Mark Davis has been quiet as the acting owner of the Oakland Raiders. He has been very busy trying to get new facilities for this team and he hasn't had very many media sessions. That all changed in one swift move as he opened up to the media and fans in a way that he hadn't before now.
There have been many insults thrown his way around message boards all across the internet from people that believe he has done nothing to deserve his hierarchy among this historic franchise. He has even been given the ungracious nickname of "Tommy Boy." It is derived from the classic comedy film starring Chris Farley in which an idiot kid has to take over the family business after his father's death.
What people forget about Tommy Boy is that he saves the company and becomes a great man like his father.
I believe that Mark has taken a major step forward in the eyes of many nervous individuals that did not respect this Mr. Davis and believed him to be over his head in matters he should not be handling. He may not have the business degrees from an Ivy League school but he has been groomed all his life for this one purpose and now it is his time to continue the Davis Family Legacy.
When he speaks the way he did after the loss to New Orleans, you really see the influence that his father had on him. He does not sound like the idiot kid being handed the keys to the castle. He sounds like a Raider. He isn't ignoring the fans like many thought he was and he isn't sidestepping responsibility.
"I'm embarrassed," Davis said. "Pissed. Disappointed. And I take full responsibility for it."
He is not Al, but he does not pretend to be. He knows that this team is not where it needs to be and he is paying close attention to it. He knows his place in the organization as well, which is on the financial side. It's not that he isn't giving his opinion and keeping in touch with those whom he hired to handle the football side, it's that he wishes those conversations between him and GM Reggie McKenzie to remain private.
Despite his decisions to keep his opinions on the football side private from the media and fans, he is not staying quiet on where the team is. He is speaking out to the fans and telling us he knows the team isn't where it should be and that it's not acceptable to him either.
Telling the world that he is embarrassed about the product on the field is a major statement. The word "embarrassed" is not thrown around lightly and its heavy impact should be appreciated by even the staunchest of critics. There is no doubt after his post-game media session that he is not sitting back and accepting the Raiders poor performance as is.
"You can’t blame it on the salary cap and all that," said Davis. "You have players and you coach ‘em and you play, you gotta be Raiders. I’m just saying right now I’m a little disappointed with the regression. But like I say, they’ll fight. … And hopefully they’ll fix it. … I am patient but I want to see progress."
This is message that he is sending out to the team and its leaders. He knows that in the world of the NFL not everything goes to plan, but he needs to see more out of this team. The regression from the previous two years is so evident that Mr. Davis had to address it to show that he is the head honcho of this team. He wants to see production, and isn't accepting excuses like the salary cap purgatory as an explanation.
"I apologize to the fans. I’m embarrassed for ‘em. Because they live and die as Raiders fans, and I feel for ‘em, I really do. And we’re gonna get it right. If it’s for anybody, it’s for them. I feel the same way. I’m a fan. And I take responsibility for it, gonna get it right."
His father left a giant shadow that he has to climb out of but this is his first major step in doing that. He is putting his own stamp on this team and he is not willing to accept failure just like his great father. He knows his position in the franchise is not with the football side, but he also knows that he can't sit silently during times of obvious failure.
The Mark Davis Era has now truly begun. I am happy to stand by this man as the leader of the team I care so greatly about. I believe my favorite quote from Al Davis still rings true today under the guidance of his son:
"The Greatness of the Raiders is in their future"-Al Davis
That future is in the hands of Mark Davis, and I can't wait to see the stamp he puts on this great franchise.