Happy 51st Birthday to former NFL defensive end Howie Long. Long was born on January 6th, 1960 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. In high school, Long lettered 3 years in football. The surprising thing is that Long had never played football before the age of 15. He also lettered 3 years in basketball as a forward, and 3 years in track & field for the shotput and discus (in both events, Long set state records). Long passed on an offer to stay close to home for college to pursue degree at Villanova University.
At Villanova, Long was a four year starter and an immediate impact player for the Wildcats. He would eventually graduate with a degree in communications from Villanova. After his senior year, Long declared for the draft and was selected by the Oakland Raiders with the 48th overall pick in the 1981 draft. This same draft produced defensive Hall of Famers such as Lawrence Taylor, Ronnie Lott, Mike Singletary and Rickey Jackson. Long’s unique combination of size, strength and quickness made him an instant success with the Raiders.
Over the course of his 13 year career (all with the Raiders), Long was selected to 8 Pro Bowls, 3 First Team All-Pro awards, won a Super Bowl Championship in 1984 and he was named the AFC Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1984 and 1985. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame back in 2000. Currently, Howie Long is a broadcaster for Fox’s NFL Sunday show along with former players Terry Bradshaw, Michael Strahan and former NFL coach Jimmy Johnson. Look for a new Howie Long Mitchell & Ness jersey release later this year. Happy Birthday Howie!
On Novermber 5, 1978, Oakland Raiders' John Madden became the 13th coach to win 100 NFL games. On this date, the Raiders defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 20-10. Madden began his football coaching career in 1967 as the Oakland Raiders' linebackers coach. A few years later, he was elevated to head coach. In his first year with the Raiders, Madden earned American Football League Coach of the Year honors as he led the team to a 12-1 record and an AFL Western Division titile.
John Madden coached the Raiders for 10 seasons, posting a regular season record of 103 wins, 32 losses and 7 ties. During this time, he guided the team to seven Western Division titles, including five in a row from 1972 to 1976. Six times in 10 seasons, Oakland recorded 10 or move victories. In 1976, Madden guided his team to a near perfect 13-1 record to win the AFC Western Division. Between 1976-1977 seasons, the Raiders won 17 consecutive games, one short of the then-NFL record for consecutive wins.
Under Madden's guidance, Oakland never experienced a losing season. Madden's .759 regular season winning percentage ranks as highest ever among coaches with 100 career victories. In 2006, John Madden was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in recognition of his coaching career.