What they’re saying about Al Davis

AP

We’ve been posting some of the remembrances of Al Davis in the rumor mill throughout the day.   (And writing some of our own.)

We wanted to also provide a place to include the other many statements that continue to come out about Davis from around the league. We’ll try to choose the statements that best show Davis’ far-reaching impact. 

We’ll continue to update this page throughout the day.

San Francisco 49ers Owner and Co-Chairman Denise DeBartolo York:

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Al Davis. One of my fondest memories of Al is a dinner we shared many years ago. During that meal, he presented my father with a very special opportunity to purchase the San Francisco 49ers. In recent years, we were pleased to spend time with Al as our guest in the Owners’ Suite at Candlestick Park while our two teams met on the field. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends.”

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh:

 “Mr. Davis is a titan and pillar of the game. I had the pleasure and honor to know him and to work for him. And to me, he is the greatest. The autumn wind will always be a Raider.”

Chargers owner Dean Spanos:

“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.

“The NFL and NFL fans everywhere – not just Raiders fans – owe Al Davis for helping to build the game we all love so much. He will be missed.”

Patriots coach Bill Belichick:

“While I am saddened by the news of Mr. Davis’ passing, I will forever be heartened and enriched by the many personal interactions I had with him over the years. His winning, his football knowledge, his passion for his team and 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.”

Bengals president Mike Brown:

“Al was a fiery individualist, an important part of pro football — the AFL and NFL –for almost 50 years. His teams had times of great success, and he was heavily involved both on and off the field. I admired the achievements the Raiders attained under Al.

 “Personally, I was fond of him. He battled with the NFL, and a lot of us wished that had not been where things went, but under all that was a person I respected. It saddens me to hear that he is gone.”

Linebacker Thomas Howard:

“He was an icon, a legend, a pioneer. I’m honored that he chose to draft me. It was a great pleasure being a part of Raider Nation, part of all the great teams and players that put on that Silver and Black. You don’t know what it means to be a Raider until you are a Raider, and that was his team. He spoke to you not just as an owner but as a coach. He was very hands-on. You felt his presence, and he really cared for you and your family.”

Broncos coach John Fox:

“I want to offer my sincere condolences to the Davis family. I will always be grateful for the opportunity Mr. Davis gave me to become a coordinator in the NFL. There is no doubt that I learned a lot of football from him during my time with the Raiders. Al Davis was great for the game, and he will be missed.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones:

“In my eyes, so much of his legacy will be defined by the loyalty he had for the men who played for the Raiders and the love that they had for him. That was a bond that extended beyond the playing years and lasted lifetimes.

“His contributions and expertise were inspiring at every level–coach, general manager, owner and commissioner. There was no element of the game of professional football for which Al did not enjoy a thorough and complete level of knowledge and passion.

“He welcomed me and my family to the NFL 23 years ago and was a trusted friend for all of our time in professional football. We will miss him deeply and we are thinking of Mark and Carol at this difficult time.”

Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt:

“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.”

Broncos owner Pat Bowlen:

“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.”

73 responses to “What they’re saying about Al Davis

  1. how about the truth….
    some people dont know when enough is enough and it just gets worse when no one around u tells u so….
    thus is the raiders and al davis the last 10 years

  2. Al Davis became somewhat “eccentric” in his late years but no one can question his love for the NFL and his Raiders. Probably no other single person meant more to the NFL than Al Davis, he alone is most responsible for making the NFL what it is…..the most popular professional sport in this country. Condolences to the Davis family and the entire Raider nation.

  3. Bills Owner Ralph Wilson:

    The Buffalo Bills have issued a statement from team owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. on the death of Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis.

    “I am deeply saddened with the news of the passing of Al Davis. Al and I were very good friends for many years and I admired his innovative approach to the game of football.”

    “Al had a great impact on the American Football League that carried over to the National Football League after the merger and his competitive spirit embodied our sport.”

    “Al’s Raiders may not have won every game, but you knew that you were in for a tough, hard-fought contest every time you played them, regardless of the score.”

    “I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Al’s family, friends, the Raiders organization and Raiders fans everywhere.”

  4. Wow. Not even close to a Raiders fan, but this man truly lived, breathed, ate and shat football.

    RIP Mr. Davis. “Just win baby, win!”

  5. I’m very Sadded by ALs passing today, I just need the Oakland Raiders to go out and win on Sunday!!! “Just Win Baby!!!!”

  6. for a lot of peopel they loved to hate him, but now they can see where that hatred was , was in reality love.
    It is only fitting that he passed in the winds of an autumn day.

    The Autumn wind is a pirate
    Blustering in from sea
    With a rollicking song he sweeps along
    Swaggering boisterously.
    His face is weatherbeaten
    He wears a hooded sash
    With a silver hat about his head
    And a bristling black mustache
    He growls as he storms the country
    A villain big and bold
    And the trees all shake and quiver and quake
    As he robs them of their gold.
    The Autumn wind is a Raider
    Pillaging just for fun
    He’ll knock you ’round and upside down
    And laugh when he’s conquered and won.

    RIP AL!

  7. @bspurloc

    Stop being an idiot and show the man some respect. If it weren’t for Al Davis, you wouldn’t even have this moment right now to complain about Al Davis’ performance the last 10 years.

    Did that just blow your mind? Of course it did.

  8. Why can’t people put out their own statements? I’m sure the thoughts are genuine but seriously, nobody talks like this in real life.

  9. @ bspurloc and Patriot42: Way to stay classy.

    Rest In Peace Mr. Davis. THE Nation will miss you.

  10. Take care Mr. Davis… you will be missed! Much respect to a great man that helped make the NFL what it is today! Thoughts go out to the Davis family, the Raiders organization, and Raider Nation!

  11. No Raider fan here, but much respect out to Raider fans everywhere. Condolences to his family. And I’ll be picking Oakland next week in my suicide pool. 🙂 RIP Al. Thank u for molding the league into what it is today

  12. Re: Anyone know why he hated Marcus Allen?

    He found out that after OJ extended his home to Marcus (his rookie year) when the Raiders played in L.A., Marcus thanked OJ by doing his wife.

    As we all know Al was a person of great principle…..

  13. bspurloc says:
    Oct 8, 2011 5:02 PM
    how about the truth….
    some people dont know when enough is enough and it just gets worse when no one around u tells u so….
    thus is the raiders and al davis the last 10 years

    the truth 178 thumbs down and counting

    if you didnt notice, he gave many of his “rivals” the opportunity to GET IN THE NFL IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    there wouldnt have been the DeBartolo’s to enter football, the Spanos, his rivalry with Denver basically BUILT Denver. His teams were among the greatest and most controversial games ever played, of course the sun had set on his acumen, but that doesnt diminish his legacy, and when your enemies and rivals give tribute and pay respect, it is the ultimate tribute.

    RIP, Al Davis

  14. Pats fan here. RIP to Mr. Davis who was certainly a huge presence in all his years in the game. The man had a lot of success and can say he always did it his way.

  15. Right now, Al is laughing as he prepares to watch tomorrow’s game with John Matuzak, Jack Tatum, Stacy Toran, Lyle Alzado, Leon Bender, Darrell Russell, Gene Uphaw, George Blanda, Marquis Cooper, Roger Hagberg, Eric Turner, Dave Waymer, et al.

    The current Raider team just has to know that…

  16. Nothing better than people gushing over a guy who died when a week ago they were calling him every name in the book.

    Phony phony phony! Lane Kiffin said what he said!? What?! What a liar. He hated David to the core.

    It’s sad, he did a lot for the NFL, but for crying out loud, some guy dying doesn’t erase the years of him being a jerk and a terrible owner.

    Death doesn’t erase your flaws or the people you harmed along the way. See: The city of LA, Lane Kiffin, and the countless players and coaches careers he screwed over.

  17. the guy was nuts…..

    he called chris mortensen a professional liar, he sued the carolina panthers over colors. there is a difference between eccentric and crazy.

  18. Odd because Spanos and Hunt both hated Al’s guts. What’s next…heartfelt quotes from Lane Kiffin and Mike Shanahan?

    PS The reason Al hated Marcus Allen had nothing to do with OJ or his wife. It had to do with Marcus wanting more money on an existing contract etc. Al couldn’t give a sh*t who his players were putting it to. If he had, he wouldn’t have been able to field a team during the 70’s and 80’s.

  19. Legend. He may have lost his fastball over the last 10 yrs or so but he was one of the most important architects of the NFL as we know it today. Never hesitated to take them on either. An original and one of the true mavericks.

  20. I sincerely thank you, Mr. Davis. So glad I grew up Raiders.

    I regret we’re already going there, but it may help to understand that the scuttlebutt around L.A. also had Marcus Allen doing Al’s girlfriend…

  21. To the few of those that have no idea what impact this man left behind, don’t deserve to watch football. How often do you hear a guy helping their enemy get better? NEVER!!! Al Davis sacrificed himself for the good of the game. During this last decade, the game caught up to him and passed him bye. It’s like he pulled his car over and helped you change your flat tire and as soon as he gets a flat tire, you laugh and point driving away. That’s exactly how these past 7 years have been before last year. You can’t forget what the guy’s done to help get the game where it is today. If having to read article after article about Al Davis is annoying to you then maybe you shouldn’t be here. As a matter of fact, take your sorry @$S on outta here.

  22. bspurloc says:
    Oct 8, 2011 5:02 PM
    how about the truth….
    some people dont know when enough is enough and it just gets worse when no one around u tells u so….
    thus is the raiders and al davis the last 10 years

    If I could snatch you through this screen and beat the living cr@p out of you, the world would be a better place. Al Davis knew, and contributed, more to football, than most will in 2 life times.

  23. bender4700 says:Oct 8, 2011 7:21 PM

    Nothing better than people gushing over a guy who died when a week ago they were calling him every name in the book.

    Phony phony phony! Lane Kiffin said what he said!? What?! What a liar. He hated David to the core.

    It’s sad, he did a lot for the NFL, but for crying out loud, some guy dying doesn’t erase the years of him being a jerk and a terrible owner.

    Death doesn’t erase your flaws or the people you harmed along the way. See: The city of LA, Lane Kiffin, and the countless players and coaches careers he screwed over

    ___________________________

    Do you happen to know who owns the record for the most HOF acceptance speeches? That would be Al Davis. He touched the lives of NINE different people enough that in their greatest achievement, the HOF, they chose “Coach Davis” to speak on their behalf. You don’t earn that kind of respect by being a bad owner or a jerk. He earned it by showing loyalty to people who had mutual respect for him and for those people who would today run through a wall for him. He’s the only person to ever coach, gm, AND own a franchise. He was even a commissioner. He’s done more for the NFL than most could in two lifetimes. You are correct that it is stupid for people who obviously hated him to now show him respect, but I promise you the number of negative comments would be greatly out-weighed by the adoring fans and collegues who will continue to show the respect he has deserved for years.

    RIP Coach Davis,
    WIN, LOSE, OR TIE, RAIDERS TILL I DIE!

  24. One thing I can’t stand is FAKE Raider fans. Who say things like the game passed him by, or it’s been frustrating these past years, but you were good in you’re day.

    How did the game pass Al Davis by? Who do you all think started the trend of hiring young Head coaches, like Mike Tomlin, Raheem Morris, Josh Mcdaniels etc…That was Al Davis by hiring Gruden and LANCE Kiffin.

    How did the game pass Al Davis by? We were in the Superbowl as recent as 2002, and basically lost to ourselves as the Bucs were Oakland Raiders East..that was the only time that the Bucs beat us in the Bucs entire existence..they had our coach and our program,

    How did the game pass Al Davis? He wanted to hire Sean Payton in 2004. The weasel Gruden talked Payton out of it..Had Payton took the job, that’s 10 more years of greatness and the 8 year 11 loss drought doesn’t happen.

    Jamarcus Russell and DHB were about chasing greatness..thats what a Raider is about..chasing greatness. If Jamarcus Russell realized his potential the Raiders have a potential dynasty..if DHB realizes his potential hes becomes a force.if they’re busts then that’s what it is..but a Raider saw potential greatness in them so a Raider took a shot at them.thats what the Raiders are about.The pursuit of greatness.

    If you didn’t like Al Davis these past years..you’re a fake Raider fan..cause you can not like the Raiders and hate Al Davis…AL DAVIS IS THE RAIDERS!!!!

  25. @Frostbelt

    that was unappropriate use the little manners your mama gave you. show some respect to a man whos greater than you great than most of us. R.I.P coach Davis

    frostbelt says:
    Oct 8, 2011 5:41 PM
    Call him Mr.Raider… call him Mr. Wrong… call him Insane…

    13 65

  26. @thejuddstir

    “no other single person meant more to the NFL than Al Davis, he alone is most responsible for making the NFL what it is…..”
    ———————

    Sorry guy but Lamar Hunt is the REASON we have a super bowl today and reason NFL is where it is today. Go study the facts..

    Now with all do respect for Mr.davis(rest in peace), his love for his Raiders may have been sometimes their downfall these last few years, but his passion is what MADE the Raiders. So being a chiefs fan, I say sorry for your loss Raider Nation and to Mr. Davis Family.. Til we meet in a couple weeks..

  27. The autumn wind has been a Supercharger for quite a while now….

    But all BS aside, to the Davis family, and all decent and normal Raider fans (albeit a small group) everywhere, long live Al, a true pioneer!

    Would you guys please take Norv back now?

  28. every time al davis was in an article here, davis was crucified. because he dies, everybody talks all lofty and sweet. davis did do alot for football in the afl and nfl. if he had stepped down years ago and let someone else run the team, his legacy would have been intact. he choose to be the crazy old man that hurt the team for years. joe patero (penn state coach) is frickin senile. he is too f’d up to step down. it’s a shame.

  29. bender4700 says:
    Oct 8, 2011 7:21 PM
    Nothing better than people gushing over a guy who died when a week ago they were calling him every name in the book.

    Phony phony phony! Lane Kiffin said what he said!? What?! What a liar. He hated David to the core.

    It’s sad, he did a lot for the NFL, but for crying out loud, some guy dying doesn’t erase the years of him being a jerk and a terrible owner.

    Death doesn’t erase your flaws or the people you harmed along the way. See: The city of LA, Lane Kiffin, and the countless players and coaches careers he screwed over.
    =============================

    Not to mention the MILLIONS of trolls that come out under bridges.

    thanks “bend-over4700” – he wasnt “some guy dying” he earned 3 rings, went into the Hall of Fame and presided over 5 other Hall of Fame inductees.

    Lane Kiffin, puhleze. What career did even have to begin with?

  30. I love the man.

    Knowing Al, I bet he just filed a law suit against God, and is attempting to move heaven to Oakland.

    Rest well….

  31. Sheesh, all these comments and stories about Al Davis. Seems so hypocritical since most Oakland fans were wishing he would die already. So now that he has, there isn’t a dry eye in the NFL. I’ll bet Jerry Jones is publicly crying his eyes out right now. Guess the NFL will mandate that all teams wear the black AD patch on the unis for the rest of the season?

  32. This post will never be told but here goes: Fifty years I’ve been a Raiders fan and will be “till the day I die , those who are to young and ignorant who are dissing Al can SUCK ME DRY.

  33. As a Steeler Fan. I can say he was a great member of this sport and also it’s devils advocate That turned people off on Al. But in the end he did some good some bad and he was never paranoid because everyone was out to get him and his raiders! (immaculate reception,tuck rule,shannanhan etc

  34. The San Francisco Bay Area has lost 2 individuals which have had international influence the first being Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. & PIXAR movies the second being Mr. AL DAVIS.

    Most people have no clue how popular the RAIDERZ are outside the USA…but in my travels to Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica and Colombia I always ran into Raider Nation gear whether it be hats, key chains or even PANCHOS!!!

    I went to last weeks game in Oakland and it never crossed my mind that this would be my last chance to see Mr. Davis. I am 49ers fan 1st yet, my heart opened to Raiders Nation everytime they embraced and helped rejuvenate ex-49er players such as Roger Craig, “Romo” and Jerry Rice. Mr. Davis had done it many times before with other famous players such as Super Bowl Champion QB- Jim Plunkett.

    In some sense, Mr. Al Davis was the Statue of Liberty of the NFL in “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

  35. RIP Coach.
    you are truly a pioneer.
    i watched the raiders bucs superbowl in a bar in germany by myself till 5 am watching your team get pummeled.
    as a lifelong seahawks fan i felt then that you deserved better.

    just win, baby!

  36. It’s laughable that everyone is heaping praise on the man that did everything he could to tear down the league. He continually acted like a putulent child in the face of the rules, and acted like he was above them. Anyone with basic knowledge knows who the architect of the modern league was, and the man was revieled by Davis. Yeah, Al is finally dead. May he rest in some sort of peace, wherever he ends up, but lets not all act like he was some asset to pro football. He was all thats wrong with the game. The fact that people keep claiming he was “loyal” is a smack in the face of the real loyal owners out there.

  37. Through it all……every football fan owes a debt of gratitude to Al Davis for his passion, vision and commitment to his team and to the game.

    You may not agree with some of the things that he did, but the bottom line is that his true passion was the game of football.

    I’m not a Raiders fan, but from the time I can remember, Al Davis brought a certain magic and swagger that will never be forgotten or seen again.

    Watch the Showtime documentary and you will learn just how passionate and driven this man was and his pride for the Raiders and the entire AFL.

    You may not have agreed or liked the guy, but as a football fan, I mourn his loss and most important THANK Al Davis for what he did for the NFL every Sunday.

    And it’s true…..the Autumn Wind will always be a Raider thanks to Al.

    Rest in Peace.

  38. Really? What kind of people visit this site that give a thumbs down to a person paying their respects to someone who has passed away?

    It’s not hypocritical to remember the positives of someone who has passed away. It’s not that they’re ignoring or forgetting the negatives, it’s just in poor taste to bring them up upon their death.

    Peace & comfort to all who are mourning the death of Al Davis.

  39. Forget being a fan of Oakland, or even of football, just try being human and show the man some f***ing respect, my condolences to the Davis family, and to the rest of the Raider nation, just win baby.

  40. For those talking Marcus and that nonsense, here’s the thing about Marcus Allen that makes me take Al’s side after all these years: How many former players ever really speak ill of Al? How many players has Al “overpaid” to come to or remain with the Raiders? There is (or sadly “was”) no more loyal a Raider than Al himself, yet one of the greatest players on the field is cut out of the family? Al held on to everybody, claimed every player that wore the Silver and Black. He had a spot in coaching, scouting, admin, lackey, etc if you were one of his guys. Marcus did something wrong besides cry about money, believe it.

  41. slickster35 says:
    Oct 8, 2011 11:41 PM
    It’s laughable that everyone is heaping praise on the man that did everything he could to tear down the league. He continually acted like a putulent child in the face of the rules, and acted like he was above them. Anyone with basic knowledge knows who the architect of the modern league was, and the man was revieled by Davis. Yeah, Al is finally dead. May he rest in some sort of peace, wherever he ends up, but lets not all act like he was some asset to pro football. He was all thats wrong with the game. The fact that people keep claiming he was “loyal” is a smack in the face of the real loyal owners out there.
    ————————————————–
    You sir are a complete IDIOT…FIFTY YEARS in the NFL? Vertical passing game, racial intergration both on the field (google his time in USC as a coach) and off the field (first minority coaches and female front office CEO).

    Understand the hate for Mr. Davis/Raiders, but your post is just silly.

  42. The Raiders have one quality that separates them from the rest of the NFL, and that is swagger. And Al Davis is the one who gave that to them. In a world of buttoned-down corporate executroids Al Davis was a man, a real man, with tons of swagger. The world is richer for having had him, and poorer for having lost him. RIP, Mr. Raider!

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