The Will To Win: Everyone who has lit the Al Davis Memorial Torch

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 start, several Raiders alumni, celebrities, and fans have had the opportunity to light the torch; let's take a look at the full list.

2011

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.

Table inside Article
PresenterOpponent
John MaddenCleveland Browns
Jim OttoKansas City Chiefs
Fred BiletnikoffDenver Broncos
Jim PlunkettChicago Bears
Clem DanielsDetroit Lions
Owner Mark DavisSan Diego Chargers

2012

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.

Table inside Article
PresenterOpponent
Reggie McKenzieDallas Cowboys
Willie BrownDetroit Lions
Tom FloresSan Diego Chargers
Marcus AllenPittsburgh Steelers
George AtkinsonJacksonville Jaguars
Cliff BranchTampa Bay Buccaneers
Jon GrudenNew Orleans Saints
Raymond ChesterCleveland Browns
HoFers*Denver Broncos
Phil VillapianoKansas 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.

2013

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.

Table inside Article
PresenterOpponent
Daryle LamonicaDallas Cowboys
Dick RomanskiChicago Bears
Ted HendricksJacksonville Jaguars
Ann MargaretWashington Redskins
Lester HayesSan Diego Chargers
Art ShellPittsburgh Steelers
Ray GuyPhiladelphia Eagles
Rod MartinTennessee Titans
Bo JacksonKansas City Chiefs
Al LoCasaleDenver Broncos

2014

Nnamdi Asomugha was drafted by Mr. Davis in 2003, and played for the Raiders for eight seasons.

Table inside Article
PresenterOpponent
Al's Angels - Kristi Bailey, Carolyn Paul, and Karen "Fudgie" OttenDetroit Lions
Charlie SmithSeattle Seahawks
Mike DavisHouston Texans
RaiderettesMiami Dolphins (London)
Tim BrownSan Diego Chargers
Nnamdi AsomughaArizona Cardinals
Napoleon McCallumDenver Broncos
Joe MorganKansas City Chiefs
Ronnie LottSan Francisco 49ers
Ron RickardBuffalo Bills

2015

Former Raiders wide receiver and longtime team executive Morris Bradshaw was afforded the opportunity to light the torch in honor of Al Davis.

Table inside Article
PresenterOpponent
H. Rod MartinSt. Louis Rams
Mo BradshawArizona Cardinals
Alexa, Kendra, and Marissa StablerCincinnati Bengals
Art ThomsBaltimore Ravens
Al LoCasale FamilyDenver Broncos
First RespondersNew York Jets
Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air ForceMinnesota Vikings
Dave CasperKansas City Chiefs
Warren WellsGreen Bay Packers
Tailgate Challenge WinnerSan Diego Chargers

2016

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.

Table inside Article
PresenterOpponent
George BuehlerTennessee Titans
Oakland Police DepartmentSeattle Seahawks
Pete BanaszakAtlanta Falcons
Mark van EeghenSan Diego Chargers
Henry LawrenceKansas City Chiefs
Otis SistrunkDenver Broncos
Tommie SmithHouston Texans (Mexico)
Monte JohnsonCarolina Panthers
Bobby RomanskiBuffalo Bills
Clarence DavisIndianapolis Colts

2017

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.

Table inside Article
PresenterOpponent
Otten BrothersLos Angeles Rams
Momma LynchSeattle Seahawks
Rickey HendersonNew York Jets
Andre WardBaltimore Ravens
Kent McCloughanKansas City Chiefs
George LopezNew England Patriots (Mexico)
Greg TownsendDenver Broncos
Mike HaynesNew York Giants
Next Generation of Raider NationDallas Cowboys

2018

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.

Table inside Article
PresenterOpponent
Youth Football CoachesDetroit Lions
Ron WolfGreen Bay Packers
Howie LongLos Angeles Rams
Darren McFaddenCleveland Browns
UK Raider FamilySeattle Seahawks (London)
Dan ConnersIndianapolis Colts
MC HammerLos Angeles Chargers
Marcel ReeceKansas City Chiefs
Reggie JacksonPittsburgh Steelers
Marshawn LynchDenver Broncos

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