John Vella Wall of Fame

Big John Vella,

With great honor, The Black Hole announces as one of its own Mr. John Vella. This former Raider player and current Raider Legend was a part of the NFL’s greatest offensive line and helped lead the way to the Raiders first Super Bowl Championship in 1976.

John is also known to The Black Hole as one of the more approachable players around. Always friendly John and The Black Hole go way back to the days when his Vella Locker Room store was a haven for fans from all around to go and get their Raider gear. Lots of great memories and memorabilia could be found there.

John however has that personal touch and as far back as we can remember since the team has been back in Oakland it was always John who treated all fans exceptional and made The Black Hole feel welcomed, for that we extend the same to him.

Vella, a second-round draft pick out of USC, was a Raider during the team’s glory years in Oakland. In his eight seasons from 1972-’79, the Raiders won nearly 80% of their games, advanced to the playoffs six times and won the franchise’s first Super Bowl.

Those teams also forged a special kinship with the Oakland community. Fans and Raiders rubbed–and bent–elbows together after home games at Oakland Coliseum. Tailgating fans often were joined by players for a drink and a sandwich in the stadium parking lot, further cementing bonds between team and town.

“It was an excellent time, my field of dreams,” Vella would be quoted later saying….. Well John it is a dream come true for you to be a part of The Black Hole and you are now and will ever be considered a part of our club.

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In 1995, a group of hard-core Raiders fans had an idea – create a fan group clad in black that would eventually encompass all of Raider Nation. Read more....

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