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The Legacy of Al

By Alex Farnworth
On October 28, 2011


Earlier this month, one of the biggest icons in American Football history passed away: Al Davis

Most of the younger football fans probably know Mr. Davis as the crazed Raider's owner who drafted players solely on their speed, but he brought much more to the table throughout his long career.

Davis' career started as the coach of the Adelphi College for one year in 1955. Then he went on to coach at The Citadel, Southern California and then the Los Angeles/ San Diego Chargers. In 1963 he became the head coach of the Oakland Raiders.

Davis brought that mean, rugged Brockton, Mass attitude (his hometown) all the way to the west coast. He brought a certain swagger to the AFL. Al Davis was so highly respected that he was named commissioner of the American Football League 1966. Al Davis is part of the reason of why there is an NFL today; when he became commissioner of the AFL he was part of the agreement to merge with the NFL.

After the merger, Davis became manager and owner of the Raiders. Although in recent time some of Davis' decisions have been questionable, you cannot knock the man for what he has done. He lived by his motto "Just Win Baby" and that is what he did; assembling a team to win. In his career as the Raiders owner, he had been to 4 Super Bowls and only fell short in his last one (2002).  In 1992 Al Davis was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame and he will be forever remembered as an NFL pioneer.

The Al Davis legacy continues for Raider Nation. The day after his passing the Raiders went out to win a dramatic and emotional game over the Texans 25-20. After the game, Raiders current coach Hue Jackson spoke to his team. "Again guys, just a moment of silence. Al, we love you. We know that you're watching over this team. And we're gonna keep playing. We're gonna keep playing like Raiders for you. We're gonna keep honoring this man all year for all that he's done for us because he's touched every last one of us."

Davis left a legacy in Oakland and they are dedicating their season to him this year.  They will be doing everything they can do to "just win baby."

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