In 1984 John Madden wrote a book titled "Hey, Wait a Minute (I wrote a book!)" I'm not certain it's even in print anymore, but if you get a chance pick up a copy.
In the book he has a chapter titled "My Friend Al Davis." With all the turmoil surrounding free agency and the anticipation of the upcoming draft, I thought you might enjoy a small excerpt from it:
"With the Raiders, it was simple. Al ran the club. I ran the team. Ron Wolf ran the scouting. Al LoCasale ran the office...
In my ten years as head coach, we never had a serious conflict about anything. Well, one thing. Al always thought that you built a team with cornerbacks and I always thought you built a team with offensive linemen.
'Cornerbacks,' he would say. 'You start with cornerbacks.'
'No, no,' I would say. 'You start with offensive linemen.'
We argued for ten years, but it never developed into a serious difference of opinion for a very simple reason. I agreed that cornerbacks were the second most important position in building a team and Al agreed that offensive linemen were second. We got along because we had that kind of respect for each other's opinion and for each other."
It's safe to say that we are all pining for the Glory Days, and Madden's Raiders is what started it for me. I think that it's kind of interesting that our first round pick last year was a cornerback, and our "splash" to this point in FA yielded two O-linemen. These moves are probably just coincidence but do seem to sort of fit that blueprint.
Another kind of interesting correlation is the mention of Ron Wolf. Check out his Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Wolf. By way of comparison, check out Reggie's: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reggie_McKenzie_%28linebacker%29. Ron not only helped build the Raiders, he helped Tampa Bay get their first taste of success. He was also a cornerstone in the Packers' Super Bowl teams of the 90s. It just so happens that Reggie's tenure with the Pack coincided with Wolf's. I'm not saying they kicked back beers together, but I'd like to think that Reggie learned something along the way.
I'm not defending everything that's happened or will happen. I am as nervous as anyone about what's going on. I'm just keeping the faith like the rest of you and hoping the right game plan is in place. In the end, I just wanted to share that Maddenism with you and present a little different perspective. I hope you enjoyed it.
Raider Nation Forever.