If there ever are events that unite loved ones they almost always come with tragedy. There may not be one more affecting than that of Al Davis. Watching some of the TV coverage made me feel a new found appreciation and pride for the man Hunter S. Thompson once quoted as saying he makes Darth Vader look like a punk. He really was as hard-nosed, calculating, and always game planning and thinking about the next move. However there were so many misconceptions that were also revealed including his true love for his players and the game he lived and breathed. I loved listening to some of the stories and not sure if you heard it but Tom Jackson's experience with Al the year after he retired from the Broncos may be my favorite so far. It was classic.
Now there were several things to love about the game on Sunday. From Rolando McClain visibly hurt and giving his own personal tribute to Al by not coming out of the game and laying a beautiful, clean but violent hit on Matt Schaub in the second half to possibly the best play call of the season on Rock Cartwright's fake punt and direct snap to prolong the Texans' chance at getting the ball back with sufficient time to mount a comeback. Of course the emotion on the final play and the moment that may be captured forever in time with Hue hugging Chuck and then falling to his knees genuinely succumbing to possibly the most difficult 24 hours he has ever been a part of in his coaching career. The only thing that bothered me and maybe I'm alone was Dan Fouts' irritating commentary. There were some really back-handed comments including the gotcha moment on the replay of Quentin Groves lackadaisically running off the field to the obvious deflected pass which could not warrant pass interference. We all know that rule, why don't you Dan? Seriously I would have preferred the annoying Dan Dierdorf.
I want to just thank you all for allowing me to share this with all of you and hope the Raiders continue to honor Al Davis with a great showing in the first game home since his loss. The Browns are a good team but this is not the week you want to have a let down. Al deserves better.