December 11, 1960

The  5-7 Raiders came back from ten points down to take the lead in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hold on as the 6-6 Titans scored late and won 31-28 at Candlestick Park. The weather was mild but with the team out of the running a disappointing crowd of only 9,037 showed up to watch an exciting game.

The Titans came roaring out of the tunnel and dominated the first quarter. On the second play from scrimmage Art Powell went long, caught Al Dorow’s pass at the Oakland 40, and dodged various members of the Raider secondary for a 73-yard touchdown. While the Raider offense stumbled repeatedly, the Titans entered Oakland territory twice more and only Bill Shockley’s errant kicking foot kept his team from expanding their lead further.

It wasn’t until just before the end of the quarter that the Raider found their sea legs and embarked a ten-play drive resulting in Nyle McFarlane’s nifty 14-yard touchdown catch of a Tom Flores pass to even the score. The Titans responded to that bit of spirit by driving 89 yards in return, scoring on Dorow’s 12-yard keeper up the middle. Neither team accomplished much more before the half, though the Titans did get Shockley another chance on the last play. John Harris blocked his 31-yard field goal attempt and the Raiders were down just 14-7 at the interval despite a subpar effort. Read more “December 11, 1960”

December 1, 1960

Heavy rain caused the cancellation of practice today and Eddie Erdelatz took time to offer a comment about last Sunday’s game. “We’re not that bad,” he said. “We must redeem ourselves the only way we know how.” He said only Tom Flores, Tony Teresa, Don Manoukian, and Jim Otto played well in the loss to the Chargers.

The team would seek redemption with a slightly different lineup. Alan Goldstein’s ankle injury was expected to keep him out of the next game. He would be joined on the sideline by George Fields who was expected to miss the game because of an unidentified ailment. Nyle McFarlane would take Goldstein’s flanker spot, while Don Deskins would replace Fields on the end of the defensive line. Erdelatz made two other changes for performance issues, moving John Dittrich in for Wayne Hawkins at right guard, and installing Doug Asad at the starting tight end spot in place of Gene Prebola.

Despite the rain, the crew at Candlestick Park continued their work and the field was almost ready. Goal posts were in place, the pitcher’s mound had been removed, and the yard lines had been laid out. A big concern was the presence of the infield dirt over much of the football playing area and a problem with an uneven playing surface due to drainage patterns put in place for the baseball layout.

When asked about the prospect of a muddy field on Sunday, Erdelatz said, “It’s bad on both sides of the field, so what’s the difference?”

Oakland Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle

November 27, 1960

The Raiders had a chance to put themselves in a position for the stretch run and crashed hard. In front of 15,075 fans in the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Chargers thumped the Raiders 52-28. Quarterback Jack Kemp connected for long touchdowns to Don Norton and Paul Lowe in the first quarter and the Chargers scored twice on the ground – runs by Kemp and Howie Ferguson — and kicked a field goal in the second. The Raiders scored just once on a Jetstream Smith one-yard run in the first and the teams went into the locker room at halftime with the Chargers up, 31-7. Read more “November 27, 1960”

November 14, 1960

The Raiders waived end Al Hoisington today. He had joined the team a few days after the season opener against Houston but had played sparingly as a backup to tight end Gene Prebola, catching just a handful of passes in eight games. With Doug Asad getting more work, Hoisington looked increasingly like the odd man out. That left the team with 34 players on the roster. Eddie Erdelatz was vague when asked if they would add another player to take his spot.

The players still on the team were enjoying the first of three consecutive days off.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune

November 13, 1960

Giving what head coach Eddie Erdelatz called their best defensive effort of the season, the Raiders beat the Bills 20-7 to even their record at 5-5.

Before the game there was still noise about a pair of NFL games being televised in the area before the Raiders’ 1:30 start. After Chet Soda complained, Lamar Hunt was reportedly planning to lodge a formal protest with the NFL. The NFL’s commissioner Pete Rozelle was unmoved. “The new league appears to have a fixation that every action and policy of the National Football League is designed to impair their operation,” he said. “If they would expend more time and energy in the development of their own league, and less time worrying about the NFL, they would be much more successful than they apparently have been so far.” Rozelle added that the league had no control over broadcasts, explaining that once they sold the rights to networks, the league has “no control over utilization of these rights other than blacking out NFL cities from other NFL telecasts when our clubs play at home. This is in accordance with a 1953 decision of a US district court in Philadelphia. Telecasts of a game involving teams in the new league are beamed into all NFL cities when our teams play at home.” Read more “November 13, 1960”

October 16, 1960

Final statistics

 

The Patriots hadn’t lost a game on the road and the Raiders hadn’t won at home, but that was all out the window at the end. It was probably the Raiders’ best game to date, but they were also lucky to get away with a 27-14 win over the Patriots on an unseasonably warm afternoon at Kezar Stadium.

Almost immediately, things began to go Oakland’s way. On the second play from scrimmage at the Raider 13, Jack Larscheid, starting in place of Tony Teresa, took a pitch from Tom Flores and took it 87 yards for a score. And if that weren’t a rousing enough start, Ron Burton fumbled on Boston’s first offensive play and Carmen Cavalli recovered for Oakland at the Patriot 31. Flores couldn’t move his team much closer and the score stayed 7-0 when Larry Barnes’s 40-yard field goal attempt came up short.

Most of the rest of the quarter was a punting duel. The Patriots did get close enough to give Gino Cappelletti a chance to kick one from 47 yards out, but his attempt was short, too. Frustrated with Flores’s inability to move his team after the first drive, Eddie Erdelatz put in Babe Parilli late in the quarter, but on his second play Bob Soltis picked him off and returned it back to the Raider 9. Three plays later, Alan Miller took it in to score from the 2, but Riley Morris, in the game despite numerous reports saying he wouldn’t play, blocked Cappelletti’s extra point attempt and the Raiders kept the lead. Read more “October 16, 1960”

September 13, 1960

Two days out from the loss to the Oilers, the Raiders made a number of personnel moves. Four players were cut, including tackle Joe Barbee, halfback Luther Carr, tackle Don Churchwell, and quarterback Paul Larson.

The team had first installed Barbee, a June signing, on the defense, then moved him to offense, but he never could crack the starting lineup, and had run out of chances. Carr had shown some promise after joining the team in August, looking good against the Bills, but he hurt his ribs in the Boston game and wasn’t healing fast enough to justify the roster spot. Churchwell had been there since the allocation draft in the spring and was a starter early in camp, but eventually Ron Sabal took his spot and made him expendable. Larson, signed in mid-April, had been the highest-profile addition to the team upon his arrival and was a shoe-in to be Tom Flores’s backup until Babe Parilli’s signing, whereupon he became the forgotten man on the roster. And with only 35 spots available, carrying three quarterbacks was a luxury the team didn’t think it could afford.

Taking some of the open spots were ends Doug Asad and Al Hoisington, and halfback Nyle McFarlane. Asad was a 6’2″, 205-pound tight end from Northwestern. A three-year letterman with the Wildcats, he caught only a handful of passes each year, but was good enough to play in the 1959 Blue-Gray game. Picked up by the Oilers in July, he started at least one preseason game for Houston, but didn’t make the team’s final cut , giving the Raiders a chance to grab him.

Hoisington, at 6’3” and 200 pounds, was a speedster out of Pasadena City College who had spent time in camp with the Dallas Texans before being waived, which is where the Raiders got him.

McFarlane was a 6’2″, 205-pound halfback who was a solid ground-gainer during a couple of seasons at Brigham Young, but battled injuries and academic issues during that time. In the spring of 1960, he was still with the Cougars prepping for the fall campaign, but at some point after that he left the team. By August, he was in camp with the Dallas Cowboys, but they cut him before their regular season and the Raiders signed him to take Carr’s spot.

Two additional players, defensive lineman Glenn Holtzman and linebacker Riley Morris, had yet to report to the team after having been signed last week.

While Eddie Erdelatz shuffled players trying to improve his squad, the front office was focusing their concern on ticket sales. The reported attendance for the Oilers game was 12,703, but according to the Kezar Stadium management team, the actual paid figure was only 8,620. General manager Chet Soda said the team needed to average 20,000 per home date to break even. Consensus among the ownership group was that ticket prices were too high and their plan was to petition the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Commission to lower the price of west end zone seats from $4.50 to $2.50 matching the east end zone price.

And in other news, the team completed a change in their practice facility, moving from the Oakland Naval Air Reserve Station to the Alameda Naval Air Station, just a few miles north on Alameda Island. The team cited better field conditions and facilities as the reason for the change.

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