Holla at me RAIDER NATION!
I just wanted to take a moment and address a topic that I've been reading too much about; That topic would be the praying for the downfall of our "God-Father", Al Davis. I've been reading people writing things like:"The Raiders will not return to greatness as long as Al Davis owns the team..." and that "The N.F.L. needs to look into taking the team away from him...", ect. ect. blah, blah, blah.
Let's get one thing straight: THERE WOULD BE NO RAIDERS (for us to love) WITHOUT AL DAVIS. I don't like to talk about stats, and I'm not going to do that now; I don't have the time (or the energy) to list all of the accolades that have been bestowed up Al. Furthermore, you don't have the time (or the energy) to read them. In short and to be more to the point this man is A TRUE N.F.L. LEGEND OF THE GAME.
Everything essential to being a RAIDER was invented, or supported by this man! He's no Jerry Jones -(just some guy with money) He's no Daniel Schneider (another guy with money), and (thank god) He's not the Ford Family (those fools who let Matt Millen run their team.... Matt Millen!?!?). You people who talk crap about Al remind me of those ungrateful college boosters in Penn & Florida State! Here we have men who MADE their programs into respected champions; How can you now say to them "O.K., Thanks... but, you can go now.... bye!" Florida State was NOTHING before Bobby Bowden, and the same goes for Penn State with Joe Paterno, and the same thing goes for the Oakland Raiders with Al Davis.
I'm not going to talk about Al's genius I'm going to talk about somethings, totally beyond Al's control that have taken away some of the appreciation of his genius. First I want to remind people (again) of BO JACKSON! At the time, and even now you don't hear of a 2 sport star (with one of those sports being football). People (as THE RAIDERS remember) thought Al was crazy to let Bo come in about mid season and play. However, as we RAIDERS could care less that Bo came to play in the middle of the season; We used to have a count down until his first game because we only cared that he came to play for The Raiders!, and brother when he came to play -"WATCH OUT NOW!!" - We also remember that fluke injury that ended Bo's time with us; Along with that loss to the Bills which followed that home game against The Bengals. I have often wondered how many yards Bo would have run for in that Bills game (I'm thinking 200 at least). We all know what happened to the Bills once they got to the Superbowl (they lost). However, they never should have been there in the first place!! The Raiders should have been in that game! I loved Bo's time with the team but, just imagine how the Bo Jackson experience would have been if we could have had him win The Chip!
The other thing people forget about is all that Al went through to get The Raiders to their most recent Superbowl appearance (you can tell I'm a RAIDER cuz I can't use the L word). I'm not going to go into too many details (for one thing it's just too painful) We all know the story. The problem was that Tampa Bay wasn't even supposed to be in that game. How The Eagles lose that Championship game at home is still a mystery (to me and to them); If they would have done what they were supposed to do they would have been our victims (again). As it turned out Rich Gannon had to meet his maker, Jon Gruden got a ring (with a team build by Tony Dungy) and The Raiders have been rebuilding. Another chance at The Chip lost.
That's TWO TITLE RINGS we should be sporting, not to forget (or really to mention) how we got "snowed" out of another shot at The Chip against that team that shall remain nameless. All in all I want to leave you with this final thought; It is my firm belief that Al Davis wants to see The Raiders great for as long as men play football; Sure he's not as young as he used to be (neither are you), sure the team could use a G.M. along with some other things. However, Al's been doing this since my birth and quite frankly I can't picture anyone who exemplifies what it truly means to be a RAIDER more than AL DAVIS.
RAIDER from birth