Sunday, October 9, 2011

In Memoriam: Al Davis (1929-2011)

When you look up rebel in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Al Davis beside the word. The owner of the Oakland Raiders passed away last week at the age of 82, and that proved that even he was not cantankerous enough to beat the Grim Reaper.

Davis was a pioneer. He successfully sued the NFL for the right to move his football team and won. He took on the league many times. He also took on cast-offs and malcontents and somehow, with a few notable exceptions, the moves typically worked out.

Sadly, his team has become a shadow of its former self under his recent guidance. A slew of poor coaching hires, bad draft picks, shaky free agent moves, and wild trades has left his team without a winning season since 2002, the last time they played in the Super Bowl. All the while, he became a caricature of his former self.

All that's forgotten now. Al Davis' legacy is that of a true rebel. His "Commitment to Excellence" produced a lot of "Just Win Baby" moments. He will be missed by football and the pro football community.

By the way, his beloved Raiders upset the Houston Texans, 25-20, today in Houston. That one's for you Al.

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