Of all of Al Davis’ accomplishments, he will will always be remembered for this line after Daaaaaaaa Raidahs won Super Bowl XVIII by defeating the favored Redskins 38-9…
Al Davis has passed away at the age of 82, even though some have suggested that he died three years ago. You could make that argument, but it only became official today. And yes, that’s been me who’s called him Tales from the Crypt for the past 4+ years. Davis was a football pioneer, never wanted the AFL-NFL merger, and led the Raiders to three Super Bowl titles. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in ’92, and will go down as one of the most infamous owners in sports history. How cool would it be to have the 70?s-80?s version of Al Davis running the Bears right now? It would be a nice change of pace from the Virginia McCaskey era of “just be average, baby.”
Davis was a rebel, and the anti establishment that his Raiders teams embodied for so many years. There was a reason that Ice Cube & the N.W.A. always rocked Raiders gear. They felt like that team was an extension of their own fuck the po-lice feelings. Every Raiders fan had that edge and the us against the world mentality about them. Davis personified that, and wanted his team to be everything the NFL hated. For that, his legacy will never be duplicated. The world has changed now, and owners want to be in bed with Roger Goodell so they can fatten their own pockets by sucking up to the iron fisted commish.
Davis was one of the most important figures in NFL history. That was evident during the ’80s when he fought in court — and won — the right to move his team from Oakland to Los Angeles. Even after he moved it back to the Bay Area in 1995, he went to court, suing for $1.2 billion to establish that he still owned the rights to the L.A. market. The man loved courtrooms apparently.
All that being said, this is a great day for Raiders Nation. This team was in dire need of a new voice to lead them, and Davis’s passing will allow that. The early talk is that Davis’ wife Carol, & son Mark will inherit the team. It is doubtful, however, that either would anything near the prominent role that Al did in running the day to day operations. That’s great news for battery throwing Raider fans.
There is also the possibility that the team will be sold (maybe Larry Ellison will make an insane offer to buy them), which wouldn’t suck for long suffering fans. A new owner would be a breath of fresh air, and get the Raiders out of the 70?s. If they aren’t sold, it’s likely Carol and Mark would want to bring in a team president who would oversee the organization. There aren’t a list of names, but think someone that would have a role like Bill Parcells had with the Dolphins.
So as sad as it is that the Raiders and the NFL have lost one of the key figures in their respective histories, a new era will soon emerge for a team that should field a perennial contender. It sucks to say, but the Raiders became a better organization today. RIP, Al.