Raiders GUest Column:
By Dan Archer
WOakland Raiders ofensive Lineman—1967
hen I was in college, I was very naïve and never thought I’d play pro football. I
was kind of a late bloomer and all of a sudden I started getting calls, and I saw
people were interested in me. When the American Football League (AFL) had
the draft, I was a redshirt. I played five years at Oregon so I was in the redshirt
draft. I was actually skiing on Mt. Hood on the day when I was drafted, so I
knew very little of what was going on. When I came back, my roommate said,
“Gee whiz, the Redskins and the Raiders have been calling you.” It was Ron
Wolf who gave me a call at that time. He said, “We’re very interested in you,
and it looks like you have a choice between going to Washington, D.C. or Oakland.” I said, “Ooh, that’s going to
be a hard choice.” I was being facetitious, of course.
I ended up with Oakland. Actually, I had an agent and he kind of guided me in the direction of the Raiders.
I came in late along with Gene Upshaw, both of us were in the National Guard. We came in the same day and
got picked up at the San Francisco Airport. I really didn’t know what to expect except I knew I was in halfway
decent shape, and so was Gene, since we had been running for the past four months in combat boots. It was very
interesting. I was very welcomed and just kind of blown away by the whole experience.
Al Davis was an amazing person. He was a wonderful guy and very warm. I took my son to one of the first
reunions even though I was with the Raiders for only one year before going to Cincinnati in the expansion draft. Al
took my son, Chris, by the arm and walked him around the room, introducing him to everybody. When I ran into
Al at the airport some time later on, he came up and said, “Hi Danny, how come you’re not wearing your AFL
I think we had seven or eight Hall of Famers, including John Madden, who was linebackers coach that year.
There were a lot of greats, we had Gene Upshaw, Jim Otto, Fred Biletnikoff – it was an amazing assembly of
people. The Mad Bomber, Daryle Lamonica and Warren Wells came in that year too. It was amazing what he could
do, we had a good line, we had good running backs, we had great receivers, everything came together that year,
The American Football League did very well and had a huge impact. Everything was more or less equal to the
NFL, especially when the New York Jets won Super Bowl III. It leveled the playing field for both leagues and it
happened really quick. We had a great team in 1967, and I think everybody knew it. We had great players, we
almost made it to Super Bowl III. I think everything equalized very quickly within three or four years after the
melding of the two leagues into the NFL.
We had some great guys and they’re still great today. I think the Raiders are probably one of the classiest teams
and organizations, and all the players I’ve talked to say that no other team that they’ve been on has these alumni
get togethers to the extent that the Raiders have and they’re always first class events.
88 2019 Gameday