In 1980, they were the team of the stickum and the Super Bowl.
There was cornerback Lester Hayes, slathered in goop, looking like something from the creature-feature lagoon. He had an NFL-best 13 interceptions and had four more that were called back because of penalties.
There was quarterback Jim Plunkett, the former Heisman Trophy winner, who went from the bench to the best in a matter of weeks.
There were John Matuszak, Mark van Eeghen, Cliff Branch, Gene Upshaw, Ted Hendricks, Bob Chandler, a team that would get better as the season went on. Pride and poise was their fitting motto.
Super Bowl XV final: Oakland 27, Philadelphia 10.
"It wasn't a fluke," says Tom Flores, who reached the top in his second season as Raider coach.
Now that the NFL has banned the use of stickum -- "Yes, Lester did kind of overwhelm himself with the stuff," Flores admits -- can the Raiders continue to stick it to the rest of the league?
"We're going to do the same things again this year. We don't change things just because we win the world championship," Flores says. "It is true that football is always changing and that you have to do new things to keep up with those changes, but we won't do anything crazy now."
Al Davis, managing general partner of the Raiders, says sincerely, "For the last three decades the Oakland Raiders have dominated pro football."
Through five games last season, however, the Raiders were not a team of domination but one of trepidation. After losses to San Diego, Buffalo and Kansas City, the Raiders were 2-3 and something less than super.
The fifth-game loss against the Chiefs was the Raiders' point of no return. Quarterback Dan Pastorini broke his leg and was replaced by Plunkett. The Raiders won the next six and, including the postseason, 13 of the next 15.
"Right now, Jim is our No. 1 quarterback. He deserves it with the way he played last year," says Flores. "He has much more confidence now than he did at this point last season. Of course, then he was playing with the second team."
Last season, Plunkett completed 51.6 percent of his passes, threw for 2,299 yards and 18 touchdowns and had 16 intercepted. But statistics are only a small part of it -- there are equal parts of intrigue and sentiment to his tale.
At Stanford, Plunkett won the Heisman Trophy. As a pro, he has frequently been injured and has considered retirement because of trades and demotions to the second team. He stayed.
Plunkett asked to be traded before last season, his ninth, but was kept because the Raiders wanted a solid backup to Pastorini in case something went wrong. It did.
His blind, widowed mother is dedicated to his career, which she follows from their hometown in nearby San Jose.
Jim Plunkett has endured and America likes a good success story. Now, he is a bit like his team: a favorite in 1981.
"I won the Heisman in college (in 1970), but the attention was nothing like this. I didn't realize what a big thing the Super Bowl has become," said Plunkett, who was named the most valuable player of the game, completing 13 of 21 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns.
Pastorini is now healed, but he is not in the huddle. "The starting job is Jim's," he says. "I wouldn't get it unless something happened to him, and you don't wish that on anybody."
You wouldn't wish the Raiders on anybody, either.
"We played fundamentally good football last year," says Flores. "We had the big plays. We had the weapons."
On defense, linebackers Hendricks and Rod Martin (a record three Super Bowl interceptions), cornerbacks Hayes and Mike Davis, who intercepted Brian Sipe to eliminate Cleveland in the AFC playoffs, and end John Matuszak were dominant.
On offense, there were running back van Eeghen (838 yards), receivers Chandler (49 receptions) and Branch (44), Plunkett and a line nudged onward by veteran guard Upshaw.
The Raiders' top two picks this year are defensive back Ted Watts from Texas Tech and offensive tackle Curt Marsh from Washington.
Flores already seems to have a good idea who will be starting. It's a simple formula.
"We will have the same starting 11," he said, speaking of the 1980 Super Bowl-winning offense. "Now, we have more depth, too.
"Defensively, we are pretty much looking at the same lineup as last year, too. We should be more solid simply because last year we had five new faces in Dwayne O'Steen, Reggie Kinlaw, Matt Millen, Bob Nelson and Burgess Owens. Now, they have played a year together."
Flores is willing to repeat his lineups. His team seems ready to repeat its title.
"There's no reason why it can't be done again," says Plunkett.