Al Davis Leaves a Lasting Legacy in the NFL as Oakland Raiders Owner
Al Davis's passing at the age of 82 hits the football world hard, although many may not realize what he has meant to the game.
When Mr. Davis became the youngest head coach/general manager in the history of the league in 1962 at the age of 33, he believed in pushing the ball deep down the field.
Does that remind anyone of the NFL landscape today?
The Raiders' late owner was against the NFL at many points in his life. Davis never wanted his AFL to merge with the NFL. The league also prevented his Raiders from moving to Los Angeles for a short period of time in the 1980s. Davis may have not wanted a merger to occur, but it helped out the NFL tremendously.
As Matt Millen said on Sportscenter the morning of Davis's death, Davis would say things in league meetings that many owners would believe to be ridiculous, only to realize a few months down the road that his words materialized.
In a sense, that's what happened with the NFL. The running games of the Redskins and other organizations had their day, but now the league is in a different direction.
Commissioner Roger Goodell is having his league advertise quarterbacks and the deep passing game in part because that's the demand from the overall fan base. The rules are set up for receivers and quarterbacks to march down the field in an entertaining way. What Mr. Davis believed back in the 1960s is now in play over 40 years later.
Davis hired John Madden and drafted Gene Upshaw, two of the more influential men the league has ever seen. Madden, of course, was a great coach as well as the most well-known NFL broadcaster, while Upshaw was a Hall of Fame player with Oakland and head of the NFL Players' Association.
His relationships with his players may have been to a fault, hurting the coaches that were in place.
Put yourself in Davis's place. Money isn't fully satisfying. If you loved being around football, why wouldn't you want to be a huge part of your organization, for good or bad?
What Davis did worked previously, and it appeared that he'd be a part of another winning run with the current Raiders team.
There are negatives that can be brought up about Mr. Davis, but let's not criticize the deceased. Few NFL owners have experienced the success of Davis's Oakland Raiders, but none have had the same amount of influence on the game of football.
The three Super Bowls wins are concrete evidence to Al Davis's accomplishments on Earth, but there are many more meaningful accomplishments the trailblazer was a part of during his incredible life.
Mr. Davis will wear his Black and Silver proudly when they lay him to rest.
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