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Remembering the legendary Al Davis

Raiders’ owner died 10 years ago today

Oakland Raiders v Cincinnati Bengals
Al Davis, 1995
Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

The morning of Oct. 8, 2011 began as a typical Saturday during the NFL season.

I woke up and prepared to go to the airport for another day of travel. I covered the AFC West and was headed to Denver for the Chargers-Broncos game. The company I worked for at the time was Tim Tebow-happy, so off to Denver I was.

Until I got a phone call from colleague John Clayton.

“Al died.”


I hung up the phone and called then Raiders PR man, John Herrera, a good dude and a guy who shot straight with me.

“John, is this true?”

“Yes, Bill. He’s gone.”

I immediately opened my computer and started to write. I called my editor and told him I thought I should scuttle my travel plans and spend the weekend writing about the great Al Davis. He agreed.

He was a legend, after all.

Davis had passed away at age 82 in his suite at the Hilton Hotel Oakland Airport, where he lived for much of the football season. The cause of death was later ruled as an abnormal heart rhythm, congestive heart failure and a heart muscle disease.

Now, we sit 10 years later and I love where I am and I love being able to remember Al regularly.

Today, let’s all smile and honor a man who played by his rules and, without question, lived every day being a Raider.

New Orleans Saints v Las Vegas Raiders
Al Davis torch at Allegiant Stadium
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images