Doin Tributes: Al Davis

AL DAVIS MADE ME A RAIDERS FAN. Unlike Chappy, who’s been a lifelong Raiders fan, I grew up a San Francisco 49ers fan. Although our family roots are in Oakland, the Raiders moved to Los Angeles the year I was born, so the 49ers were my home team. Even when the Raiders moved back to the Bay Area in the mid-90s, I was still loyal to the Niners. It was somewhere around 1999 or 2000 that I got fed up. The York family seemed poised to run the franchise into the ground, and meanwhile, across the Bay, the Raiders were trying everything they could to build a winner. Now, anyone who knows me knows I’m far from a fairweather fan. But when a front office isn’t even concerned with the team on the field, and is more focused on the financial side of things, it gets a little frustrating. Being a Northern California sports fan means rarely landing that coveted free agent. They usually go somewhere else with more money. But Al Davis made the Raiders the exception. Perhaps they were often castoffs from other teams, but Al Davis went out and got big time football players for one reason, to just win baby. He was bringing in guys like Warren Sapp and Randy Moss. (Yes, I know they didn’t really work out). He’s faced more criticism than few other sports owners have, and has come under a lot of fire lately due to a string of coaching changes. To me, though, I saw an owner who cared enough to make a move when it needed to be made. As the primary face of the Raiders over the years, he probably had more haters out there than any owner, most of whom people didn’t even know existed. It was impossible to not know who Al Davis was. Especially now that he’s passed, we all know he hired the first black head coach, the first latino head coach, and the first woman CEO in sports. It was his commitment to winning though (I wouldn’t call it ‘excellence’), that made me a fan. Owners who care about winning more than the bottom line are becoming few and far between. His brash style alienated many, and I wouldn’t even say I was a fan of Al Davis. But, Al Davis made things happen. Al Davis MADE me a Raiders fan.

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About mceezy

Let's Go Oakland....clap, clap, clap clap clap View all posts by mceezy

4 responses to “Doin Tributes: Al Davis

  • tophatal

    mceezy

    My commiserations to you and all of the other devoted Raiders’ fans out there ! To me beyond the success Al Davis achieved with the team was what people tend not to identify with him in terms of the changes be brought about socially with regard to the NFL and the hiring of minorities from all differing types of backgrounds . To me that speaks highly of the man and what he has meant to the league as a whole !

    Take care bud and once again my condolences to you and the rest of the fans within the Raiders’ Nation !

    tophatal …………..

  • JW

    Hopefully, people will remember the Al Davis who shaped the NFL into what it is today.

  • sportsattitudes

    I would have to agree with the sentiment and hope Davis is remembered for the “early years” and not the “later ones.” He was an innovator and maverick who initiated positive change both on and off the field. Count me in as being one who trashed him repeatedly in these last few years as he became sports’ version of the recluse Howard Hughes. Yet, when you look at the whole body of work he has to get a big thumbs up. I grew up alongside the AFL and know he as much as anyone made the merger possible, leading to the explosive growth of the NFL. And…his teams had a swagger and confidence unmatched in their glory seasons. RIP Al Davis.

  • chappy81

    That is exactly why I always loved Al Davis, no matter how many games we were out of first. You know he cared, and wanted to win. Those losing seasons might have been what did him in. Sometimes the pieces he brought in just weren’t ideal for on-field play (especially the 8 years after the super bowl appearance). Whether they worked out or not it always gave you something to get excited about heading into each season.

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