Al Davis: Now Everybody Is Singing His Praises, but Why Now?

Brian WinettCorrespondent IIIOctober 12, 2011

ALAMEDA, CA - JANUARY 18:  Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis speaks to reporters after introducing Hue Jackson as the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders on January 18, 2011 in Alameda, California.  Hue Jackson was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing the fired Tom Cable.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Was it not like two or three weeks ago that Al Davis was holding the Raiders back?

Was it not the consensus opinion over the last five years that Al Davis had lost it, didn't know what he was doing and needed to step down so the Raiders can win again?

And now he's a genius who reinvented the game? What changed in the past couple weeks?

Oh yeah, he's dead now.

So all of a sudden, in a single moment, the masses of people switch on a dime and love him all of a sudden.

What is it in our human condition that feels it's okay to badmouth someone for the last five years of their life and then when they die to act like we cherished him the whole time?

Why don't we remember these contributions and celebrate them with the person while they're alive?

It's true Al Davis changed the game, more than most of us knew about. 

The last five years however, unless someone researched Al Davis, no one would have known how much he meant to the game just by listening to ESPN talk about him or read columns where he was mentioned.

So why do we think it's okay to talk smack about someone everyday of the last five years of their life and then turn around and talk about them fondly when they die?

Why do we as human beings do this?

ALAMEDA, CA - SEPTEMBER 30:  Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis speaks during a press conference to announce the firing of head coach Lane Kiffin of the Oakland Raiders at thier training facility on Septemer 30, 2008 in Alameda, California.  (Photo by Jed Jac
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Is it to cure a guilty conscious for all the bad stuff we said about him publicly?

Are we just not willing to face the specter of death until it's upon us, and then it's like, oh shoot, he really was kind of awesome?

Or are we just a bunch of jerks who don't take responsibility for our words or actions as a race?

Whatever the reason why, the truth is pretty remarkable on how quickly human beings can turn on people in one direction or another.

This behavior is a product of our lesser nature however, and something that as individuals we can all be sure to work on in our lives, and rise above, regardless of how the masses choose to behave.