The Maverick

The Oakland Raiders was the main rival of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970’s.   He complained about the Immaculate Reception and the field conditions in the AFC  championship game at Three Rivers Stadium in January of 1976.   Al Davis passed away at age 82, and left an amazing legacy in the NFL.   He was a scout, head coach, and commissioner of the American Football League.   He signed a wide receiver that he would induct in the Hall of Fame named Lance Alworth.    He held grudges with star running back Marcus Allen, former head coach Mike Shanahan and NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle.  As Raiders General Partner, he would win three Super Bowls, and numerous court cases against the NFL.    He was his own man and never was in lock step with the NFL on any issues.    He gave a reclamation project like Jim Plunkett a chance and he led the Raiders two Super Bowl titles.   He also loved renegades like Ted Hendricks, Lyle Alzado, and John Matuszak who played hard and won with the Raiders.  He treated his players like men, and they were no regimental things like curfews or dress codes.   He gave opportunities to minorities and women.    Tom Flores, who was the first Latino head coach in the NFL, and he would win two Super Bowls.   Art Shell, Hall of Fame offensive lineman with the Raiders, and in 1989 was named the first African-American head coach in the modern era.  In 2001, he hired Amy Trask who became the first women to be named president of an NFL team.   He made “Committment to Excellence” and “Just Win Baby” come to life with the Raiders.    Now with his passing today the Raiders and the NFL lost someone who was a true maverick and a real raider.

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