-Frank Sinatra "My Way"
I will never forget where I was when I heard the sad news today about the passing of a true American original, Al Davis. I was on the beach when the calls, e-mails, and text messages started to pour in with condolences and remembrances of our visionary leader. The emperor is dead. Long Live Al Davis! And so it begins, in death, Al Davis will get the credit that he was denied in life. He is being remembered for his three Super Bowl championships, his commitment to civil rights, and his devotion to his "Rada" players and fans. He was a man who was bold enough to assert his will upon the world and shape the NFL in his image. He was the last of the breed who did things HIS WAY and had no time for the timid and weak souls who doubted his vision. Al was a living legend and a throwback to an era when men were men. Al was like a Shakespearian character who seemed to exist more as a myth than a real man. People believed that he called in the plays, made half-time adjustments, benched Marcus Allen (a guy by the name of Bo Jackson took his spot) screwed over Mike Shanahan, (the rat was fired for cause) and endlessly feuded with the NFL (well, the last part is true.) Al was a rebel, Al was a gangster, Al was a leader of men. But most importantly Al loved the Raiders with every fiber in his body and you never doubted his commitment to excellence. The Pride, The Poise, The Passion. Tonight I will raise a glass to my lips, pause to remember a great man, and utter a simple toast:
"Just Win Baby"
If there is a heaven, Al is up there diagraming plays with God and asking him what the heck happened with Jamarcus Russell. A nation weeps for its fallen leader......