October 08, 2011

Oakland Raiders Owner Al Davis Dies: Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, after 49 years of association with the team, has died at age 82. Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992, Davis had been an assistant coach, head coach, general manager, owner and commissioner. His teams won three Super Bowls and are one of just two to play in the Super Bowl in four different decades.

posted by rcade to football at 11:34 AM - 9 comments

Condolences to his family. Congratulations to Raiders' fans.

posted by scully at 11:49 AM on October 08, 2011

The NFL has gotten a little less interesting with the passing of this football icon.


posted by NoMich at 12:13 PM on October 08, 2011

I was about to post this, glad I checked first. This is sad for his family but as said above probably A good thing for the Raiders. Which is also sad to Say as he was once really great.

posted by Folkways at 12:29 PM on October 08, 2011

The New York Times obit has lots of great details.

I didn't realize Davis wasn't principal owner until 2005.

posted by rcade at 12:51 PM on October 08, 2011

I was a huge fan of the old AFL growing up. I still miss it. Al Davis was such a part of that.

Sunday evenings in the fall, already dark on the east coast, and the Oakland home games being played on TV at 4pm local time in impossibly bright sunlight (which is still the case). The silver and black Raider uniforms shimmering in the light, with the yardage numbers on the field barely visible amid the glare...

Between that steely light, thoughts of the memorable hombres that played for the Raiders during those years, and the knowledge that the sports teams were run by ornery characters like Davis and Finley who played by their own rules for better or worse, it just seemed like the whole concept of Oakland existed in an alternate experiential plane.

I don't follow the Raiders closely these days, but they are one of those teams that give the league more presence and pop when they're relevant and successful, so I hope they can crank it back up.

Time for me to go cue up the Tower of Power.

posted by beaverboard at 01:00 PM on October 08, 2011


He was a good and loyal man, but he had become a caricature of himself with is inability to let others run his team as the league had evolved beyond him.

posted by Demophon at 01:03 PM on October 08, 2011

The Raiders were my first love when I began my affair with the NFL oh so long ago. My Black and Silver mementos sit beside the newer Black and Gold ones.

The Al Davis that passed was a mere shadow of the man that once was. He was an icon none the less. I will miss seeing the camera catch him with his hands propped up, fingers entwined, never smiling and that "death before dishonor" look on his face.

Condolences to his family and the Raider Nation.

posted by steelergirl at 02:48 PM on October 08, 2011

The Raiders were my first love when I began my affair with the NFL oh so long ago.

Ditto. There existed no other team that could polarize fans the way they did; you either loved 'em or hated 'em. And with the Snake, Biletnikoff, and Tatum they were fun to watch (until the Darryl Stingley incident). One of my favorite teams as a kid. And Davis was the first sports owner I'd heard of, at a time when teams were known by their star players and not by the headline-grabbing owners who employed them.

As Captain Obvious would say: the NFL (and football in general) will never be the same without him. Rest in Peace.

posted by NerfballPro at 10:27 AM on October 09, 2011

On a side note, the Raiders are undefeated in the Post Al Davis era.

posted by Atheist at 10:38 AM on October 10, 2011

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