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A Collection of Thoughts on Al Davis

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Jump over for a sampling from a flood of articles, quotes and thought about Al Davis....

On matters of diversity, Al Davis led the way | ProFootballTalk
Long before the NFL felt compelled to force teams to interview at least one minority candidate for every head-coaching vacancy, late Raiders owner Al Davis was doing the right thing when it comes to matters of diversity, without having to be nudged in that direction. In 1989, Davis hired Art Shell to coach the Raiders. The move made Shell only the second African-American head coach in pro football, and the first in the modern era of the sport. A decade before that, Davis hired Tom Flores, the first Hispanic coach in NFL history. Perhaps almost as significantly, Davis installed — in a sport dominated by men — Amy Trask into the role of Chief Executive Officer.

Former Raider player from Reno calls Al Davis the right man at the right time to build the team | Reno Gazette-Journal |
Manoukian played offensive guard for the Raiders in 1960, their inaugural year in the American Football League and a few years before Davis joined the team. When the Raiders started, they had three owners who each had a piece of the team but there was no central figure to control the team, Manoukian said. Then Davis came along. "He was a very astute, very brilliant man," Manoukian said. "He had his detractors for sure. He was the right guy at the right time. . . . They needed a strong, controlling leader in the formation of the Raiders."

Milestones in the life of Al Davis
1950 Begins coaching career at Adelphi, on Long Island. 1953 Takes first NFL job, as scout for Rams. 1954 Marries Carol Segal. 1963 Hired as coach and general manager of the Raiders. Team improves from 1-13 to 10-4. Named American Football League coach of the year.

Rival owners remember Al Davis - NFL Nation Blog - ESPN
Here's Pat Bowlen’s statement: During my 28 years with the Broncos, I came to know Al Davis as one of the most influential and innovative people in the history of the National Football League. His competitive spirit and intensity grew our rivalry with the Raiders into one of the fiercest in all of sports. I respected Al for what he meant to the NFL. He was a visionary who defined the Raiders and had an enormous responsibility for the prosperity of this league. I join Al’s family, the Oakland Raiders and the rest of the NFL in mourning the loss of a man who gave so much to the game we love.

Chiefs owner Clark Hunt also put out a release on Davis’s death: From the earliest days of the AFL, Al's love for the game and fierce loyalty to his franchise contributed to the success and popularity of pro football. His competitive spirit helped develop the great rivalry our team and fans enjoy today with the Oakland Raiders. His contributions to the game played an important role in building the strong foundation the NFL enjoys today.

UPDATE: San Diego chairman Dean Spanos released this statement: "Al Davis is one of the main reasons our family is in the NFL today. Al approached my dad (Alex Spanos) about getting involved in the NFL and was very helpful to us through the process. He had great insight into the league, both the product on the field and the business off the field. He saw the potential for growth. He was very much a visionary. Our family will always be grateful to Al for his friendship. "Al is also a big reason for the strong rivalry between the Raiders and the Chargers and its popularity among both teams’ fans. He personified the image and mystique of the Raiders, and that image has helped build the strength of our rivalries and the popularity of our game. There has been no one in the NFL like Al Davis.

Raiders owner Al Davis: tributes from NFL peers
"His winning, his football knowledge, his passion for his team and his contributions to the league made him one of the all-time greats. By striving for the highest level of excellence with our respective teams and the game itself, we will be honoring the memory of Al Davis." - Patriots coach Bill Belichick

Jim Otto on Al Davis | Raiders Silver and Black Blog | an blog
I’ve been loyal to him and he’s always been loyal to me. The passion that he had for people and life was phenomenal, witnessed by his time spent with his wife when his wife was deathly ill. He never left her side until she came out of her coma. His passion for life was tremendous with regard to everyone, not just his people, but other people, too, that he wanted to help. —Jim Otto

Al Davis (and the AFL) was something different - ESPN
"Al Davis Passes" isn't a headline, it was his playbook. This is not biography. Neither is it history nor eulogy nor expert summing up of X's and O's. This is just a sketch of how Al Davis and those pass-happy Wild West AFL days of the 1960s seemed to me as a little kid.

Fans Raise a Glass to Al Davis -
In the back of Ricky’s restaurant in San Leandro, the unofficial headquarters of Raider Nation, a booth was empty Saturday afternoon except for the memories on the tabletop: a Super Bowl XV program; a Raiders program from a Sept. 27, 1964 home game against the Kansas City Chiefs with Al Davis on the cover, stalking the sideline; the California license plate JST WN BBY; a Raider beer mug, a Raider helmet telephone and two pennants, one from the 1977 Super Bowl at the Rose Bowl. The table was reserved for Davis, the maverick owner of the Raiders who died Saturday morning. Davis, who was 82, never set foot in the restaurant, preferring the company of his small inner circle to the companionship of the sporting nation he spawned.

The Al Davis legacy: Innovator, fighter, maverick - San Jose Mercury News
Whether those watching loved him or hated him, Raiders owner Al Davis was always must-see TV. There was no gray area in the emotions that he evoked, especially with those whose lives he touched. "When you hear Al Davis' name mentioned, people want to take sides," former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw said. "Right or wrong, good or bad, if you look at the history of the league and you look at how the league has changed, when you look at who the personalities that are involved in that change, you're going to find Al Davis."

Celebrity tweets on death of Raiders boss Al Davis
"My heart goes out to Carol and Mark Davis. I will always respect, admire and be grateful for the opportunity he gave me." - Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen

Al Davis is Gone, But His Legacy is Forever | NBC Bay Area
He was loved and despised, revered and ridiculed. But he was one of a kind, a man who made his mark.

Al Davis, Maverick Owner of NFL’s Oakland Raiders, Dies at 82 - Businessweek
People love the Raiders and every time they think of the Raiders, they think of Mr. Davis," Willie Brown, a Hall of Fame cornerback and now an assistant with the team, said in a statement. "It’s a sad day in the Raider nation."