Just win, baby! RIP Al Davis.
Talent is God Given: be humble.
Fame is man given: be thankful.
Conceit is self given: be careful.
He changed the NFL that's for sure.
Al Davis certainly was not a sweet guy, but, in addition to being an innovator, he deserves credit for being color blind during an era when that virtue was less common. The above article mentioned that Davis hired both Art Shell and Tom Flores as coaches. According to the recent book by Peter Richmond about the John Madden Raiders "Badasses," Davis's Raiders were also the first NFL team to draft a black QB in the first round of the NFL draft, taking Eldridge Dickey in 1968.
More importantly, Davis supported AFL players in their boycott of the 1965 AFL All-Star game in January 1965 in New Orleans. Players voted to boycott the game because of the segregated conditions there and the support of Davis helped forced the game to be moved to Houston. The prior year an outraged Davis had told his black players that they didn't have to play in an exhibition game in Alabams when he discovered seating in the seating in the stadium would be segregated; that game was also moved to Houston.
"Just win baby" was one of Davis's mottos and he didn't care what color you were.
"Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."
Jon Ritchie shares his experience during his time with the Raiders.
Remembering A Pioneer - YouTube
Even though it's definitely sad that Al Davis has passed and he deserves a lot of credit for his accomplishments, I think the Raiders as a franchise will benefit from him not being involved in the football operations anymore. He was passed his prime in that respect.
Raiders fans everywhere rejoiced that the mad king was finally gone, even despite his earlier deeds
I am 29 so I really didn't experience the good Al Davis. Over the past decade he was a worse owner than Mike Brown. He had a revolving door of coaches, fired them, didn't pay them, and then would take the battle into the courts. He because a black eye for the NFL with his antics over the past 5 or so years. Its unfortunate that a man held in such high regard for his football acumen allowed himself to get to the point where he was largely considered a laughing stock in NFL circles. I do think its sad but a reality that many Raiders fans will feel more hopeful about there team with Al no longer calling the shots.