As owner, you have the power to fire coaches. Al Davis did. Mike Shanahan. Lane Kiffin. . .
As owner you have the power to trade or bench players. Al Davis did. Marcus Allen. Ken Stabler. . .
As owner you can essentially do whatever you want. Al Davis did.
To have an owner who is so involved, is simultaneously a gift and a curse. There were countless times during Davis’ tenure during which fans rallied against him. For all of his controversial decisions and actions however, the Raiders would not be the black and silver we recognize and love, without his influence. The Raiders under Davis have won 3 Super Bowls and, since their foundation, have not gone a decade without playing in their conference championship game.
Notable players, coaches and eras have come and gone for the Raiders. And yet, despite figures such as Jim Plunkett, Howie Long and John Madden, no individual has been more the face of the Raiders organization than Davis has.
Al Davis was a legend during his lifetime and his death will only serve to perpetuate his impact. Ultimately, his passing can be viewed as the last unexpected revelation in the life of a man whose legacy was anything but predictable. As the Raiders continue their season, one can only hope that they will honor his memory and “Just win, baby.”
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