My phone buzzed, waking me from my near slumber. I work nights, and hate when a text wakes me up. It's my little bro, a Dolphins fan who did 2 tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He's out now, working for a train company. His days off don't match with mine, so naturally it's nice to hear from him.
"I guess the Raiders are gonna be good now," the text read.
WTF? Did we get a QB? A stud #1 WR? Did Jesus appear in a waffle at an IHOP near Oakland?
"Al Davis died" was the reply.
I inhaled deeply, hoping it was some damned hoax, or a really dumb joke. Brothers are known to do that sort of thing. He confirmed seeing it on ESPN. I resided in denial, hoping it was wishful thinking by Adam Shitforbrains, or some unusual memo went out accidentally. I had no net or tv (comcast can *************) so I waited until the following day, purchased a paper and there it was, a large story relegated to C10 near the back of the sports section.
***SIDE NOTE-In every city there is some sort of regional/living section with the advice and horoscopes, and some asshat editor guy who thinks he's inherently funny when he's just really bitter that the serious investigative stories went to the guy who actually paid attention in journalism school. In Spokane, this asshole is named Doug Clark. He made a comment about how, when watching coverage about Al Davis, people tended to overexaggerate the impact of people who just died. While this may be a truism, it is not so in the case of Al, and Mr Clark can rectally enjoy the services of a ten foot serrated blade****
I still can't believe it.
I am emotionally numb still. The Raiders get Aaron Curry, and everyone thinks "Al Davis did that". Al collected former first rounders like kids collected baseball cards. There was talent there once, he must have thought. There will be talent there again. Sometimes it worked, and a player would turn into a productive piece, as Jason Campbell is proving now. Sometimes it failed. But he took risks few others did, and Raider Nation rejoiced as other teams would resign to rebuilding while the Raiders reloaded. Too mean, too nasty, too old? Head to the Raiders, where you could never be too mean, too nasty, too old.
Give us your deviants, miscreants, malcontents and fuckups. The guys who didn't work out for you. Here they are wanted. Here they are valued. Here they are needed. We are the rebels and we shall defeat you. Because we have nothing to lose.
Al Davis is gone. He was a genius, innovator, and penultimate badass. He made this game we love the way it is today, and the world is emptier because of his departure.
Any "fans dancing on his grave", as certain know-nothings have suggested, can do things best reserved for sites elsewhere on the internet that require a credit card for age verification purposes. I heard they're most likely in German. These same "fans" are probably wannabe pussy punk gangster anyways.