on California is indelible. And finally, the California Sports Hall of Fame has recognized that fact, which has long been set in stone for Raider Nation and the NFL at large.