Super Bowl XI was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Oakland Raiders and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Minnesota Vikings to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for its 1976 season. The Raiders defeated the Vikings by the score of 32–14 to win their first Super Bowl. The game was played on January 9, 1977, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. This remains the Super Bowl scheduled earliest during the calendar year.
This was the Raiders’ second Super Bowl appearance after losing Super Bowl II. They posted a 13–1 regular season record before defeating the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs. The Vikings were making their fourth Super Bowl appearance after posting an 11–2–1 regular season record and playoff victories over the Washington Redskins and the Los Angeles Rams. The Vikings became the first team to appear in four Super Bowls, a record they held until the Dallas Cowboys advanced to a Super Bowl for the fifth time in Super Bowl XIII. They had not won in their previous three attempts, losing Super Bowl IV to the Kansas City Chiefs in the final Super Bowl before the AFL–NFL merger and following that up with losses in Super Bowls VIII and IX.
Oakland gained a Super Bowl record 429 yards, including a Super Bowl record 288 yards in the first half, en route to winning Super Bowl XI. After a scoreless first quarter, Oakland scored on three consecutive possessions to take a 16–0 lead at halftime. The Raiders also had two fourth quarter interceptions, including cornerback Willie Brown’s 75-yard return for a touchdown. Oakland wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff, who had 4 catches for 79 yards that set up three Raider touchdowns, was named the game’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). Among the wide receivers who have won the Super Bowl MVP, Biletnikoff is the only one to not have gained 100 yards in his performance.
|Super Bowl XI|
|Date||January 9, 1977|
|Stadium||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California|
|MVP||Fred Biletnikoff, wide receiver|
|Favorite||Raiders by 4|
|Current/Future Hall of Famers|
|Raiders: Al Davis (owner/general manager), John Madden (coach), Fred Biletnikoff, Willie Brown, Dave Casper, Ray Guy, Ted Hendricks, Art Shell, Ken Stabler, Gene Upshaw|
Vikings: Bud Grant (coach), Carl Eller, Paul Krause, Alan Page, Fran Tarkenton, Mick Tingelhoff, Ron Yary
|National anthem||None (Vikki Carr sang “America the Beautiful")|
|Coin toss||Jim Tunney|
|Halftime show||Disney presents “It’s A Small World” with the Los Angeles Unified All-City Band|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Curt Gowdy and Don Meredith|
|Nielsen ratings||44.4 |
(est. 62 million viewers)
|Cost of 30-second commercial||$125,000|
The NFL awarded Super Bowl XI to Pasadena, California on March 19, 1975 at the owners' meetings held in Honolulu. 
This game marked the second Super Bowl appearance for the Oakland Raiders, who lost Super Bowl II. Two years after their Super Bowl loss, the Raiders hired John Madden as their head coach. Under Madden, the Raiders had posted in his 8 seasons an 83–22–7 record (counting ties, this was a .772 winning percentage, second for any NFL team behind only the Vikings’ .781). Nevertheless, Super Bowl XI was the first time Madden led his team to a league championship game. They had been eliminated in all six of their previous playoff appearances, including five losses in the AFC Championship Game.
The Raiders offense was led by quarterback Ken Stabler, who finished as the top rated passer in the AFC, passing for 2,737 yards and 27 touchdowns. His 66.7 completion percentage (194 completions out of 291 attempts) was the second highest in the league. Stabler’s main passing weapon was wide receiver Cliff Branch, who caught 46 passes for 1,111 yards (24.2 yards per catch average) and 12 touchdowns. Fred Biletnikoff was also a reliable deep threat, with 43 receptions for 551 yards and 7 touchdowns, while tight end Dave Casper recorded 53 receptions for 691 yards and 10 touchdowns.
In addition to their great passing attack the Raiders also had a powerful running game, led by fullback Mark van Eeghen (1,012 rushing yards, 17 receptions) and halfback Clarence Davis (516 rushing yards, 27 receptions). Another reason for the Raiders' success on offense was their offensive line, led by left tackle Art Shell and left guard Gene Upshaw, as well as perennial All-Pro center Dave Dalby.
Injuries early in the season forced the Raiders to switch from a 4–3 to a 3–4 defense. The switch benefited the team, as they won their last 10 games and finished the regular season with the best record in the league, 13–1. The Raiders' defense was anchored by great linebackers, such as Phil Villapiano and Ted Hendricks, while defensive end Otis Sistrunk anchored the defensive line. Their defensive secondary was extremely hard-hitting and talented, led by safeties Jack Tatum and George Atkinson, and cornerbacks Skip Thomas and Willie Brown.
Many accused the Raiders defense of being overly aggressive, especially Atkinson, who inflicted a severe concussion on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann in the previous season’s AFC Championship Game. Atkinson added to that reputation as the Raiders advanced through the playoffs to Super Bowl XI, as Atkinson inflicted another concussion to Swann in the Raiders' 1976 season opener. In the Raiders' 24–21 playoff win over the New England Patriots, Atkinson broke the nose of Patriots tight end Russ Francis. In reaction, Pittsburgh head coach Chuck Noll complained of a “criminal element” in Atkinson’s play. Atkinson himself denied deliberately trying to injure anyone and pointed out that at 6'0" and 185 pounds, he was one of the smallest players on the field. The Raiders and their fans were often known to counter these accusations against Atkinson and Jack Tatum by pointing out the physical way that Pittsburgh cornerback Mel Blount covered Oakland’s speedy split end Cliff Branch.
An interesting fact about the team was that two players (whose names were not revealed) bought marijuana from Red Hot Chili Peppers' singer Anthony Kiedis’ father, Blackie Dammett, and smoked it before the game, and played the game under the effects of the drug. This was revealed on Kiedis’ biography from 2004, Scar Tissue.
The Vikings, coached by Bud Grant, won the NFC Central for the eighth time in the last nine seasons with an 11–2–1 record, and advanced to their fourth Super Bowl in eight years. They were the only team who had lost three Super Bowls (they had previously lost Super Bowls IV, VIII and IX), and did not want to be the first one to lose four. They were the first team to appear in a fourth Super Bowl.
Once again, the Vikings had a powerful offense led by 37-year-old quarterback Fran Tarkenton and running back Chuck Foreman. Playing in his 16th NFL season, Tarkenton was already the league’s all-time leader in pass completions (3,186), passing yards (41,802), and touchdown passes (308). He had another fine season in 1976, completing 61.9 percent of his passes for 2,961 yards, 17 touchdowns, and only 8 interceptions. Foreman had the best season of his career, rushing for 1,155 yards and 13 touchdowns, while also catching 55 passes for 567 yards and another touchdown. Fullback Brent McClanahan also contributed 634 combined rushing and receiving yards. The Vikings also added two new weapons to their offense: veteran wide receiver Ahmad Rashad and rookie wide receiver Sammy White combined for 104 receptions, 1,577 receiving yards, and 13 touchdowns, while tackle Ron Yary once again anchored the offensive line.
The Vikings' “Purple People Eaters” defense, anchored by Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, and Alan Page, were also dominating teams again. During this regular season, they led the NFC in fewest points allowed (176). Also, defensive back Nate Wright led the team with 7 interceptions for 47 yards, while safety Paul Krause had 2 interceptions for 21 yards.
The Vikings went on to dominate the Washington Redskins, 35–20, and then defeated the Los Angeles Rams, 24–13, in the playoffs. Ten of the Vikings’ points in the NFC Championship Game came from blocked kicks.
The Raiders overcame an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the New England Patriots, 24–21, with the aid of a penalty call against the Patriots. New England’s Ray Hamilton was tagged for roughing the passer in the fourth quarter, turning an incomplete pass on 3rd and 18 into a first down, and the Raiders went on to score on Stabler’s 1-yard touchdown run with 14 seconds left in the contest.
In the AFC Championship Game Oakland then faced the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team that had won the two previous Super Bowls and defeated the Raiders in the playoffs in three out of the last four seasons. However, coming into this game without injured starting running backs Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier, the Steelers were soundly thrashed this time around, losing to Oakland, 24–7.
This was the first Super Bowl game to match both conferences’ No. 1 seeds, the first one held in the Rose Bowl, the last Super Bowl to finish under daylight and the last where both teams’ placekickers (Minnesota’s Fred Cox and Oakland’s Errol Mann) used the straight-on style. Scheduled on the 9th day of January, the game marks the earliest Super Bowl played during the calendar year. The regular season started one week earlier than usual in order to avoid having playoff games on Christmas Day, which fell on a Saturday in 1976. By moving the season up, the divisional playoffs were held December 18 and 19, and the conference championship games Sunday, December 26. The local starting time for this Super Bowl, 12:47 pm Pacific Time, also was the earliest in history, two minutes earlier than Super Bowl VII at the nearby Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1973.
The game was televised in the United States by NBC, with play-by-play announcer Curt Gowdy and color commentator Don Meredith. This was Meredith’s last broadcast with NBC, as he returned to ABC to rejoin the Monday Night Football crew for the 1977 season, where he had been a commentator from 1970–73. Bryant Gumbel and Lee Leonard with analyst John Brodie anchored NBC’s pregame, halftime and postgame coverage. The Last Daytime Game for the super bowl.
The pregame festivities featured the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) All-City Band and frisbee dog Ashley Whippet. Later, singer Vikki Carr sang “America the Beautiful”. This is the only game in Super Bowl history that the national anthem was not sung. This was also the first time that “America the Beautiful” was sung at a Super Bowl.
The halftime show was produced by Disney and was based on It's a Small World, an attraction at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. The show featured the cast members of The New Mickey Mouse Club. It was the first Super Bowl halftime show to include crowd participation as people in the stadium waved colored placards on cue. The LAUSD All-City Band also played during the show.
The Raiders took the opening kickoff and advanced all the way to the Vikings’ 12-yard line, but came up empty after kicker Errol Mann hit the left upright on his 29-yard field goal attempt. Later in the quarter, after the teams exchanged punts, the Vikings had a great opportunity to score, when linebacker Fred McNeill blocked a punt from Ray Guy and recovered the ball on the Raiders' 3-yard line. The Vikings' special teams unit was known for blocking kicks, but this was the first time it had happened to Guy. (He had only three of his punts blocked in his 14-year NFL Hall of Fame career.) However, two plays later, Minnesota running back Brent McClanahan fumbled the ball while being tackled by Raiders linebacker Phil Villapiano, and linebacker Willie Hall recovered the ball for Oakland. The Raiders then marched 90 yards to the Vikings' 7-yard line, with a 35-yard run by Clarence Davis around left end from the Oakland 6-yard line breaking through Minnesota’s front. On the drive’s sixth play, quarterback Ken Stabler completed a 25-yard pass to tight end Dave Casper, with Casper breaking through what Stabler called “10 tackles.”
Oakland, however, had to settle for a 24-yard field goal from Mann, giving them a 3–0 lead 48 seconds into the second quarter.
After forcing Minnesota to punt following a three-and-out, Oakland did even better the next time it got the ball. Stabler completed a 19-yard pass to Casper to reach the Vikings' 26. Running back Carl Garrett carried on three consecutive plays and gained 20 yards, then Stabler hit receiver Fred Biletnikoff along the right sideline for five yards to the 1-yard line. The 64-yard drive in 10 plays then concluded on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Stabler to Casper, increasing the Raiders' lead to 10–0. On the Vikings' next possession, running back Chuck Foreman gained seven yards on first down and six yards on second down, but a holding penalty on Ron Yary made it second-down-and-13. Quarterback Fran Tarkenton threw an incomplete pass to rookie receiver Sammy White, then a long pass to Ahmad Rashad was broken up by defensive back Willie Brown, resulting in another three-and-out. Oakland got the ball back in excellent field position, after returner Neal Colzie returned Minnesota’s punt 25 yards to the Vikings' 35-yard line. After three running plays, Stabler completed a 17-yard pass to Biletnikoff at the 1-yard line, and running back Pete Banaszak scored a touchdown on the next play, increasing Oakland’s lead to 16–0 with 3:33 left in the second quarter, after Mann missed the extra point attempt. To this point, Minnesota had picked up only one first down. They added one more, on a meaningless 26-yard completion from Tarkenton to Foreman on the last play of the half, which ended up being their longest gain of the entire game. The score at halftime marked the fourth time in as many Super Bowl games that the Vikings failed to score in the first half.
The second half began with three consecutive punts, but then Colzie returned the Vikings' second punt of the quarter 12 yards to the Oakland 46-yard line. From there, the Raiders advanced to the Minnesota 23-yard line, aided by an 18-yard run by Davis and a 10-yard reception by wide receiver Cliff Branch, to set up Mann’s 40-yard field goal to increase their lead to 19–0.
Tarkenton then threw 3 consecutive incomplete passes on their ensuing drive, forcing the Vikings to punt again. However, Oakland linebacker Ted Hendricks was penalized for running into the punter on the play, giving Minnesota a first down. Taking advantage of their second chance, the Vikings ended up with a 12-play, 68-yard drive as Tarkenton completed passes to Stu Voigt, Ahmad Rashad and Chuck Foreman for gains of 15, 21, and 10 yards. On the last play, Tarkenton threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Sammy White, making the score 19-7.
The Raiders were forced to punt on their next drive, after they were unable to recover from Alan Page’s 11-yard sack on first down. Then aided by Tarkenton’s completions to White for gains of 14 and 18 yards, respectively, the Vikings advanced to the Oakland 37-yard line. However, on third down and 3, Hall intercepted a pass from Tarkenton and returned it 16 yards to the 46-yard line. Three plays later, Biletnikoff’s 48-yard reception moved the ball to the Vikings' 2-yard line, setting up Banaszak’s second rushing touchdown to increase Oakland’s lead to 26–7. All three Raiders offensive touchdowns had been preceded on the previous play by key Biletnikoff receptions.
White returned the ensuing kickoff 19 yards to the Minnesota 32-yard line, and four plays later, Tarkenton completed a 25-yard pass to receiver Rashad to reach the Oakland 28-yard line. However, on the next play, defensive back Willie Brown intercepted a pass intended for White and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown. Although Mann missed the extra point attempt, the Raiders put the game out of reach, 32–7.
After both teams turned the ball over on downs, Minnesota drove 86 yards in 9 plays to score on a 14-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Bob Lee to Voigt. The touchdown cut Minnesota’s deficit to 32–14, but by then there was only 25 seconds remaining in the game.
Stabler finished the game with 12 out of 19 pass completions for 180 yards and 1 touchdown. Davis, who was the top rusher in the game, gained 137 yards on just 16 rushing attempts, an average of 8.5 yards per carry. Of Davis' 16 carries, 11 were runs to the left side, which is where the blocking of guard Gene Upshaw, tackle Art Shell and Casper dominated defensive end Jim Marshall and linebacker Wally Hilgenberg. Marshall made no tackles in the game and Hilgenberg made only two. Casper finished the game with 4 receptions for 70 yards and 1 touchdown. Colzie returned 4 punts for a Super Bowl record 43 yards. Foreman had a solid performance for Minnesota, contributing 44 rushing yards and 62 receiving yards. Tarkenton completed 17 out of 35 pass attempts for 205 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. White recorded 163 total yards, catching 5 passes for 77 yards and 1 touchdown, rushing once for 7 yards, and returning 4 kickoffs for 79 yards. The Raiders won their first Super Bowl and according to Brown, winning Super Bowl XI “made up for the other Raiders who came before and didn’t have a chance to participate on a winning Super Bowl team. This victory meant not only a lot to me, it meant a lot to the entire Raider organization.” The win was particularly satisfying for Brown, who scored a Super Bowl touchdown and earned his first championship ring after 14 years of professional football.
|Oakland Raiders||Minnesota Vikings|
|First downs rushing||13||2|
|First downs passing||8||15|
|First downs penalty||0||3|
|Third down efficiency||9/18||6/17|
|Fourth down efficiency||0/1||1/2|
|Net yards rushing||266||71|
|Yards per rush||5.1||2.7|
|Passing – Completions/attempts||12/19||24/44|
|Times sacked-total yards||2–17||1–4|
|Net yards passing||163||282|
|Total net yards||429||353|
|Punt returns-total yards||4–43||3–14|
|Kickoff returns-total yards||2–47||7–136|
|Interceptions-total return yards||2–91||0–0|
|Time of possession||33:27||26:33|
|Mark van Eeghen||18||73||0||11||4.06|
1Completions/attempts 2Carries 3Long gain 4Receptions 5Times targeted
The following records were set in Super Bowl XI, according to the official NFL.com boxscore and the ProFootball reference.com game summary.
Some records have to meet NFL minimum number of attempts to be recognized. The minimums are shown (in parenthesis).
|Player Records Set |
|Most attempts, game||35||Fran Tarkenton|
|Most attempts, career||89|
|Most completions, career||46|
|Most passing yards, career||489 yds|
|Most interceptions thrown, career||6|
|Most receptions, career||15||Chuck Foreman(Min)|
|Most interception yards gained, game||75 yds||Willie Brown(Oak)|
|Most interception yards gained, career||75 yds|
|Longest interception return||75 yds|
|Most punt return yards gained, game||43 yds||Neal Colzie(Oak)|
|Longest scoring play||75 yds, int. return||Willie Brown|
|Most touchdowns, game||2||Pete Banaszak|
|Most touchdowns, career||2|
|Most rushing touchdowns, game||2|
|Most rushing touchdowns, career||2|
|Most interceptions returned for td, game||1||Willie Brown|
|Most kickoff returns, game||4||Sammy White(Min)|
|Most 40-plus yard field goals, game||1||Errol Mann(Oak)|
|Team Records Set |
|Most Super Bowl appearances||4||Vikings|
|Most Super Bowl losses||4|
|Most points scored in
any quarter of play
|16 pts (2nd)||Raiders|
|Most points, second quarter||16 pts|
|Longest touchdown scoring drive||86 yds||Vikings|
|Most net yards,
rushing and passing
|Most rushing yards (net)||266 yds||Raiders|
|Most passing attempts||44||Vikings|
|Most passes completed||24|
|Most yards passing (net)||282 yds|
|Most first downs, passing||15||Vikings|
|Most yards allowed||429||Vikings|
|Most yards allowed in a win||353||Raiders|
|Most yards gained, game||136 yds||Vikings|
|Most yards gained, game||43 yds||Raiders|
|Highest average return yardage,
game (3 returns)
|10.8 yds||Raiders |
|Fewest points, first half||0 pts||Vikings|
|Most touchdowns, losing team||2|
|Fewest rushing touchdowns||0|
|Most passing touchdowns||2|
|Fewest first downs, rushing||2|
|Most kickoff returns, game||7|
|Fewest first downs, penalty||0||Raiders|
|Most touchdowns scored by
|Fewest turnovers, game||0|
Turnovers are defined as the number of times losing the ball on interceptions and fumbles.
|Team Records Set, both team totals |
|Most points scored, second half||30 pts||16||14|
|Most net yards,
rushing and passing
|Most rushing yards (net)||337 yds||266||71|
|Most passes completed||36||12||24|
|Most passing yards (net)||445 yds||163||282|
|Most first downs||41||21||20|
|Most yards gained, game||57 yds||43||14|
|Records tied, both team totals|
|Most rushing attempts||78||52||26|
|Most first downs, passing||23||8||15|
|Cliff Branch||WR||Ahmad Rashad|
|Art Shell‡||LT||Steve Riley|
|Gene Upshaw‡||LG||Charlie Goodrum|
|Dave Dalby||C||Mick Tingelhoff‡|
|George Buehler||RG||Ed White|
|John Vella||RT||Ron Yary‡|
|Dave Casper‡||TE||Stu Voigt|
|Fred Biletnikoff‡||WR||Sammy White|
|Ken Stabler‡||QB||Fran Tarkenton‡|
|Clarence Davis||RB||Brent McClanahan|
|Mark van Eeghen||RB||Chuck Foreman|
|John Matuszak||LE||Carl Eller‡|
|Dave Rowe||LT||Doug Sutherland|
|Otis Sistrunk||RT||Alan Page‡|
|Phil Villapiano||RE||Jim Marshall|
|Monte Johnson||LLB||Matt Blair|
|Willie Hall||MLB||Jeff Siemon|
|Ted Hendricks‡||RLB||Wally Hilgenberg|
|Skip Thomas||LCB||Nate Wright|
|Willie Brown‡||RCB||Bobby Bryant|
|George Atkinson||LS||Jeff Wright|
|Jack Tatum||RS||Paul Krause‡|
Note: A seven-official system was not used until 1978
In their four Super Bowls, the Vikings never led once, so onlookers never saw what the Vikings might do with a lead in a Super Bowl game. Minnesota also never scored any points in the first half. Turnovers robbed the club from a score on three occasions; two of the opportunities were to take a lead (one in this game). The Vikings committed a total of 15 turnovers and forced only three. In their four Super Bowl appearances the Vikings averaged only 56.75 yards rushing (a total of 227 yards on 90 carries for just 2.52 yards per carry), while the “Purple People Eaters” yielded a huge 215.5 yards average. After Kansas City rushed 42 times in Super Bowl IV, Oakland became the third consecutive opponent to rush more than 50 times against the Vikings. Minnesota also had just a 49.3 team passer rating to opponents’ 105.2. Tarkenton in three appearances completed 46 of 89 passes for a mere 489 yards, one touchdown, six interceptions and a 43.7 rating. Opponents completed 68.4 percent of their passes. Previously against the Vikings, Kansas City’s Len Dawson completed 12 of 17 pass attempts for 142 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception for a 90.8 rating in Super Bowl IV; Miami’s Bob Griese completed 6 of 7 for 73 yards and a 110.1 rating in Super Bowl VIII; and Pittsburgh’s Terry Bradshaw completed 9 of 14 for 96 yards and a touchdown for a 108.0 rating in Super Bowl IX. In this game Stabler completed 12 of 19 for 180 yards and a touchdown, and had a 111.7 passer rating. The Purple People Eaters were dominated in their final Super Bowl appearance as Oakland set Super Bowl records of 266 yards rushing and 429 yards total offense. Slate writer Justin Peters, after viewing every Super Bowl over a two-month period before Super Bowl 50, considered Minnesota the worst franchise in Super Bowl history. He remarked that “the Vikings in the 1970s really pissed me off... Minnesota went to the Super Bowl four separate times from 1970 to 1977 and didn’t score a single first-half point in any of those games. The Vikings had a really, really good defense, and their offense just kept on letting the defense down, game after game after game.”
NFL Media analyst Elliot Harrison published an article for the league’s website, which ranks all the Super Bowls, with analysis by former Dallas personnel man Gil Brandt. The four games that the Vikings played in are among the seven lowest ranked, along with Super Bowls XXIV, XLVIII and XXIX. That means that the Vikings' four appearances were judged to be the four worst Super Bowls of the first 23 played, as well as the four worst of the first 11, when Minnesota made its last appearance.
The Vikings’ loss in Super Bowl XI meant the franchise finished with a dismal 0–4 Super Bowl record under head coach Bud Grant, even though in the same eight-season span their regular season record was 87–24–1, which was the best in the NFL.
Grant coached Minnesota eight more seasons, but never managed to guide the team back to a Super Bowl. In fact, as of the 2017 season this remains the Vikings’ last ever appearance in a Super Bowl, although they have qualified for the postseason a further 21 times and have reached the NFC Championship six times in 1977, 1987, 1998, 2000, 2009 and 2017.
Despite a few mediocre seasons, the Raiders would remain an NFL power until 1985 and win two more Super Bowls in their 1980 and 1983 seasons – the second after moving to Los Angeles in 1982. In contrast to their 13–1 1976 regular season, both of these would be won in major upsets. The Raiders would fall to mediocrity in the latter part of the 1980s and most of the 1990s when they were affected by stadium problems that saw them again playing in Oakland in 1995 – although they did reach the AFC Championship in 1991 and be demolished 3–51 by the Bills – before a 33–15 three-season record between 2000 and 2002 saw them return to the Super Bowl for the first time in nineteen seasons. Since then the Raiders have been mainly NFL cellar-dwellers, with only one postseason appearance in 2016 and a record of seven straight seasons with no more than five victories between 2003 and 2009.
The 1976 NFL season was the 57th regular season of the National Football League. The year 1976 was also the Bicentennial of the United States although the NFL did not issue its own Bicentennial patch. The Dallas Cowboys did modify their helmet (red, white and blue stripes) to honor the year, and were the only NFL team to recognize the Bicentennial.The league expanded to 28 teams with the addition of the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This fulfilled one of the conditions agreed to in 1966 for the 1970 AFL–NFL merger, which called for the league to expand to 28 teams by 1970 or soon thereafter.
For this season only, the Seahawks played in the NFC West while the Buccaneers played in the AFC West. The Seahawks would return to the NFC West with the realignment prior to the 2002 season. The Buccaneers would set a record of futility, becoming the first NFL team to finish a season 0–14. The Buccaneers would go on to lose their first 26 games as a franchise before finally winning against the New Orleans Saints and St. Louis Cardinals to finish the 1977 season.
The New York Giants finally opened their new Giants Stadium after spending two seasons at the Yale Bowl and one season at Shea Stadium.
The season ended with Super Bowl XI when the Oakland Raiders defeated the Minnesota Vikings 32–14 in the Rose Bowl.1976 Oakland Raiders season
The 1976 Oakland Raiders season was the team's 17th season, and 7th in the National Football League.
After having appeared in the three previous AFC Championship Games – and having lost all three—the 1976 Raiders finally won the conference championship, and went on to win their first Super Bowl.
After posting a 13–1 regular season record and winning their sixth AFC West championship in seven seasons, the Raiders won against both the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers to achieve the team's second Super Bowl berth. Then, on January 9, 1977, at the Rose Bowl, the Raiders won Super Bowl XI by rolling over the Minnesota Vikings 32–14. With this victory, the Raiders achieved a 16–1 overall record.
In 2012, the 1976 Oakland Raiders were named the greatest team of all time by NFL.com's "Bracketology"; a 15-day, six-round fan vote tournament that featured the 64 greatest teams from the Super Bowl era. Oakland beat the 2000 Baltimore Ravens in the final round by a .8% margin.Art Thoms
Arthur William Thoms (born August 28, 1947) is a former collegiate and professional American football defensive tackle who played nine seasons in the American Football League and the National Football League.
Thoms played high school football at Brick Township High School in Brick Township, New Jersey, after transferring from Wayne Valley High School in Wayne, New Jersey, where he played for two seasons. From there he spent one year in the Hargrave Military Academy, which is where Syracuse Football found him and offered him a full scholarship.
Thoms was taken in the 1969 Common Draft by the American Football League's Oakland Raiders. He played one year for the AFL's Raiders, then seven for them in the NFL, and one year with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.
Member of the Oakland Raiders Super Bowl XI Team in 1976.
In 2002, he was inducted into the All-Millenium Team at Syracuse.
Current girls basketball coach at Campolindo High SchoolBob Lee (quarterback)
Robert Melville "Bob" Lee (born August 7, 1946 in Columbus, Ohio) is a former professional American football player. He graduated from Lowell High School (San Francisco) in 1963. Nicknamed "General" Bob Lee during a brief period of success with the Atlanta Falcons, Lee was selected in the 17th round by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1968 NFL Draft. A quarterback and punter from the University of the Pacific, Lee played in 14 NFL seasons from 1967-1981 for 3 teams.
As a member of the Vikings, he saw action as a punter in Super Bowl IV and he threw a touchdown pass in Super Bowl XI. With starting quarterback Fran Tarkenton's late season injury in the 1977 season, Lee started and led the Vikings to a 14-7 win over the Los Angeles Rams in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs. The game was infamous due to the muddy conditions. Lee started the NFC Championship the next week as well against the Dallas Cowboys, but the Vikings lost 23-6. He was also a backup in Super Bowl XIV as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.
During his stint with the Falcons, he led Atlanta to a 20-14 victory over the 9-0 Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football on November 19, 1973. 1973 was Lee's most successful season in the NFL. He replaced Dick Shiner as the Falcons quarterback in Week 5 and led the Falcons to seven consecutive wins, including the win over the Vikings, on their way to a 9-5 record, the Falcons' best season in their history at that point. Lee started 10 games and passed for 1,786 yards with 10 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.
His son, Zac Lee, was the starting quarterback for the University of Nebraska for most of the 2009 season. His daughter Jenna Lee is a former anchor for Fox Business Network (which spun off from Fox News Channel), and was an anchor on Fox News Channel before her contract expired.
He is one of ten quarterbacks to post both a perfect quarterback rating and a zero passer rating over the course of their careers, and is the first to have done so in the same season.Cliff Branch
Clifford Branch (born August 1, 1948) is a former American football wide receiver who spent his entire 14-year National Football League career with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, winning three Super Bowl rings in Super Bowl XI, Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XVIII. He is the only wide receiver to have played on all three Raiders Super Bowl teams.Errol Mann
Errol Denis Mann (June 27, 1941 – April 11, 2013) was an American football placekicker who played in the National Football League from 1968-1978. He was a member of the Oakland Raiders' Super Bowl XI winning team. When attempting kicks, he used the straight-on style which is now almost never used by placekickers.George Atkinson (American football)
George "Butch" Henry Atkinson Jr. (born January 4, 1947) is a former professional American football player. He played football collegiately at Morris Brown, where he was a safety and a kick returner and professionally in the American Football League and National Football League for the Oakland Raiders from 1968 to 1977. He was a member of the Raiders' Super Bowl XI championship team.Henry Lawrence (American football)
Henry Lawrence (born September 26, 1951) is a former professional American football player. A two-time Pro Bowler, he played in the National Football League for 13 seasons as an offensive tackle with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. He played in Super Bowl XI and was a starter in Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XVIII for the Raiders earning three Super Bowl Championship Rings. Lawrence is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. At the 2010 Alpha Phi Alpha Convention, Henry was the recipient of the Jesse Owens Achievement Award for his athletic excellence.
Lawrence has five children: Ishmael Lawrence, Isaac Lawrence, Juliet Lawrence, Itanza Lawrence and Portia Whitaker.List of Super Bowl halftime shows
Halftime shows are a tradition during American football games at all levels of competition. Entertainment during the Super Bowl, the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), represents a fundamental link to pop culture, which helps broaden the television audience and nationwide interest. As the Super Bowl itself is typically the most-watched event on television in the United States annually, the halftime show has been equally-viewed in recent years: the halftime show of Super Bowl XLIX featuring Katy Perry was viewed by 118.5 million, as part of an overall telecast that peaked at 120.3 million at its conclusion—the most-watched television broadcast in U.S. history. The NFL announced that the Super Bowl LI halftime show, with Lady Gaga was the "most-watched musical event of all-time," citing a figure of 150 million viewers based on the television audience, as well as unique viewership of video postings of the halftime show on the league's platforms, and social media interactions (a metric that was never calculated prior to 2017). The show was seen by 117.5 million television viewers, making it the second-highest-rated halftime show on network broadcast.Prior to the early 1990s, the halftime show was based around a theme, and featured university marching bands (the Grambling State University Marching Band has performed at the most Super Bowl halftime shows, featuring in six shows including at least one per decade from the 1960s to the 1990s), drill teams, and other performance ensembles such as Up with People. Beginning in 1991, the halftime show began to feature pop music acts such as New Kids on the Block and Gloria Estefan. In an effort to boost the prominence of the halftime show to increase viewer interest, Super Bowl XXVII featured a headlining performance by Michael Jackson. After Super Bowl XXXVIII, whose halftime show featured an incident where Justin Timberlake exposed one of Janet Jackson's breasts, the halftime show began to feature classic rock acts until the return of headlining pop musicians in 2011.Monte Johnson
Monte C. Johnson (born October 26, 1951) is a retired American football player. Johnson, who never started in college, was selected by The Oakland Raiders during the second round of the 1973 NFL Draft as the 49th player selected overall. Johnson attended the University of Nebraska and won two National Championships with Nebraska, and one Super Bowl (XI) with the Oakland Raiders. Johnson was injured in the 1980 season, and as a result did not play in Super Bowl XV, when the Raiders defeated the Eagles. Johnson considers the 1977 AFC Divisional playoff game against the Baltimore Colts, a game known as, "Ghost to the Post", to be his greatest game. Johnson finished the game, which went to double overtime, with 22 tackles despite suffering a broken vertebra during regulation. Johnson retired from professional football in 1981, after eight seasons in Oakland, as a result of a career-ending knee injury he incurred early in the 1980 season.
After retirement, Johnson moved his family to Atlanta, where he currently has his own business, Family Capital Management, a multi-family family office.Neil Clabo
William Neil Clabo (born November 18, 1952) is a former American football punter. He had a 3-year career in the National Football League from 1975 to 1977 as a punter. He played in Super Bowl XI as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.
Neil Clabo is the uncle of retired NFL offensive tackle Tyson ClaboIn 2013, Clabo was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame.A former employee of Knox County Schools, Clabo enjoys meatloaf sandwiches, sweet tea, and biscuits and gravy.Rick Jennings
Richard Jennings, who attended Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C., was a college football player at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a professional football player for the Oakland Raiders (three times), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (two times), and the San Francisco 49ers. In 1976, he was drafted by the Raiders, but was claimed by the Buccaneers off waivers. Claimed by the Bucs on a Tuesday and waived again that Thursday, his two days set the record for the shortest time spent with the club. He then returned to the Raiders, and averaged 26.1 yards on 16 kick returns for the eventual Super Bowl XI champions before suffering a knee injury that required season-ending surgery. In the 1977 offseason, he passed through the Raiders, Green Bay Packers, and New Orleans Saints organizations, being waived by each, before being again claimed by the Buccaneers. After being waived a second time by the Buccaneers without ever playing a single down, Jennings played with the 49ers, and with the Raiders for a third stint. After the NFL, Jennings served as Sacramento School Board Member, and runs the Center for Fathers and Families, an organization that assists fatherless families. He has also counseled troubled NBA player Ron Artest.Political Career
In June 2014, Jennings was elected to the Sacramento City Council serving District 7. Jennings campaign was supported by Region Builders and the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce.Roy Winston
Roy Charles (Moonie) Winston (born September 15, 1940) is a former professional American football player. He played 15 seasons as a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Minnesota Vikings.
Roy Winston graduated from Louisiana State University, where he was a standout offensive guard and linebacker in the 10–7 LSU victory over arch-rival Ole Miss in 1961. Following the season he was named a unanimous All-American as LSU finished as Southeastern Conference co-champions with Alabama. LSU finished the regular season 9-1 and ranked fourth in the polls, then defeated Colorado 25-7 in the Orange Bowl.
He was drafted in the fourth round of the 1962 NFL Draft by the Vikings, for whom he played until he retired after the 1976 season. During that time, he was one of 11 players to play in all four of the Vikings Super Bowl appearances (Super Bowl IV, Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl XI). Winston started the first three Viking Super Bowls at left (strong side) linebacker; by time the Vikings reached Super Bowl XI, he was a reserve, replaced in the starting lineup by Matt Blair. Winston's counterpart at right (weak side) linebacker, Wally Hilgenberg, also played in all four Viking Super Bowls, as did fellow defenders Carl Eller, Alan Page, Jim Marshall and Paul Krause.
Winston delivered one of the most devastating tackles ever filmed. In a game against the Miami Dolphins in 1972, fullback Larry Csonka circled out into the flat to catch a pass. Just as he caught the pass, Winston hit him from behind with such force that the 240-pound Csonka was nearly cut in half. The tackle was so grotesque it was shown on The Tonight Show. Csonka dropped the ball and rolled on the field in agony. He thought his back was broken and literally crawled off the field (he was not seriously injured, however). After their respective retirements from the NFL, Winston and Csonka remained close friends. Csonka invited Winston to be his guest when Csonka was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.In 1976, Winston was inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame; in 1991, into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches.Steve Craig
Steve Craig (born March 13, 1951) is an American football player who played tight end in the National Football League from 1974 to 1978 and played in two Super Bowls. He attended Garfield High School in Akron, Ohio, the same high school fellow NFL receiver Jim Lash attended, and Northwestern University. Craig was drafted in round 3 of the 1974 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. His five-year pro-career was spent with the Minnesota Vikings, during which time which he helped lead the team to Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl XI appearances.Terry Kunz
Terry Tim Kunz (born October 26, 1952) is a former American football running back who played one season with the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the eighth round of the 1976 NFL Draft. Kunz played college football at the University of Colorado Boulder and attended Wheat Ridge High School in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. He was a member of the Oakland Raiders team that won Super Bowl XI.Tom Flores
Thomas Raymond Flores (born March 21, 1937) is a Mexican-American former professional football coach and player.
He and Mike Ditka are the only two people in National Football League history to win a Super Bowl as a player, assistant coach, and head coach (Super Bowl IV as a player for the Chiefs, Super Bowl XI as an assistant coach of the Raiders, and Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XVIII as head coach of the Raiders). Flores was also the first Hispanic starting quarterback and the first minority head coach in professional football history to win a Super Bowl.Until his dismissal in 2018, Flores served as radio announcer for the Raiders Radio Network.Wally Hilgenberg
Walter Hilgenberg (September 19, 1942 – September 23, 2008) was a professional American football player.
Hilgenberg was born in Marshalltown, Iowa. His family moved to Wilton (then known as Wilton Junction) where he grew up and graduated from Wilton High School.
He attended the University of Iowa, where he starred on both sides of the line of scrimmage, as a linebacker and as a guard. He played 16 seasons in the National Football League, with the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.
In 1964, he was drafted in the fourth round by the Lions. In 1968, he was traded from the Lions to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was waived before ever playing a game in Pittsburgh. After being waived by the Steelers, Hilgenberg was picked up off waivers by the Vikings, for whom he played until he retired after the 1979 season. During that time, he was one of 11 players to play in all four of the Vikings' Super Bowl appearances (Super Bowl IV, Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl XI).Hilgenberg's daughter Kristi was Miss Minnesota Teen USA 1998.Hilgenberg's grandson, Luke, was a linebacker for the Iowa Hawkeyes.Hilgenberg died on September 23, 2008, after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease for several years.
After his death, brain dissection found advanced CTE which mimics many ALS symptoms.Warren Bankston
Warren Stephen Bankston (born July 22, 1947) is a former professional American football player who played ten seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders in the National Football League (NFL).
Bankston played at fullback for the Steelers for four seasons: 1969–1972. When the Steelers tried him at tight end in an exhibition game during the 1973 preseason, the Raiders, who needed a tight end, spotted him. They traded for him, and he went to the Raiders at the preseason's end.
During the 1976 season, from which the Raiders went on to Super Bowl XI, Bankston, as team captain, called the coin flip correctly for every game but one. He called it correctly again at the Super Bowl itself, which the Raiders won. He was very popular with the fans due to his practice of throwing the football into the stands when he scored.
In college, Bankston played for the Tulane University Green Wave. He was quarterback for the Hammond High School (Louisiana) Tornadoes and finished in the Class of 1965. At Hammond High he was elected to the National Honor Society and the Kiwanis-related Key Club, besides lettering in football, basketball, and track during all four years.Willie Hall (American football)
Willie Charles Hall (born 1949-09-29 in Montrose, Georgia) is a retired American football linebacker. He played in the National Football League for the New Orleans Saints (1971-1972) and the Oakland Raiders (1973-1978).
Hall was a 2nd round selection (31st overall pick) out of the University of Southern California in the 1972 NFL Draft. Acquired by Oakland in 1975, he was a starting linebacker on the 1976 Super Bowl XI champion Raiders.
Oakland Raiders Super Bowl XI champions
|Wild card berths (6)|
|Division championships (15)|
|Conference championships (4)|
|League championships (4)|
|Current league affiliations|
|Former league affiliation|
Championship seasons in bold
|Division championships (20)|
|Conference championships (4)|
|League championships (1)|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold
National Football League Championship Games (1933–present)
|NFL Championship Game|
|AFL Championship Game|
|AFL-NFL World Championship Games |
1 – From 1966 to 1969, the first four Super Bowls were "World Championship" games played between two independent professional football leagues, AFL and NFL, and when the league merged in 1970 the Super Bowl became the NFL Championship Game.
2 – Dates in the list denote the season, not the calendar year in which the championship game was played. For instance, Super Bowl XLI was played in 2007, but was the championship for the 2006 season.
Website: NBC Sports - NFL News