When discussing Owners of Professional Sports Teams over the past 50 years, two names stand out to me, when the terms, controlling, hated, maverick and champion are used to describe it's members. Those names are, George Steinbrenner and Al Davis.
Those two men, both born on July 4th, epitomize Hall of Fame Owners.
Brick by brick, Steinbrenner resurrected one of the most storied franchises in the World and Al Davis built one.
Along their journeys they forced a decision that had to be made, "Am I going to Win or be Liked?".
I believe that the decision was simple for these two from the first time they tried to tie their shoes faster than someone else.
They were going to WIN!!!
George won 7 World Series and Al won 3 Super Bowls and many lawsuits.
It was apparent with George and it is still apparent to Al Today that when winning gets into your blood, you won't stop until the last game, the final series or even overtime. You want victory.
Today,Oakland Raider Owner, Al Davis sees another of his friends from the old days pass into the sunset.
It's funny to think that it was George Steinbrenner who wanted the drummers to stop. Maybe the next game I go to I wont drum and just let my drum sit silently for "The Boss". Then again, maybe I should play it louder than ever.
One thing is clear, Al Davis is the last of his kind in Professional Sports.
Dan Snyder has some Maverick in him, some folks hate him, he is very controlling, but, he is not a Champion.
Jerry Jones is a Champion, controlling and a Maverick, but, people don't really hate him. In fact, they kinda like him, even if they hate his team. You would have thought that he was Bill Clinton the way all of the Black Hole folks were high-fiving him and posing for pictures at the Pre-Season game last year.
Nope, Al Davis is the last of his kind and I appreciate him even more now.