This is a truly dark and sad day for fans of the National Football League everywhere, as the Oakland Raiders' official website is reporting that legendary owner Al Davis has passed away at the age of 82.
Al Davis was one of the few real mavericks that the NFL had left, and had a vision for his team that was truly unique. He had a long journey in the world of football, starting out as an offensive line coach at tiny Adelphi College in 1950, and moving on to places such as The Citadel and the University of Southern California before making it to the NFL. In 1966, he was named the Commissioner of the American Football League, and was vehemently against the merger of the AFL and the NFL, so much so that he resigned as Commissioner rather than be a part of it.
After resigning as AFL Commissioner, he bought 10% of the Oakland Raiders, and a couple of years later hired legendary coach John Madden. Davis has basically been the face of the Oakland Raiders for nearly five decades, and his passing will no doubt have a dramatic effect on the team. Though he had become the subject of some ridicule in more recent times, hopefully at this point we can remember the man for what he brought to the table as far as the shaping of the history of the National Football League.
R.I.P., Al Davis. The National Football League truly won't be the same without you.
Our friends at Silver and Black Pride will have more on the details of Mr. Davis' passing as they become available.