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Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death, and John Madden's Oakland Raiders Hardcover – September 14, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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*Starred Review* The black-and-silver uniforms hinted at lawlessness or, at minimum, football noir. The roster was populated by renegades overlooked or passed on by other teams. They had more attitude on one team than today’s sanitized NFL has in total. They were the Oakland Raiders of the 1970s. Under head coach John Madden, they won seven division titles, one conference title, and one Super Bowl. It was an amazing, successful, and stylish run. The Raiders’ legacy is excellence enhanced by personality. When Stickum was allowed on receivers’ hands, Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff used so much he had to have his mates pry his fingers apart in the huddle and hold his cigarettes to his lips at halftime. Quarterback Ken Stabler felt there was nothing wrong with studying the playbook by the light of the jukebox. Through interviews with primary and secondary sources, sports journalist Richmond captures the attitude and, more importantly, the love of the physical nature of football that drove the Raiders. The book is a celebration of the freewheeling NFL that created the multibillion dollar industry it is today. It will also expose the blandness of the pro football we currently watch. These Raiders are legends. Today’s players are forgettable pixels on the NFL logo. Read it and weep. --Wes Lukowsky


“No NFL team ever strutted any better on the dark side than the Oakland Raiders of the 1970s. In Badasses, Peter Richmond chronicles the treacheries, debauchery, and yes, the winning, with appropriate literary gusto. Lock the doors, close the windows, send the kids tobed before reading.” (Leigh Montville, author of Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero)

“I always thought the Raiders were bad, but I never realized how bad -- and how good - until I read Peter Richmond’s smart, funny, rowdy tale.” (Robert Lipsyte, former NEW YORK TIMES columnist and author of CENTER FIELD)

“Once upon a time, there lived a band of larger-than-life misfits who lorded over the NFL. Dirtbags! Castoffs! Has-beens! Deviants! You name ‘em, John Madden’s Raiders had ‘em. And, thanks to Richmond’s tireless reporting and vibrant prose, so does Badasses.” (Jeff Pearlman, New York Times bestselling author of Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty)

“Richmond’s book is a treasure trove of uproarious anecdotes skillfully woven into a seasonal chronicle spiced with sharp player profiles...This rollicking read reminds us that football is a game that’s meant to be played hard—and to be fun.” (Library Journal)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Hardcover--10th Printing edition (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061834300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061834301
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Oakland Raiders regular season record during Hall Of Fame coach John Madden's tenure (1969-1978) was 103 wins 32 losses and 7 ties. That was a better record than even the illustrious Vince Lombardi. When Madden took over they won seven division titles in the first eight seasons. "Between 1970 and 1977 they played in six AFC Championship games and won the Super Bowl to end the 1976 season." This wonderfully idiosyncratic look at the Raiders of those years include everything from the history of Hall Of Fame owner Al Davis to John Madden to all the lovable "BLACK AND SILVER" players... including many Hall Of Famers... and some who should definitely be in the Hall Of Fame also. The author, a Raider fan at least since his east coast college days, lovingly refers to the team known worldwide as *THE-SILVER-AND-BLACK" as the "BLACK AND SILVER"... over and over... and over again. And any fan can understand the author's individual nickname for them. For any fan who loves... and I mean loves... his favorite sports team... undoubtedly has some picayunish... unique... clever... at least in their own mind... nickname for their team. Some are born from superstition... some are born by a mispronouncement... or misunderstanding... or even a bolt of lightning. But any diehard fan... always has a unique personal nickname or phrase for their beloved team. One of the highlights... in a book overflowing with highlights... is the author spewing such an unrelenting, heartfelt love and adoration for his *BLACK AND SILVER* that any true football fan regardless of their favorite team can't help but share the joy of a football love that has no boundaries.

This is a book for any football aficionado. I have read... reviewed... and loved books on the Steelers... the Packers... da Bears... the Colts...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a Raiders fan since 1964, the good majority of my life, and bought this book primarily because of that. I was surprised by how good a book it was in its own right. About a quarter of the way through I realized this would make an enjoyable read for any true football aficionado. I say that because whether the author intended it or not this book really explains what made John Madden's Raiders unique in football history and why there will probably never be another team like it. Here was a collection of people that really loved to play football; loved to tackle and be tackeled. Have you ever had a job that you loved to come to every day? If so, then you realize that's the most incredible experience to have. To get paid for doing something you'd enjoy doing anyway. Madden's Raiders were that. But only Madden could bring those people together without dampening their enthusiasm and this, more than anything else, explains what made that team so unusual and unique. John Rauch couldn't do it (Madden's predecessor) nor could Tom Flores (his successor). I always knew they were special but never understood exactly why until reading this book. It wasn't the winning (for that you could/should back the Steelers, Cowboys, or Dolphins). It had to be something else and it was -- these guys just loved to hit and loved to do things their way. At times I think the book goes overboard on documenting the team's partying because, I guess, that's what sells books. But I think what makes the book special is the other aspects to the team's history. The John Madden era Raiders were truly a family; even Al Davis laments the inability to ever again create that kind of atmosphere for his team (Al's own discription of the Raiders in L.A. vs. 1968-1978 Oakland is very telling in that respect).Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Oakland Raiders and the 1970s were tailor-made for each other. It was a time when professional sports (aside from golf) were considered blue collar forms of entertainment ... especially the NFL. The Raiders (like the Steelers and Eagles) personified a blue collar town with their aggressive style of play, production and lack of flamboyancy. The 1970s is an era when many of the fans that filled their stadiums may have been as tough as the players on the field. It was the last gasp of "old school "football where injured players kept playing and the ailment known as "turf toe" had yet to be defined. The only Nike logo in sight might have been on a few pairs of cleats; there was no internet and no fantasy football. Looking back, the Raiders were an icon of that blue collar era of football. One of the lasting images of Monday Night Football was the intro and its close up of Willie Brown's face, with his helmet bouncing around, as he returns an interception for a touchdown. His face is pure Raider - a determined, almost angered look. Peter Richmond hits a grand slam with his book that details the inception, construction and coronation of the most successful Raider team ever: that hodge-podge collection of thugs, animals and boozers that comprised the winners of Super Bowl XI. Not only does Richmond deliver the history and juicy details of the team, his book serves as a time machine that takes the reader back to a long lost period where the business side of the sport took a backseat to the game itself.

One does not necessarily have to be a fan of the Oakland Raiders to appreciate this book as Richmond's work should prove to be an interest to a wide range of readers. Fans of sports, history, business and human interest stories should be able to appreciate this book.
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