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
Presenter Opponent
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

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
Presenter Opponent
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
HoFers* Denver Broncos
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.

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
Presenter Opponent
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

2014

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

Table inside Article
Presenter Opponent
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

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
Presenter Opponent
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 San 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
Presenter Opponent
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
Bobby Romanski Buffalo Bills
Clarence Davis Indianapolis 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
Presenter Opponent
Otten Brothers Los Angeles Rams
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
Next Generation of Raider Nation Dallas 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
Presenter Opponent
Youth Football Coaches 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

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