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World Champion Oilers Open Season with 55-0 Thrashing of Raiders

Sept. 9, 1961 - The Houston Oilers set a scoring record today while opening the defense of their American Football League championship by crushing the Oakland Raiders, 55-0. George Blanda threw three touchdown passes and kicked two field goals. The 55 points broke the mark set by Los Angeles last year in a 52-28 victory over Denver. The game, played at Jeppesen Public Schools Stadium in Houston, was picketed by Negroes. Five Negro players on the Oakland team had been asked to honor the picket lines, but they played. An Oakland spokesman said: "They discussed the matter and decided they came here to play football." Officials of the Houston chapter of the NAACP had sent telegrams yesterday to the five Raiders, saying the Houston club is the only league team to handle ticket sales on a segregated basis.


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