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View Full Version : Happy 80th B'day, Al Davis


LizardState
07-04-2009, 02:39 PM
Such as it is. Al Davis/Raiders history rant to follow:

http://www.mercurynews.com/sports/ci_12751929?nclick_check=1

The article is too kind IMO to Big Al, too much about his early life, the pre-Gangster NFL Owner. the Raiders failures on the field & front office anarchy these last few yrs can be about 98% put on him. A few owners still kiss up to him & his iconic reputation, maybe that deludes him further in his dotage. Bottom line -- The shadow he cast on the League is nothing like it was 25 yrs. ago. IMO only the defense that Rex Ryan built with state of the art corner Ndami Asomugha, ILB Kirk Morrison & FA onetime NFL sack Leader Burgess is source of recent pride, has been & is really underrated. The rest of the franchise, especially the front office, has been an embarrassment, & Cable needs to bring stability to the organization as a top priority.

He's still cocky & unrepentant, he's still the caricature Al. Is a throwback a dinosaur? he is as much a throwback to the feudal baron/gangster NFL owner of another era as, say George Halas was. Just as feisty & combative too. He was the power broker for yrs. with Davis disciple Gene Upshaw running the Players Union, that faded & changed too. Suing the League all those times had a helluva lot to do with that degree of power he retained & lost too, & prompted some results of its own -- remember the Tuck Rule ?

After what's transpired with his franchise the last 8 yrs, let's be real here, it has been nightmarish. And Davis is still arrogant, if you read this article, full of p*ss & venom, still the Brooklyn street gangster at heart, firmly believing that he was the architect of the NFL-AFL merger that gave birth to the cultural phenomenon called the modern NFL, & is writing a bk. about it that will probably btw never be finished. It's true that he was the greatest power broker & deal-maker in the days emerging from that famous merger, but he was one of the catalysts that made it happen, now he is the only survivor. I believe Carroll Rosenbloom & Mr. PR himself, Al's greatest critic Commissioner Pete Rozelle had a lot more to do with it in 1968 when it happened.

I thought Davis has always perceived the NFL as a confederation of intensively inter-competitive corporate fiefdoms, pro sports feudalism with mega-millions at stake as annual profits, & as p/o that he sees himself as the catalyst of the merger, the feudal robber baron who emerged from it as the most powerful gang leader with the most recognizable, certainly the most hated & feared team not named Dallas. And that was true of the League in the 70s/80s after that, & those were Raiders glory yrs. when they went to LA & came back, were the offensive & defensive innovators, & won SBs.

The NFL changed by several degrees of magnitude since then & became noticeably Fortune 500 corporate by type, with the huge TV contract $ & windfall proceeds from memorabilia & NFL gear sales into the hundreds of millions annually. The game itself changed, the players changed, but Al has not changed, still pushing his Vertical Game (note he drafted the fastest WR in the draft last April in DHB), & he has drawn the most criticism as a dinosaur dating back as early as 15 or so yrs. ago, when they returned to crumbling Alameda Co. Coliseum leaving the City of Angels on a sour note.

Maybe he still sees himself as the NFL personified, IDK, but he's been out of touch for at least 2 decades & he still is from all outward appearances. Just as he still is omnipotent & still makes all the decisions, although lapdogs take the heat in the press for these decisions & their all too often really embarrassing results. Ask Lane Kiffin for example if he ever signed or even saw that alleged letter of resignation, or Bill Callahan about his SB 37 preparation, or Denver owner Pat Bowlen, or even John Madden with his own "job burnout" reason for leaving the Raiders how they really feel about Davis, then sit back & watch the sparks fly.

Paranoidmoonduck
07-04-2009, 05:04 PM
You sure like using a lot of words that really didn't need to be in there. What exactly is a feudal robber barron anyway?

619
07-05-2009, 02:20 PM
I thought this was a cool article when I came across it.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/raiders/ci_12751390?source=rss

LizardState
07-06-2009, 10:37 AM
You sure like using a lot of words that really didn't need to be in there. What exactly is a feudal robber barron anyway?

I thought the gangster characterization was better than a feudal robber baron.

That was a medieval baron who kidnapped & held other nobles for ransom, the robber baron term was applied to unscrupulous business tycoons in the Gilded Age a century ago & lately to Wall St. corporate pirates & hedge fund mgrs. I applied it to Al b/c he has sued more people, corporations, & institutions than all other NFL owners combined.

Paranoidmoonduck
07-06-2009, 11:32 AM
That was a medieval baron who kidnapped & held other nobles for ransom

No it wasn't. It was a medieval baron who charged large tolls for crossing his feudal plot. What you're describing would sort of defeat the entire point of the feudal system.

TitleTown088
07-06-2009, 12:03 PM
Here's to 80 more...

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JK guys.