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Al Davis July 4th 1929 - October 8th 2011:

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The Autumn wind was a pirate today as it blustered in from sea and carried away the heart and soul of the Oakland Raiders, Allen "Al" Davis, who passed away at the age of 82.

The last time that I saw Mr. Davis, he was being driven into the stadium before the Patriots game. He was sitting in the passenger seat of a simple town car on his way to his new suite in the East Side Club. With his inability to fly out to Buffalo, a place that had fond memories for Mr. Davis and his move from his long time box to a more easily accessible one, I could feel that the end was near, just not THIS near.

At the core of every true Raider fan's heart, we knew that this day was coming, we were just hoping that it would come after seeing Mr. Davis hold up the Lombardi Trophy one more time.

Seeing Mr. Davis hold that trophy, one more time, after all that he's done for the sport would really cap off a tremendous life and legend who's star has been tarnished by pot shot artists, hacks, haters and even the League which he helped form.

I remember one group of fans that put up a Billboard on the freeway and tried to get the Commissioner to relieve him of his duties. It figures that they were not from Oakland and had never even been to a game here, because to be in Oakland for a Raider game is to know what Mr. Davis created. He loved his Raider Nation and all you have to do is see how closely the team works with the fans to recognize that.

From Flatbush to Piedmont CA, Mr. Davis was always the same. Let's hope that the Raiders stay in his image for decades to come.

For a great history of his life in football visit Raiders.com