"the fire that burns the brightest in the Raiders' organization is the will to win." Al Davis
Following the passing of the great Al Davis in 2011, the Raiders started a tradition like no other.
Prior to every game, the team and the fans would pay tribute to Mr. Davis by lighting the Al Davis Memorial Torch in his honor. The torch is a tribute to Mr. Davis' legacy as the Raiders' long-time owner, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, AFL Coach of the Year, AFL Commissioner, and the architect of the Raiders' Commitment to Excellence… in recognition of Mr. Davis' enduring vision that "the fire that burns brightest in the Raiders' organization is the will to win."
Since the tradition started, several Raiders alumni, celebrities, and fans have had the opportunity to light the torch; let's take a look at the full list.
It only seemed right that the first person to light the torch was John Madden. The Super Bowl-winning head coach was hired by Mr. Davis in the late 60s, and together the two accomplished several amazing feats together. Owner Mark Davis honored his father Al Davis in the final home game of the 2011 season by lighting the memorial torch.
|John Madden||Cleveland Browns|
|Jim Otto||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Fred Biletnikoff||Denver Broncos|
|Jim Plunkett||Chicago Bears|
|Clem Daniels||Detroit Lions|
|Owner Mark Davis||San Diego Chargers|
Before returning to coach the Oakland Raiders in 2018, Jon Gruden honored Mr. Davis - the first man to give him a head coaching job - by lighting the torch in memory of him.
|Reggie McKenzie||Dallas Cowboys|
|Willie Brown||Detroit Lions|
|Tom Flores||San Diego Chargers|
|Marcus Allen||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|George Atkinson||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Cliff Branch||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Jon Gruden||New Orleans Saints|
|Raymond Chester||Cleveland Browns|
|Phil Villapiano||Kansas City Chiefs|
*Jim Otto, George Blanda's widow Betty, Willie Brown, Gene Upshaw's widow Teresa, Fred Biletnikoff, Art Shell, Ted Hendricks, Mike Haynes, Howie Long, Ronnie Lott, Dave Casper, James Lofton, John Madden, Rod Woodson, and Carol Davis.
It's an honor to light the torch, and for those who knew Mr. Davis personally, it's a reminder of all he meant to the organization, the fans, and the NFL community. Raiders legend Cliff Branch shared in 2015 what it means to him and the many others who have paid tribute.
|Daryle Lamonica||Dallas Cowboys|
|Dick Romanski||Chicago Bears|
|Ted Hendricks||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Ann Margaret||Washington Redskins|
|Lester Hayes||San Diego Chargers|
|Art Shell||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Ray Guy||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Rod Martin||Tennessee Titans|
|Bo Jackson||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Al LoCasale||Denver Broncos|
Nnamdi Asomugha was drafted by Mr. Davis in 2003, and played for the Raiders for eight seasons.
|Al's Angels - Kristi Bailey, Carolyn Paul, and Karen "Fudgie" Otten||Detroit Lions|
|Charlie Smith||Seattle Seahawks|
|Mike Davis||Houston Texans|
|Raiderettes||Miami Dolphins (London)|
|Tim Brown||San Diego Chargers|
|Nnamdi Asomugha||Arizona Cardinals|
|Napoleon McCallum||Denver Broncos|
|Joe Morgan||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Ronnie Lott||San Francisco 49ers|
|Ron Rickard||Buffalo Bills|
Former Raiders wide receiver and longtime team executive Morris Bradshaw was afforded the opportunity to light the torch in honor of Al Davis.
|H. Rod Martin||St. Louis Rams|
|Mo Bradshaw||Arizona Cardinals|
|Alexa, Kendra, and Marissa Stabler||Cincinnati Bengals|
|Art Thoms||Baltimore Ravens|
|Al LoCasale Family||Denver Broncos|
|First Responders||New York Jets|
|Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force||Minnesota Vikings|
|Dave Casper||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Warren Wells||Green Bay Packers|
|Tailgate Challenge Winner, Ross Woody||San Diego Chargers|
Selected in the third round of the 1974 NFL Draft, former Raiders running back Mark van Eeghen lit the torch prior to an AFC West matchup with the Chargers.
|George Buehler||Tennessee Titans|
|Oakland Police Department||Seattle Seahawks|
|Pete Banaszak||Atlanta Falcons|
|Mark van Eeghen||San Diego Chargers|
|Henry Lawrence||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Otis Sistrunk||Denver Broncos|
|Tommie Smith||Houston Texans (Mexico)|
|Monte Johnson||Carolina Panthers|
|Bob Romanski||Buffalo Bills|
|Clarence Davis||Indianapolis Colts|
Oakland native, former professional boxer, Olympic gold medalist, and lifelong Raiders fan Andre Ward was proud to light the torch in honor of Mr. Davis.
|The Otten Brothers||Los Angeles Rams|
|Delisa "Momma" Lynch||Seattle Seahawks|
|Rickey Henderson||New York Jets|
|Andre Ward||Baltimore Ravens|
|Kent McCloughan||Kansas City Chiefs|
|George Lopez||New England Patriots (Mexico)|
|Greg Townsend||Denver Broncos|
|Mike Haynes||New York Giants|
|The Next Generation of Raider Nation||Dallas Cowboys|
Raiders and NFL legend Howie Long played for the team 13 seasons and has shared his love and respect for Mr. Davis on numerous occasions.
|Youth Football||Detroit Lions|
|Ron Wolf||Green Bay Packers|
|Howie Long||Los Angeles Rams|
|Darren McFadden||Cleveland Browns|
|UK Raider Family||Seattle Seahawks (London)|
|Dan Conners||Indianapolis Colts|
|MC Hammer||Los Angeles Chargers|
|Marcel Reece||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Reggie Jackson||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Marshawn Lynch||Denver Broncos|
Former Raiders linebacker Matt Millen lit the torch before a thrilling Thursday Night Football win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 10.
|Cotton Davidson||Los Angeles Rams|
|Mervyn Fernandez||Green Bay Packers|
|Lincoln Kennedy||Denver Broncos|
|John Vella||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Steve Wisniewski||Chicago Bears|
|1970's friends and family members*||Detroit Lions|
|Matt Millen||Los Angeles Chargers|
|Sebastian Janikowski||Cincinnati Bengals|
|Shane Lechler||Tennessee Titans|
|Charles Woodson||Jacksonville Jaguars|
*Barbara Flores, Susan Casper, Janice Shell, Sally Otto and 1970's friends and family members lit the Al Davis Memorial Torch prior to the Week 9 matchup against the Detroit Lions.
Carol Davis lit the torch before a thrilling Monday Night Football win over the New Orleans Saints in Week 2.