If you ever had the ocassion to root for the Oakland Raiders or hoot against the L.A. “Traiders” then the news that Raider’s owner Al Davis has passed away is unnerving.
Blow -by-blow, It seems like the world is rapidly losing many of those strong willed personalities that fought and thought different and did things their own way.
Certainly Al Davis was unique and according to that that knew him often difficult, but he maintained as best he could a firm vision and dedication to excellence and always seemed to know instinctively what it meant to strive for greatness. His famous Motto was “Just Win, baby” and “Commitment to Excellence.”
It will be quite a challenge for anyone that will have the task of stepping up and taking on the difficult task of filling Al’s shoes.
His son did a good job Sunday! With the fate of the 3-time Superbowl Champion Raiders up for grabs, we hope for the best.
Mr. Davis meant a whole lot to the pride, growth and development of the city and communities of Oakland, California. Over the years it was an up and down, love/hate relationship between team owner and city. Especially when Al packed the team off to Los Angeles, and thought about doing it again just a few years ago, and then contemplating rushing the team off to San Jose, which went nowhere.
Al was definitely not shy and did not mind a bit going after players that other teams had written or cast off. He would pay for talent if he felt he needed to. He would also blow his top and brow beat anyone guilty of mediocre sub-par performance. That didn’t always work the way he expected it to having teams recently that seemed soft and away from the always tough Raider image and tradition.
He also lead the NFL way into the modern era of diversity by employing African-American and Latino coaches, and as managers in the organization’s offices. He did everything except put on a helmet and wear pads and rushing out onto the playing field and hitting somebody.
The Black Hole will be a lot blacker and more sobber today and tomorrow. May he Rest in Peace.
Addendum: The Raiders pulled out just the kind of come from behind victory Sunday that would have made Al smile. They really did win one for the “Gipper”