(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Mr. Davis, dressed in a leather Oakland Raiders jacket, was in rare form.
He presided with prominence over the press conference, as reported on Comcast SportsNet, that addressed the signing of Richard Seymour, a five-time Pro Bowl DE/DL acquired in trade from the New England Patriots, now a member of the Oakland Raiders.
Here ends the week-long speculations that Seymour either did not want to be a member of the team, or that the player was planning to hold out for a long-term deal.
The press conference, held at the Raiders headquarters in Alameda, CA., featured statements by Mr. Seymour, team owner/managing general partner Al Davis, and Raiders head coach Tom Cable.
Each had a piece to say about how it was to have Seymour in Oakland, and how he immediately impacts the team and their game plan for Monday night's contest against the San Diego Chargers
. After their statements, the conference was opened up to questions from the press corps in attendance.
The conference, overall, was a continuation of the now infamous "Overhead Projector" conference, held in the beginning weeks of last season at the firing of (previous Raiders' head coach) Lane Kiffin, and illustrated to all that Al Davis not only remains aware of what is going on with his team and within the league, but that he remains fully in control of his personal faculties.
He began by comparing the trade to those of legendary members of the Raiders' teams past, daring any naysayers to deny the greatness of the Raiders and defended the trade, the team and his personal judgement as owner and general manager.
He made specific mention of (sic) "a particular ex-member of the Oakland Raiders that currently works for our network, that we own" (interestingly, from an owner's standpoint, the NFL Network) making "negative comments about the team and the organization" for not being awarded a long-term contract.
He also mentioned other individuals that had worked for the team and other teams around the league attacking the Raiders, not out of fact, but out of spite for him and for his organization.
Several times during the question/answer session, Mr. Davis openly questioned the more negative members of the press in attendance, calling them out by name to challenge their sources and sharply criticizing the validity of their inquiries.
Mr. Davis also took the opportunity to call into question the previous week's reports from local press as well as those from media institutions on the East Coast that speculated the imminent failure of the Seymour trade, chiding those in attendance the importance of (sic) "reporting fact" and not "reporting speculation as fact."
The conference was ended when a final question for Richard Seymour, asking whether he was looking forward to a new contract with the team at the end of the season or if he wanted to see how things played out, was responded to by Mr. Davis himself, with a strongly worded answer.
"I assure you he (Seymour) has an agent," said Davis, "(...) you don't worry about things that don't concern you."
I feel that Mr. Seymour was allowed a rare opportunity to see firsthand his new boss in action defending his organization against the media bias aimed at tarnishing its image.
It is said that the team takes on the personality of its head coach, and by extension, its owner. One could only hope that Richard Seymour takes that fire and voracity shown by Mr. Davis to the field, to contribute to the success of his team.
For I'm sure that he, and every person in the room, could see that the old man, Al Davis, was not messing around.