Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death, and John Madden's Oakland Raiders

Category: Americas
Author: Peter Richmond
This Month Reddit 2


by ahydell   2019-08-24

Read this book for some great history of our best era. Welcome to the Nation!

by Grimmetal_Heavy   2019-08-24

I've actually read two books in the past couple of months. "Badasses" by Peter Richmond:

and "Just Win, Baby: Al Davis and His Raiders" by Glenn Dickey:

and I also have on my shelf 'Slick: The Silver and Black Life of Al Davis' by Mark Ribowsky. I have not started this one yet:


Badasses covers the team mostly through John Madden's years up through 1976 and a few words through the '78 season, I believe. It was actually a really good book if you want to know more about how the Raiders established themselves and finally broke through after losing the eventual champions for so many years. I loved it. Absolutely one of the best football books I've ever read and a key to understanding the establishment of what it meant to 'be a Raider'. It was published in 2013, so it's certainly a bit more recent than either Al Davis biography.

Dickey's book is centered strictly around Al Davis with plenty of anecdotes, mostly from the viewpoint of an old beat writer. It felt a little light at times but makes for a great continuation from what 'Badasses' established. From memory, it really focuses on the more high profile incidents involving Davis including the feud with Rozelle around the Raider's move to LA and it does a GREAT job of highlighting the negotiations between Davis and Oakland and Davis and LA. You have to keep in mind that the Raiders wouldn't return to Oakland until 1995 and this book was published in 1991.

I believe Richmond cited Ribowsky's book quite a bit in 'Badasses'. As mentioned, I haven't read it yet, but it looks a bit more dense than Dickey's book. It seems like it was released at the same time as Dickey's book and perhaps was a bit of competition between book companies based on the fact they were both released about the same time.

As far as being 'hit' pieces, 'Badasses certainly isn't, as it is centered around the team more than Davis himself. Dickey's book was fair enough and reads like an Oakland beat writer wrote it. Nothing that really made me stop and think, 'Well, that was a unnecessarily harsh.'