December 17, 1960

The Raiders saved their best for last, turning in a dominating performance, including 31 fourth quarter points, to beat the Broncos 48-10.

The morning’s discovery of damage to Candlestick Park’s goal posts led to some frantic activity, but repairs were completed by game time. The Broncos came to town with a 4-8-1 record and had gone seven games without a win. The Raiders at 5-8, with a three-game losing streak of their own, needed a win here to avoid the Western Division basement. With these modest stakes on the line a crowd of just 5,159 showed up to see the locals end the season in style.

After the Oakland defense forced a three-and-out on the opening drive, Tom Flores and the offense moved to the Denver 11 in 12 plays where Larry Barnes opened the scoring with an 18-yard field goal. Later in the period, the Broncos evened the score with a 37-yarder from Gene Mingo. Babe Parilli replaced Flores after that but couldn’t get his team in the end zone. Eddie Erdelatz sent Flores back in with about five minutes to go in the second and the team promptly responded going five plays to score, with Flores getting the last few inches on a sneak. Read more “December 17, 1960”

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

October 28, 1960

Final statistics

On a rainy Friday night in the Big Apple, the Raiders staged a ten-point comeback in the fourth quarter to beat the New York Titans, 28-27, before 10,000 spectators at the Polo Grounds. The Raiders entered the game coming off their worst loss ever, a 38-9 beating at the hands of the Bills. At 3-4, they had fallen back to the pack after challenging the Broncos for the Western Division lead just a week ago. They did come into the game mostly healthy, though. Larry Barnes, Tom Flores, and Charley Powell had all been suffering from various forms of mild illness in recent days but would be ready to go at game time. Read more “October 28, 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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