Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/10/12
Any talk of the Oakland Raiders, even now, when the team has experienced some lean years, always brings to mind the rebels and mavericks that brought the Raiders glory and championships in earlier decades.  Some were (and still are) mean, nasty and universally despised.  Others were so talented that even opposing players and coaches gave their grudging respect and Raiders' faithful and football fans in general  worshipped them.

So who were the five most hated and five most beloved men to don the silver and black?  Read on to find out.

Most Loved:

5. Fred Biletnikoff (1965-1978) - It's pretty difficult to argue that a guy is unloved when the award for best college receiver is named after him.  It also helps that Biletnikoff had a career total 589 receptions for 8,974 yards, 76 TDs and 10 straight seasons with 40 or more receptions.  All this from a receiver whose prime was in an era when passing the ball was more of a gimmick meant to get more production from the ground game.

Biletnikoff was MVP of Super Bowl XI, a victory over the Minnesota Vikings, and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1988.  He went on to a successful career in coaching and was with the Raiders as receivers coach from 1989 until his retirement in 2007.


4. Jim Plunkett (1978-1986) - The public loves an underdog success story, which is perhaps why Heisman Trophy winner Plunkett's journey resonates so much with fans.  Acquired by the Raiders primarily as a backup, Plunkett came off the bench   in two different seasons, and ended up leading the Raiders to wins in Super Bowl XV, where he was named MVP, and Super Bowl XVII.  Plunkett is currently the fourth leading passer in Raiders history with 12,665 yards and 80 TDs.

Plunkett hasn't made the Hall of Fame yet, which is somewhat of a surprise, but Raiders devotees are confident he'll voted in in the near future.


3. Tim Brown (1988-2003) - Another Heisman winner, Brown spent 16 years with the Raiders and was voted to the Pro Bowl nine times in his career.  He set franchise records for receptions (1,070), receiving yards (14,734) and punt return yards (3,272).  Brown was voted to the 1990's All-Decade team and looks to lead the Hall of Fame balloting next year as the fifth most productive receiver in NFL history.


2. Marcus Allen (1982-1992) - USC's Heisman winning running back didn't just break records in college.  Despite his famous feud with then Raiders owner Al Davis, which eventually led to Allen's departure to the Kansas City Chiefs, Allen was the first running back to gain both 10,000 yards rushing and 5,000 yards receiving in his career.  He was also the MVP of Super Bowl XVII in 1983, the 1985 NFL MVP and a six time Pro Bowler.  The bad blood between Allen and Davis may have only served to widen Allen's appeal since he went on to a successful career with the Chiefs and was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.


1. Bo Jackson (1987-1990) - Rounding out the list of Raiders Heisman winners, Jackson was popular nationwide, less for his exploits on the football field alone, but rather for obtaining all-star status in both professional football and baseball.  Known for his iconic "Bo Knows" Nike commercials, Jackson was idolized by a generation of kids, teens and young adults for his avatar's acumen in the Super Nintendo game "Tecmo Bowl."  In the real world, Jackson was the quintessential athlete and still holds the fastest verifiable time in the 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine, a blazing 4.12 seconds.


Honorable Mention: Head Coach John Madden (1969-1978) - While Madden didn't play for the Raiders, it would be almost criminally negligent for him not to appear on this list.  Madden led the Raiders to five AFC title games in seven seasons and eventually to a Super Bowl win in 1977.  After his coaching career, Madden became a fixture as a color commentator for televised NFL games with his often imitated unique style.  Madden achieved legendary status with his endorsement, since 1988, of the Madden NFL video game series that he provides voice over for, making him a household name for four generations of fans. 

Most Hated:

5. Jack Tatum (1971-1980) - Tatum's nickname was "The Assassin," and not without reason.  Known not just as the hardest hitting defensive back, but the hardest hitter in the NFL at the time, Tatum prowled the Raiders defensive backfield with an intensity that struck fear in even the most stout-hearted receivers.

Most notorious for a punishing hit that crippled New England Patriots receiver Daryl Stingley, leaving him paralyzed, Tatum was famously quoted as saying: "I like to think my best hits border on felonious assault."


4. Bill Romanowski (2002-2003) - Linebacker Bill Romanowski may hold the unofficial record for earning the most rancor in the shortest time in a Raiders uniform.  However, Romanowski may have garnered at least some of that hatred before he wore the pirate logo.

His altercations while sporting other teams' colors were numerous and included kicking Arizona Cardinals fullback Larry Centers in the head in one game, and spitting in San Francisco 49ers receiver J.J. Stokes' face during another.

What made him probably most dreaded amongst his own teammates was ripping off backup tight-end Marcus Williams' helmet and pile-driving a fist into his eye.  All this during a practice no less.  The resulting crushed orbital bone spelled the end of Williams' career and predictably, led to a lawsuit.


3. Richard Seymour (2007-Present) - Defensive lineman Richard Seymour may not be as roundly hated as other Raiders on this list, but his career isn't over yet.  Fined $25,000 for punching Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the head after a taunt in 2010, Seymour went on to amass three additional fines in 2011 for illegal hits and was thrown from a game against the Miami Dolphins for letting another fist fly.  Seymour still has a few good years left, so look for his stock to rise in this dubious department.


2. John Matuzak (1976-1982) - The six foot eight inch beast that was John Matuzak was well known for his partying ways and equally well-known for his brawling that was, at least, mostly off the field.  "The Tooz" helped the Raiders win two Super Bowls, then managed to parlay his bad-guy image into a moderately successful acting career.  Eventually, his years of steroid and drug abuse caught up to him and Matuzak died at age 38.


1. Lyle Alzado (1982-1985) - Defensive tackle Lyle Alzado was a force for the Raiders squad that took home the 1983 Super Bowl trophy.  However, it was Alzado's violent temper that led to a specific rule against players throwing their helmets.  That Alzado threw his helmet at another player's head to inspire the creation of the penalty is noticeably absent from the rule book.  Alzado managed to contain most of that fury to the field, but not always.  Alzado eventually came clean about his heavy steroid use which caused his mood swings and once led to him chasing after a stranger for miles after the man accidentally hit his car.

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