Al Davis Dead

October 8, 2011 by staff 

Al Davis DeadAl Davis Dead, Al Davis, owner of the renegade Oakland Raiders NFL who resisted authority, while urging his silver and black team “Just win, baby”, died on Saturday. He was 82.

The Hall of Famer died at his home in Oakland, the team said. The cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

Davis was one of the most important figures in NFL history – a rebel with a warrant. That was most evident during the 1980′s when he went to court – and won – the right to move his team from Oakland to Los Angeles. Even after he moved the Raiders back to the Bay Area in 1995 and sued for 1.2 billion to show it still had the rights to the Los Angeles market.
(See pictures of the stages of the Super Bowl.)

Davis was the willingness to take in the facility that helped make the NFL to win money is huge – the most successful sports league in the history of America. “The Passion of Al Davis for the game and its influence on the game were extraordinary,” said Commissioner Roger Goodell. “He defines the Raiders and contributed to professional football at all levels. The respect he commanded was evident in the way people listened every time he spoke. He is a true legend of the game, the impact and legacy will always be part of the NFL. ”

However, Davis was just a businessman in the NFL.

Not in the dress – suits overall performance of flat, one white, one black and the occasional black suit, black shirt and silver tie. Not in the way his hair – slicked back with a dovetail 50′s. Not in the way of speaking – from Brooklyn to South Bend. Not in the way it does business – in their own terms, always on their own terms.

1992 Elected to the Hall of Fame, Davis was a pioneer. He hired the first black coach in the modern era – Art Shell in 1988. He hired the first Latino head coach, Tom Flores, and the first female CEO, Amy Trask. And he was unfailingly loyal to his players and officials: to be a Raider would be a Raider for life.

The coach Hue Jackson told the team of Davis’s death at a meeting in Houston on Saturday morning.

Davis was charming, grumpy and compassion – a man who when his wife suffered a severe heart attack in the 1970′s moved into her hospital room. But he was best known as a rebel, a man who set a team whose silver and black, colors and logo symbolizes pirate attitude toward authority, both in the field and off.

Until the fall of the Raiders in an eternal loser in the first decade of the 21 was a winner, the man who as a coach, then owner-coach-general manager de facto established what he called “the team in recent decades” based on another slogan. “commitment to excellence” And the Raiders were excellent, winning three Super Bowls in 1970 and 1980 and almost every other season contenders – an organization full of outcasts and rebels who became a problem for opponents. “Al was a football man – his whole life revolved around the game he loved,” said the owner of the Tennessee Titans, Bud Adams, the original owner of the AFL Houston Oilers. “He worked his way through the ranks and had a knowledge of all phases of the game. That experience helped him as owner. He was very different from all other owners that way. As a type AFL was in the group of people that led our league forward. I did not get to see him in recent years and I know that many, including myself, will miss him. ”

Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, Davis grew up in Brooklyn and graduated from Erasmus Hall High School, a spawning area in the two decades after the Second World War by a series of ambitious young people who became famous in sports, business and entertainment. Davis was perhaps the second most famous after Barbra Streisand. “We had a meeting in Los Angeles and 500 people attended, including Bah-Bruh,” he once told an interviewer that the combination of a southern accent / from Brooklyn who was parodied frequently among his acquaintances in the league and out.

A graduate of Syracuse University, became an assistant coach with the Baltimore Colts for 24 years, and was an assistant at The Citadel and Southern California before joining the Los Angeles Chargers of the AFL again in 1960 . Only three years later, he was hired by the Raiders and became the youngest general manager-coach in the history of professional football with a team he called “the Raid-uhs” in 1963.

He was good, 23-16-3 in three seasons with a franchise that had started life 9-23. Then he bought the franchise in his absence, playing in a secondary field next to the Nimitz Freeway in Oakland and became the general managing partner, a position he held until his death.

However, as the many bright young coaches he hired – John Madden, Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden to Lane Kiffin – he learned, he remained the coach. He ran everything from the sidelines, often called down with plays, or sending emissaries to the background to make substitutions.

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