Ah yes...the accolades come in again, and again.
For those who missed it, the people at Forbes released a list highlighting the bad guys in sports. It include players and owners who are hated pretty regularly.
Number one didn't come as a surprise...Michael Vick took top honors on this one.
However, it was shocking that number two was our very own Al Davis.
Let's think about this a moment. Has Al Davis killed anyone?
Has he committed rape? Fooled around on his wife?
How about shooting a bottle of water at a ref?
Al Davis, for all of the things he's done, has made a pretty good laundry list of things to be proud of. Several rules, ranging from the use of stickum, to the encouragement of players to test the rules, Al helped change football in 50 years.
Is this what makes him hated by most of the sports world?
Al Davis helped the AFL survive when the NFL didn't want them, and then was stabbed in the back by others, who wanted to merge with the NFL...Al felt in time, the NFL would fold...leaving the AFL as the league. So, he went back to Oakland.
Evil? Not quite. Cunning, if anything.
Then came the move of the Raiders from Oakland to LA. He thumbed his nose at the league when they tried to stop him, leading to many rounds of legal tango.
Evil? Not quite...depending on who you ask.
What's funny, is that most people don't realize he wasn't the first person to move a club in modern times...the Rams did, from LA to Anaheim...but since Pete Rozelle didn't want that fight, he thought he'd make an example out of Al...and got both barrels of that exchange.
With Al, some would question his draft selections. Some picks were odd if anything. But this club also found guys like Marcus Allen, Tim Brown, Terry McDaniel, Ken Stabler, Fred Biletnikoff and others.
Can't be the draft picks...every team picks poorly from time to time.
The last ten years, you might have some standing ground, on quality. The last seven seasons have seen the Raiders set a record for double-digit losses. While painful, not entirely Al's fault. As stated before, Al is not the quarterback, the running back, the lineman, the kicker or the safety. To a degree, I would bet Al has never called Cable and said, "Tell JaMarcus to throw at Darrius Heyward-Bey's feet."
Poor playing, yes....but at the same time, the beginning of the decade the Raiders had three playoff teams and were the last team in the Super Bowl from the AFC West.
Given the standard timescale for young adults in this country, most voters can't remember past three years.
Given all the statistics that Al Davis can put to his name, including the rings, and the legal trouble he hasn't caused...I think Forbes pretty much blew it on their study...and should go back to school.
Is Al Davis' rating justified? No. Biased? Of course.