He has done more good and harm than any other owner I could think of.
I will miss him. He was a force, will be curious to see how the Raiders do with out him (I would not count them out for wildcard this season).
Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis has died at the age of 82. The news was announced Saturday morning on the team’s web site. No other details were immediately available.
Davis’ career in football dates back to 1950. He served as a coach, general manager and even commissioner (in the American Football League that merged with the NFL in 1970) before becoming the Raiders’ principal owner in 1972.
Under his ownership tenure, Oakland won three Super Bowl titles. Davis also holds the record for most Hall of Fame induction speeches given with nine for players and coaches who worked under him, including John Madden and the late Gene Upshaw.
Davis helped revolutionized offense in the early 1960s by implementing an aggressive passing he referred to as the “vertical game.” Davis’ other fabled mantra was “Just win, baby!” The Raiders did that for most of Davis’ tenure, posting 34 seasons of .500 or better in his 48 years with the franchise.
With his silver-and-black athletic suits, dark sunglasses and slicked-back hair, Davis didn’t usually dress like other NFL team owners. He was known as a maverick when moving his franchise from Oakland to Los Angeles and back. Davis wasn’t afraid to fight for what he believed in and famously butted heads with former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle about the league’s direction.
Check out the oldest, and best, coaches in sports history.Davis built a franchise with a hardcore fan following that remains strong today despite an eight-year streak without a playoff appearance. He also remained closely involved with the franchise despite failing health. Raiders defensive end Jarvis Moss sent a Twitter message Tuesday night about a conversation he had with Davis that day.
“Just got a humbling phone call from Mr. Davis himself!” Moss wrote. “So much respect for what he represents to the game of football.”
Moss isn’t the only one who feels that way as will be evidenced by the forthcoming myriad of tributes in the wake of Davis’ passing.
Yeah, unfortunately his importance to the game has been somewhat obscured by the eccentricities of his later years.
The AFL days:
Wow. I’ve been a Raider fan since I was about 8. I sort of lost interest in the 90s, however, mostly out of frustration—much of which, over time, I have attributed to Mr. Davis. But despite these feelings, the news does sadden me—for I remember mostly the good things that he has done for the Raiders and for football. (Honestly, I’m glad that I feel this way. It would be terrible if I would feel happy.)
In addition to the vertical game, Davis believed in speed ("speed kills); he didn’t seem to believe in the importance of coaches—or at least he believed his teams could succeed without paying coaches a lot; I also appreciated the bottom-line approach—specifically in relation to rules that didn’t necessarily relate to actual performance. (For example, I understand the Raiders were allowed to sit on their helmets—which some teams prohibited. Of course, they also had liberal rules about dress code and physical appearances as well.) I will remember the way they appreciated the value of intimidation and fear—even if it meant accruing a lot of penalties. I remember the great AFC West battles—it seemed like ever AFC opponent created a great rivalry whether it was the Chargers, Broncos, KC or (even the Seahawks. I don’t know if you can say that about any other team in any sport. (Man, I miss the intensity and quality of those games.)
Chuck Klosterman on Davis.
I was once a Raider fan, but I grew out of it, yet has there been a mystique to the Raiders and there always will; the impact Al Davis made on the game cannot be diminished by his own actions of the recent past, nor by his turn in the Marcus Allen issue— amongst others. While Davis was many things, in the end he was the epitome of an outsider established with a blue print drawn with genius and lunacy.