For those young fans that don't know, Al Davis is a legend. In my opinion he's one of the best owners of all time, despite the fact that his final years did not go as well as he would have wanted.
Here are some of the best quotes from Al Davis during his 60 year career in the NFL.
One of Al Davis' most identifiable qualities was his overwhelming capacity to take care of those who worked for him over the years.
Whether you were a player, coach, or employee, Davis believed you were a part of the organization for life.
One of the more touching quotes I found was Al Davis' remarks about John Madden, legendary coach for the Raiders.
“I saw greatness in John and he lived up to it. I also saw a tremendous competitor who loved to win. John is a standard bearer, someone that players, coaches, fans and the Raider Nation can all look up to. One of his great virtues, the fire that burned brightest in him, was his love and passion for football, which was seldom ever equaled.”
It all ties in to that first quote that Davis truly believes "once a Raider, always a Raider." This may not be any more evident in the fact that the Raider Nation has stood strong during a time of turmoil. They are being rewarded this season so far.
The Black Hole is a fearsome place to play once again.
Here is the actual quote:
“We want to win. The Raider fans deserve it. The Raider players deserve it, even my organization deserves it. You have to win and you have to win with a vision for the Super Bowl. That's our passion here.”
This quote definitely shows the passion Davis had for the game of football and for his fans. He was all about winning from the beginning.
Perhaps the most influential quote from Davis was the slogan for his franchise. He maintained that his players, coaches, and employees always had a "commitment to excellence."
For years it would define that franchise as they were perennial contenders, but that commitment seemed to slip away in recent years.
Good news for Raider Nation is the team seems to be getting back to a winning attitude.
Again the quote was too long for the headline:
"I'm in pro football to win, to have the Raiders dominate, to have the Raiders global, and we're not going to be able to do that with a half-filled stadium."
This quote, in my eyes, describes Al Davis in a nutshell. He showed an undying commitment to winning, put his heart into his franchise, but was also not afraid to say and do things that fans didn't want to hear.
Perhaps his two biggest moves in the history of the franchise was trading Ken Stabler, who had led the Raiders to their only championship, in 1980. Fans hated the move but Davis was vindicated when Jim Plunkett led the Raiders to titles in 1980 and 1983.
The second was releasing Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, whom Davis did not like. The only comment he ever had was to say that Allen was a "cancer" on the team.
But that was Davis. He didn't care what anyone thought, including and especially the fans. He did whatever he felt was best for his franchise.