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About the Logbook

©2024, Erin Haight

Contact: raiderlogbook at


About the Logbook

(and whatever else comes to mind)

The History of the Logbook

My name is Erin Haight (he/him) and I’m a Raiders fan living in Spokane. My dad was a rabid Raiders fan who rooted for the team with unselfconscious partisanship and fervor and passed those traits along to me. For my dad—along with his brother and cousin, who shared his love of the team–no call against the Raiders was ever just and the other teams in the league were enemies to be despised with a religious righteousness. He loved the team for its devil-may-care attitude and its refusal to be bound by the almost military-style conventions of discipline and rectitude of pro football of that era. The three of them were hard-drinking, bar-fighting, motorcycle-riding hell raisers, but they were hard workers, too, and so were the Raiders. And I was initiated into the society at a young age. The Raiders part anyway. My hard drinking years would come later, I’ve never been much interested in giving or taking a punch to the face, and motorcycles are just a good way to die, in my view.

My earliest specific Raiders memory is of watching the Immaculate Reception game at the age of seven and, with a child’s passion, sharing the outrage my dad expressed at the colossal injustice of the clearly corrupt referee Fred Swearingen’s call. I was hooked and still am, despite what is now a decades-long stretch of mediocrity, if not worse. But, enough about that.

The seeds of the Logbook were sewn early, too. Though I loved to get outside and participate in whatever sport was being played in the neighborhood at the time, I was also a bookish lad. I collected baseball and football cards, copies of the World and Information Please almanacs, and whatever sports annuals I could get my hands on. I absorbed all that data and was forever collating, summarizing, and annotating stats and other info in a succession of well-worn spiral notebooks. I loved the games, but I loved the endless columns of numbers and facts, too.

Fast forward to the mid-1990s. I was in grad school at the University of Washington and I now had access to microfilm archives of the San Francisco Chronicle. Not the best source of Raiders info, but it was far better than anything else I had seen up to that time. At first, I just wandered around randomly, reading accounts of games from the 1960s and 1970s, and soaking up a sense of the team’s day-to-day existence. Then, in 1996, I began to write my own narrative version of assorted games and posting them to the email-based Raider Fans Mailing List which, in the early days of the World Wide Web, was an incomparable source of news, rumor, and camaraderie to out-of-town fans like me. Some of the folks on the list noticed and liked my pieces and as the decade closed, I found myself writing both historical and current-day analytical pieces for the late Bob “Quartermaster” Johnson at (and later, an early attempt at creating something like SB Nation), Manny Baldenegro at Silver and Black Electronic Report (SABER), and Tim Del Rosario of the print-based Raider Fan Magazine. It was good fun, sharpened my writing and critical thinking skills, and in the case of Raider Fan Magazine, netted me press box access to several Raiders games in Seattle, where I got to watch one game seated no more than ten feet from Al Davis himself.

After grad school I had less time for research and my access to the Chronicle archives was gone. I also had little time to devote to writing pieces for Bob, Manny, and Tim. I decided to take a more encyclopedic approach. This was before the creation of the Sports Reference site and there weren’t many, if any, good sources of historical pro sports stats on the web, thus the Raider Logbook was born. Some of my earlier pieces had been written under the Logbook byline, but now I had a bespoke URL and complete editorial control, for better or worse. It wasn’t groundbreaking work, by any means, but I had fun putting in the work and some of it is still out there on the Internet Archive. Life got complicated over the next few years and the Logbook fell into disrepair for several years, though I never let it lapse entirely. In 2010, I decided to take another approach and blog the history of the team from a contemporaneous perspective, starting with the creation of the AFL in mid-1959, using the WordPress platform. I kept at that through the 2010s, expanding my work to my other sports loves, such as the Athletics and Warriors, but became frustrated at the difficulty of adding stats and encyclopedic features to the site. Ultimately, I decided to change platforms entirely, converting the site to a DokuWiki, where it is now, and where I am able to use simple tools to create the interconnected database I’ve long wanted, while not abandoning narrative entirely.

So, what is this current iteration? At bottom, it is what it always has been—a framework for the exploration of the history of my favorite NFL team. I am both driven to being systematic and easily distracted by shiny things. I’m also prone to boredom and, consequently, the desire to switch lanes when the traffic in my current one backs up. The site is the product of my own eccentric interests and thought processes. In my most grandiose dreams it is comprehensive and infallibly accurate. It is clean and simple and attractively formatted. It is irresistibly interesting and spurs curiosity.


I am also lazy. And I have a family and a job and quite a few other interests in life. I like the idea of uniformity and consistency, but maintaining those qualities means I’m not doing some other thing I’d rather be doing. And I have become more comfortable with doing the thing I want to do rather than the thing someone else might want me to do. So, there will be errors and mismatched formatting elements and omissions and duplications. My workflow most often consists of simply summarizing and organizing what I have read in a way that pleases both the me that likes odd details and the childhood me that filled notebooks with Marv Hubbard’s rushing stats and a million other numerical tidbits. If I find a mistake, I’ll fix it to the best of my ability, but I won’t agonize over it and I won’t fret over the knowledge that there are more out there. Probably lots more. Nobody should reference anything they find here in their dissertation or use it to win a bar bet. That way lies sorrow. But maybe it might make you interested to find out more or ask me where the hell I came up with that goofy fact. And, by all means, if you have a question, or see an error, or just want to comment, reach out. I’m likely to mention them in future missives. But this one is done. I need to go finish mowing the lawn, make some pizza dough, and research Ernie Jorge’s college playing career.

April 14, 2024

about_the_logbook.txt · Last modified: 2024/04/14 23:00 by ehaight