08 October 2011

R.I.P. Al Davis

Al Davis, one of the most notorious, rebellious and important figures in NFL history, has passed away today at the age of 82. Immediate cause of death is not yet known.
Davis has been involved in professional football since 1960, when he was hired by the San Diego Chargers back in the ol' AFL as offensive ends coach. He then became head coach and general manager of the Oakland Raiders in 1963 and immediately began to implement a vertical based attack that helped stretch the field and change the way the game was played. He then served as commissioner of the AFL in 1966 and although he was opposed to a merger with the NFL, he did oversee the merger that helped make the NFL the dominant league in sports. After resigning from the commissioner's title, he went back to the Raiders became general manager and a part owner until he took over the club in 1972, and that had been his title ever since.
Davis, best known for his black and silver suits and his famous phrases "Commitment to Excellence" and "Just Win, Baby," had many feuds with the NFL over the years, most notable when he tried to move the club to Los Angeles in the early 80's and then when he tried to move the club back to Oakland in the early 90's. Not many have had the arrogance that mae Davis so famous.
Yes the team developed into a joke in the 2000's and yes many have poked at Davis over his ability, or lack thereof, to run the organization (including myself multiple times) but one cannot deny the importance of him in the history of the NFL.
Al Davis (July 4, 1929 - October 8, 2011)

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