Raiders call Al Davis “a giant among giants”

AP

The Raiders have issued a statement on the passing of owner Al Davis, who died today at the age of 82.  The full text of the statement appears below.

“The Oakland Raiders are deeply saddened by the passing of Al Davis.

“Al Davis was unique – a maverick, a giant among giants, a true legend among legends, the brightest star among stars, a hero, a mentor, a friend.

“Al Davis was the only person in professional football history to have been a scout, assistant coach, head coach, general manager, commissioner and owner.

“He was an innovator, a pioneer with a deep love and passion for the game of football.  His contributions to the game are innumerable and his legacy will endure forever through generations of players, coaches, administrators and fans.

“Al Davis was a champion of diversity who maintained the courage of his convictions. His passion for the game we all love is best exemplified by his famous phrase, ‘COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE.’

“The fire that burns brightest in the Raider organization, ‘THE WILL TO WIN,’ will continue to blaze through the legacy of the great Al Davis.”

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Raiders organization and the family, friends, and colleagues of Al Davis.

42 responses to “Raiders call Al Davis “a giant among giants”

  1. I am sure Al just signed Sweetness to a new deal on the expansion team he took ownership of thats playing just beyond the pearly gates today.

    RIP A.D.

  2. Like him or not…like his team or not…
    he was a giant in the sport and the league will be a little less colorful without him.
    R.I.P.

  3. Became a Raider fan when Al moved the team to LA. The media was full of stories and specials explaining to SoCal fans how Al did things, and how different he and his organization was form others.

    For all the changes Al brought, the one that always has me scratching my head is the sideline cheerleaders. The Dallas Cowboys get the credit, but I still remember Al’s Raiderettes on the sidelines of the old AFL which is where the Cowboys stole the idea from.

    May the Raiders still play the seep vertical game that Al refined from his time with Sid Gillman. And may they still play a basic 4-3 D where the line overpowers the other team, the CB’s can shutdown the best receivers 1 on 1 (was there ever anything like Lester The Molester and Mark Haynes on he field at the same time?), the SS be a headhunter, and the LB’s be average athletes but bright….who look like superstars because of the play in front of them and behind them. And who else put so much emphasis on the kicking game….for FG’s, Kick-Offs and punts? Drafting CB’s and punter Ray Guy with his first pick got Al laughed at, but he ALWAYS had the last laugh.

    A long time before we see one like him again. Surely not in my lifetime.

  4. Al was the Raiders. He will always be the Raiders. I fear that even if the Raider fans dream scenario (Mark takes ownership but lets Amy manage the team + hire a GM) happens, the team will slowly lose the Raider mystique. Al’s Mystique.

    When I was a kid, my parents worked separate shifts. I was fairly distant and detached from my family. On Sundays, however, I always got to share the Raiders with my dad. The high fives, the smiles, the celebrations, and the crushing lows of defeat that defined human emotion — it gave me a love for my family. The best father/son moments with my dad were driving sixteen hours roundtrip on one lucky day per season, traveling across states, to see a game at the Oakland Coliseum. Christmas was defined by the combo gift of matching Raiders gear for me, and matching Raiders gear for Dad. When I moved away to college, we’d call every Sunday and talk about the Raiders for at least an hour — and talk about the Raiders for at least an hour every other day of the week. It defined me. It defined us.

    And I fear that all of that will go away. The only thing I can do is hold back tears. Al Davis was the Raiders. He was my team. My childhood. My life.

  5. For all the changes Al brought, the one that always has me scratching my head is the sideline cheerleaders. The Dallas Cowboys get the credit, but I still remember Al’s Raiderettes on the sidelines of the old AFL which is where the Cowboys stole the idea from.

    ===============================
    Sorry, dude, the Baltimore Colts were the first professional football team to have cheerleaders…in the 50’s.

  6. See you later Darrius heyward-bey and other high round raiders who can run real fast but can’t play.

  7. Matt says: Oct 8, 2011 3:11 PM
    The only thing I can do is hold back tears. Al Davis was the Raiders. He was my team. My childhood. My life.
    ——————————————————

    Growing up in Oakland and saving my paper route money to go see a couple games a year I know exactly how you feel. That time in my life is much farther away today, and that really sucks.

  8. The Raiders ARE Americas team and there is only ONE nation-Al embraced all who loved the game and there is no team in sports with as much diversity as Raider Nation. There are die hard Raider fans from all walks of life in every city thanks to the love of Al and the passion he created.

  9. Al Davis will be missed by all Raiders fans and all true football fans. His mark on the game and the league are indelible. I only hope the Raiders continue play real Raider football the way Al envisioned it.
    Rest In Peace. The Raider Nation will never forget you.

  10. RIP Al…….

    Although I’m not a Raider fan, I consider Mr. Davis a genius for his innovations and contributions to the betterment of professional football as a whole. He’s like the Steve Jobs of football.

    Love him or hate him, today we all enjoy his labors.

  11. RIP Mr. Davis. A true innovator and football fan.

    …but I gotta ask, how long ago did Al write that press release?

  12. As a member of Raider Nation living in football hell (Denver, Colorado) I today mourn the passing of a true and real football pioneer and visionary – without Al we would not have professional football as it is today. My condolences and prayers go out to his family and Raider Nation. I shall sink many beers in his honor this evening, and forever salute one of the most respected (and somewhat reviled) figures in NFL history. Rest in peace, Al, and give ’em hell in whatever afterlife exists out there.

    And while you’re at it, seek out Lyle Alzado and tell him I still have his jersey (from his Raiders days) and remind him he still owes me an autograph.

    GO RAIDERS.

  13. I just realized that this whole time I thought I was a Raider fan I have been an Al Davis too. All you fans of other teams and your good thoughts about Al Davis, much love to ya. R.I.P Al Davis.

  14. To honor their fallen leader, the Raiders will wear a skull and crossbones logo for the balance of the season. At least.

  15. ….and Jamarcus Russell, as we speak, now weighs 410 lbs, is sitting on his sofa and drooling while eating beef jerky and watching cartoons. It was probably this clown who is the biggest bust the league has ever seen, that must have aged Al Davis more than anything.

    R.I.P. Al Davis. You were a maverick, a legend, and you were genuinely respected. You leave a tremendous legacy.

    Jamarcus: You are a useless, brainless, fat slob worthy of nothing.

  16. Al Davis Wellington Mara
    That is a pair that I would like to sit with and watch a game on Sunday

    Al was one of the greats and every fan owes respect to one of the men that made this the game that we all love.

    I wish his family peace and know that his team will not be one that I would want to face this year..

    Rest in Peace Al

  17. AL Davis-unforgetable; Smart enough to try and cut a deal with The Football Beast; Lived long enough to develop the Leaque into what it is; forsaw Americans would appreciate The Super Bowl and it would be a big big money machine the NFL..smart enough to help the NFL be a non-profit organization dedicated to giving the paying public gaming. SUrvived corrupt politics, major earthquakes, lifelong dissing over moving his franchise.. loved winning. In the end smart enough to be kind to The Football Beast. Enjoy Heaven, Al..

  18. When Jack Kent Cooke passed away, his children had to sell the team because they could not pay the inheritance tax associated with the value of the Washington Redskins. Al’s son Mark Davis is by no means a “football guy”. In all likelihood the Oakland Raiders are probably already for sale.

  19. A lot of people dumped on Davis over the last few years and some of it rightfully so but too many forgot how important he was to the Raiders, the AFL and then the NFL.

    The same goes for John Madden.
    Forget about the BAM! and BOOM! commentator and the videos games.
    He was one of the greatest coaches of all time and Al Davis made that possible.

  20. Al Davis was the most influential man in football history. He was a legend and an icon, and I will always remember him as such.

    Rest in piece Uncle Al.
    You’re running a 4.24 forty straight to them pearly gates.

  21. This is truly a sad day in sports. Love him or hate him, Al Davis was truly one of the best minds to step into the NFL and football. I wanted him to at least see the Raiders reach the playoffs again. I just can’t believe he will not be around. He is a legend in every since of the word.

    R.I.P Al Davis

  22. Look guys, Im a Die Hard Bronco fan, but this man is gone! To come on these boards, and post insults, is less classy than anything Al Davis has ever done! At least for this day, give the man some respect! He did do alot for the game of football, no matter what you may think. To the RaiderNation, at least from this Bronco fan, you truly have my sympathy! RIP AD! Bless his family in this sad time. A game is one thing, but a man’s life is another..

  23. Al Davis brought NFL into the 20th century. If you don’t believe it then you’re too young to know anything about football. R.I.P. AL

  24. From Denver with great sadness over the loss of a true visionary of the game I love. you will truly be missed Mr. Davis!

  25. As a life-long fan of the Denver Broncos, I just want to say thank you to Al Davis.

    He made a good rivalry a great one.

    You will be missed Mr. Davis. Rest In Peace.

  26. marshawnlynchlookslikepredator says:Oct 8, 2011 8:32 PM

    Al Davis was the most influential man in football history. He was a legend and an icon, and I will always remember him as such.

    Rest in piece Uncle Al.
    You’re running a 4.24 forty straight to them pearly gates.
    ———————————————————-
    You are forgetting Art Modell. Hated, but almost as influential. I’m certain that both will never be given the credit they actually deserve.

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