Al Davis passed away on Saturday. Younger fans have just seen the Raiders being bad the last few seasons. He made some strange choices over the years. But it took a guy like Al to break through in some areas of the NFL.
1st NFL owner to hire a latino head coach, Al Davis. 1st NFL team with a black head coach, The Raiders. 1st NFL franchise with a female CEO, The Silver and Black. Fact Al Davis was responsible for all three of those things shows how bad the league hiring practices were for years.
From SI.com a quick story.
On a Friday night in April 2004, the night before the NFL Draft, Davis was giving me a tour of his offices at the Raiders’ facility in Oakland. In his inner sanctum, there were four large TVs on the wall, in a diamond configuration. He said he watched games in his office quite often. “Basketball, women’s basketball, baseball,” he said. “All the sports.”
“Women’s basketball?” I said, surprised. And I decided to test him: “OK, what team took Diana Taurasi with the first pick of the WNBA Draft?”
Disdainfully, he said: “Oh, come on. That’s easy. Phoenix.”
Al Davis wanted you to know he paid attention to everything in the world and knew something about everything — and knew much more than you knew about football.
He followed the WNBA? I can’t even name 2 teams in that league. He also was known for some wacky ideas.
Howie Long had a story during an episode of “America’s Game”. Program about Super Bowl Champions. After retiring and about to be in the Hall of Fame at the age of 40, Al phoned him one day with an idea. A comeback. Said he would just be in 15 snaps a game. ‘No Hall of Fame has ever come back, you’ll shock the world’. Howie said he thought about it for what seemed like an eternity but was probably a split second ‘you know…..’ then Long snapped out of it and said ‘…. you’re crazy’.
Also the same owner who kept Marcus Allen mostly on the bench for 2 years without ever giving a reason. Raiders futility over the last 8-9 years was from the owner’s meddling and constant turnover in coaches. Got a payment from a town that wanted the Raiders to move there and never gave the money back. Bad draft decisions on players who were ‘fast’ even if they weren’t that good in other areas.
He was a unique character.
13-3 last week. Second time this season I’ve done that. As I’ve said before you have to pick upsets to get that high. I got 49ers over Eagles right. And almost got Seattle over Atlanta. Seahawks didn’t show up till 2nd half but it was not enough as they lost by 2 points.
Now begins the ‘bye weeks’ so less games to pick.
Tennessee 3-1 at Pittsburgh 2-2
Steelers not looking sharp. Ben got banged up last week and now Harrison is out with a broken orbital bone. Hasselbeck playing well and Chris Johnson starting to get into rythym again. His holdout was a cause for a slow start. Cracked 100 yards last week.
Cincinnati 2-2 at Jacksonville 1-3
Both QB’s of these teams are rookies so that’s a wash. I’ll go with the Bengals after their win over Buffalo last week.
New Orleans 3-1 at Carolina 1-3
Panthers could be in order for a big win against a good opponent, but at a later date.
Oakland 2-2 at Houston 3-1
I thought the Texans win over Pittsburgh would impress me more. Steelers are just having a ‘Super Bowl Hangover’ year to me. And now with Titans surprising start Houston is not a lock for the division either. I see the Texans tripping up this week against Oakland. Andre Johnson is out which will hurt. Picked this game before the news about Al Davis.
Philadelphia 1-3 at Buffalo 3-1
Might as well keep picking against Philly. Keeps working for me. Bills got a wake up call last week. They would’ve shown up for the
Eagles anyway. If Philly hits 1-4 that is almost end of the season for them.
Arizona 1-3 at Minnesota 0-4
No reason to pick the Vikings.
Kansas City 1-3 at Indianapolis 0-4
Kansas City got their first win last Sunday, against Minnesota who haven’t won a game either. This week KC gets another opponent who haven’t won yet.
Seattle 1-3 at NY Giants 3-1
I picked Seattle last week since they were at home. Not the case this week. On the road in NYC.
Tampa Bay 3-1 at San Francisco 3-1
Yes, I didn’t realize either both were 3-1 either till I looked at the standings. I wonder if San Fran can clinch the divison this week.
A 4-1 start in NFC West could be a big enough lead. Remember last year the Seahawks won the division with 7 wins. 49ers almost halfway there. And the other teams records right now: Cards and Seahawks are 1-3, Rams 0-4. That is scraping the bottom of the barrell.
San Diego 3-1 at Denver 1-3
Not spending much time on this. San Diego has played ugly but has a 3-1 record to show for it.
NY Jets 2-2 at New England 3-1
Jets not playing well. And the dreaded ‘media backsniping’ has begun. Santonio Holmes throwing Mark Sanchez and the offensive line under the bus after a loss.
Green Bay 4-0 at Atlanta 2-2
Atlanta stumbling around. They’ll be in tough to get back in playoffs unless they pull things together quickly. This week a Sunday Night game against a team they played in playoffs last season so I see a Green Bay win.
Monday, Chicago 2-2 at Detroit 4-0
Detroit back on Monday night for the 1st time in years. Barry Sanders will say ‘Are You Ready for some Football?’ this week since Hank Williams Jr. got the boot. Lesson that some people don’t get. Hitler is just someone you don’t want to try and compare someone to. Hank learned the hard way.
Lions trying to keep pace with the Packers. With it being Canadian Thanksgiving, should mention Detroit vs Green Bay is happening on US Thanksgiving next month. Their second meeting isn’t till New Year’s Day.
Will have another blog post this week reviewing Sportsnet Magazine. Wrote it before I found out there is a CFRC connection with someone at the Magazine. Should post Monday or Tuesday. Since I’m working this Thanksgiving we’ll see how it goes.