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View Full Version : Rick Reilly Eulogy for Al Davis


BowlenBall
10-15-2011, 01:14 AM
I've been so sick and tired of all the praise for Al Davis this week after he died -- I'm sure Rick Reilly's going to be lambasted for writing this article, but I thought that it was appropriate. Davis did some truly awful things over the years, and sometime you DO need to speak ill of the dead.

http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/7098616/rick-reilly-reflects-al-davis-commitment-honesty

Some of my favorite excerpts:

Yes, Al Davis was "infallibly loyal to his players and officials: to be a Raider was to be a Raider for life" (AP).

Except when he'd turn on them. He hired a former Raiders assistant, Tom Cable, as head coach, then fired him in 2010, the sixth coach he'd fired in nine seasons. He fired Mike Shanahan and never paid the remaining $250,000 on his contract. He fired Kiffin after less than two seasons and tried to weasel out on what remained of Kiffin's $6 million deal. He benched Hall of Fame RB Marcus Allen for two years for no other reason than jealousy, inspiring fans to wear "Free Marcus" T-shirts. Allen sued, then became the NFL Comeback Player of the Year in Kansas City. Prince of a guy, Al Davis.

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Yes, Al Davis believed in "A Commitment to Excellence."

Yet he didn't demand it in himself. The facilities he put his teams in were among the shabbiest in the NFL. I covered the world champ '83 L.A. Raiders at an abandoned elementary school in El Segundo. I can remember Howie Long changing out of his pads in a dilapidated classroom. The Raiders' current headquarters in Oakland would make a lovely Goodwill store. And yet Davis constantly complained about the stadiums he was given -- the L.A. Coliseum and Oakland Alameda Coliseum -- to great profit. He suckered the city of Irwindale, Calif., out of $10 million with fake interest in moving his team there, then took $30 million from Oakland to come back.

---------------------

Yes, Al Davis could be "generous to a fault" (former Raider Warren Bankston). He took care of former Raiders who were hurting and even paid for the funeral of Kansas City Chief Derrick Thomas.

Yet after practices, Davis would routinely throw a towel down on the locker room floor and wait for somebody to clean his shoes. No please, no thank you. Just do it, baby. And grown men would.

DarkHorse30
10-15-2011, 09:54 AM
I don't think he'll be missed in Oakland.

R8R H8R
10-15-2011, 01:29 PM
Great article. here are a couple of my favorite paragraph's:

Yes, Al Davis' life should be celebrated. He was a maverick and an innovator, "the brains behind the AFL-NFL merger, the curator of the downfield passing game" (Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times).

But let's be sure to add: As ahead of the curve as he was in the '70s and '80s, he was that far behind in the last two decades. Davis had three winning seasons in the last 16. He was exactly like those Members Only jackets he wore -- fashionable once, dreadfully dated forever after.


Yes, Al Davis' catchy "Just win, baby" became a mantra that transcended sports.

Just win, baby, no matter who you trample to get there. The problem is, people take only so much trampling. In 1983, Davis could've had Stanford QB John Elway. Davis needed to work a three-way deal with Baltimore and Chicago, but the Bears despised him. So Broncos owner Edgar Kaiser, a man who knew less about football than Davis' housekeeper, snuck in at the last minute and got a player who would lead the team to five Super Bowls. Karma.

Karma indeed. :strong:

Bronx33
10-15-2011, 01:33 PM
AL was a people person

broncocalijohn
10-15-2011, 02:07 PM
I dont mind the article at all. I lambasted him as well as praised him for his AFL work. I remember a RIP for Frontiere here at the Mane. I posted, "The wicked witch is dead!" Some people deserve the unfavorable memories as they wrecked havoc on those when they were alive.

Agamemnon
10-15-2011, 02:40 PM
I like it. Dude was a douchebag. Just because he's dead that doesn't magically change.

extralife
10-15-2011, 02:49 PM
this has nothing to do with Al Davis and everything to do with Rick Reilly, who loves attention (and also happens to be a vapid, baseless moralizer. oh, and a complete sycophant).

SonOfLe-loLang
10-15-2011, 02:50 PM
Same thing happened with Steinbrenner died. People seemed to forget he was an absolute tyrant. Generally, folks are almost more well liked posthumously.

Agamemnon
10-15-2011, 02:55 PM
Same thing happened with Steinbrenner died. People seemed to forget he was an absolute tyrant. Generally, folks are almost more well liked posthumously.

Outside of guys like Hitler and Stalin it's true. And it's something that annoys me. It just devalues the true praise for genuinely great people when they die.

campocorto
10-15-2011, 04:18 PM
Al Davis made football more exciting. He played the part of a villain to a T. Since I am not a perfect person and a flawed individual, I can't pass judgment on his character, but Davis' antics added to our rivalry and I am grateful for that.

campocorto
10-15-2011, 04:19 PM
I like it. Dude was a douchebag. Just because he's dead that doesn't magically change.

Did you ever encounter Al Davis on a personal level?

Who the **** are you anyway? Davis is a Hall of Famer with rings. You will be lucky to live the life he has when you take your dirt nap. You are just some stiff that nobody gives two ****s about.

Agamemnon
10-15-2011, 04:52 PM
Did you ever encounter Al Davis on a personal level?

Who the **** are you anyway? Davis is a Hall of Famer with rings. You will be lucky to live the life he has when you take your dirt nap. You are just some stiff that nobody gives two ****s about.

Are you seriously attacking a fellow Bronco fan over Al Davis of all people? Seriously?

And are you saying that if a person isn't famous, they aren't worthwhile as a human being?

You're off to a great start dip****. Welcome to my ignore list. Keep posting like this and you'll be on many real soon.

maven
10-15-2011, 04:54 PM
What is interesting is, as the days go by Al Davis becomes talked about less and less.

extralife
10-15-2011, 04:57 PM
how is that interesting in the slightest? what, is the quantity of discourse supposed to remain constant from now until the end of time?

maven
10-15-2011, 05:08 PM
how is that interesting in the slightest? what, is the quantity of discourse supposed to remain constant from now until the end of time?

Just interesting that is all. No Al davis this that, no jokes, raider week with the crypt keeper. He's gone.

myMind
10-15-2011, 05:55 PM
What is interesting is, as the days go by Al Davis becomes talked about less and less.

How is that interesting? That's what happens when people die.

EDIT** Lol, I should have kept reading the thread.
Carry on.

broncocalijohn
10-15-2011, 08:39 PM
Are you seriously attacking a fellow Bronco fan over Al Davis of all people? Seriously?

And are you saying that if a person isn't famous, they aren't worthwhile as a human being?

You're off to a great start dip****. Welcome to my ignore list. Keep posting like this and you'll be on many real soon.

Read his 21st post and you have to wonder if he is really a Broncos fan. Seems to me he is a genuine Raiders fan and too much of a wussy to admit it.

BowlenBall
10-18-2011, 08:18 AM
Outside of guys like Hitler and Stalin it's true. And it's something that annoys me. It just devalues the true praise for genuinely great people when they die.

Exactly -- and I honestly feel that Davis was an antisocial personality who valued himself over his team, and his team over the league and the city that it was in. He betrayed players like Marcus Allen, betrayed both the city of Oakland and Los Angeles, betrayed coaches like Mike Shanahan and Lane Kiffin, and betrayed the entire NFL more than once for his own personal gains.

Al Davis stood for Al Davis -- good riddance.

Kaylore
10-18-2011, 08:21 AM
Don't forget when he tried to cheat that widow out of her money because her husband, his player, died.

BowlenBall
10-18-2011, 08:24 AM
Don't forget when he tried to cheat that widow out of her money because her husband, his player, died.

Not that I'm surprised, but I never heard that one.... got a link?

Kaylore
10-18-2011, 08:55 AM
Not that I'm surprised, but I never heard that one.... got a link?
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1998/09/23/SP49041.DTL&type=printable

BENDER UPDATE: The Management Council sent its written response to the NFL Players Association regarding the Leon Bender matter. The NFLPA filed a grievance, claiming the Raiders still owe Bender's estate $600,000 of his $1.2 million signing bonus.

Bender, the team's second- round draft choice in April, died May 30 of an apparent epileptic seizure, 18 days after signing his contract.

Richard Berthelesen, general counsel of the NFLPA, said the response claimed the Raiders do not owe the money because of the standard clause that a contract "terminates upon death."

The NFLPA contends this does not relieve the Raiders from paying Bender's signing bonus. The Raiders made the first $600,000 payment before his death; they did not make the second payment, due September 15.

Berthelesen said the case now proceeds to an arbitration hearing, probably in the next three to four months.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1998/09/19/SP55189.DTL


There also is some dispute about the initial $600,000 payment. Berthelsen said the Raiders told Bender's agent, Eugene Parker, they would seek to recover the first payment if a claim was made for the balance.

I do gotta give credit and give thanks to one of the more epic beat downs by an old poster -Slap- who brought this to my attention in the thread linked below.

As a bonus, you also get to see Maximus completely melt down unable to defend the scum that was Al Davis. Trying to cheat a widow with two infants....those people have a special place.

http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?t=51605&page=2

bendog
10-18-2011, 09:31 AM
http://static.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs02/columnist/2003/0125/1498792.html

Pasquarelli did this story before the Oak TB superbowl. I'm not sure D$v$s ever paid up. There was some talk that it wasn't the money, per se, but that the faide wanted cap relief. Since the guy never even made it to a training camp, I can see why the Faide didn't think even the signing bonus should count ... but still, you gotta pay the kid's survivors the bonus.

BowlenBall
10-18-2011, 10:10 AM
http://static.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs02/columnist/2003/0125/1498792.html

Pasquarelli did this story before the Oak TB superbowl. I'm not sure D$v$s ever paid up. There was some talk that it wasn't the money, per se, but that the faide wanted cap relief. Since the guy never even made it to a training camp, I can see why the Faide didn't think even the signing bonus should count ... but still, you gotta pay the kid's survivors the bonus.

Wow... just wow... move over Satan, now there's something meatier....

bendog
10-18-2011, 10:21 AM
Wow... just wow... move over Satan, now there's something meatier....

yeah. I don't think A$ ever really cared about money except from a competitive stand point, and I can't really say I blame him for not paying a fired coach if he could get away with it, but .... sometimes you just gotta do the right thing. And that was not the right thing. The article talks about Bender's mother living in a "modest" house. Still, A$ was often generous with ex-players. He kept Willie Brown, Tatum and Biletnikof around. I can't work up any hate for the guy. Mike Brown sucked like a parsite off of the fans for years.

Kaylore
10-18-2011, 10:41 AM
yeah. I don't think A$ ever really cared about money except from a competitive stand point, and I can't really say I blame him for not paying a fired coach if he could get away with it, but .... sometimes you just gotta do the right thing. And that was not the right thing. The article talks about Bender's mother living in a "modest" house. Still, A$ was often generous with ex-players. He kept Willie Brown, Tatum and Biletnikof around. I can't work up any hate for the guy. Mike Brown sucked like a parsite off of the fans for years.

Really? Not paying a widow so you can stay competitive by all of 600k for your game?

And anyone that "can understand" why he wouldn't want to pay her, and not be disgusted by why has major moral problems. This alone sours me on Al Davis completely.

bendog
10-18-2011, 10:50 AM
Really? Not paying a widow so you can stay competitive by all off 600k for your game?

And anyone that "can understand" why he wouldn't want to pay her, and not be disgusted by why has major moral problems. This alone sours me on Al Davis completely.

No, that's not what I said ... or tried to say. The raider spin was D$v$s had no problem paying, but he didn't want to count the cap. I can see that. His refusal to pay was to pressure the League for cap relief. Or that was the raider spin. The kid never even made it to training camp. But still, doing the right thing means you gotta pay even if it screws your cap numbers. D$v$s was sure the League was out to get him, and he may not have been totally wrong about that.

I still don't know if he ultimately paid. I googled but didn't see anything other than the players association was pursuing it ... way back when.

What I tried to say was that if anyone disliked A$ because he was "cheap," I just don't thing the overall facts bear that out. He did do some ****ty stuff, not the least of which was pulling the rug out from under the Oakland fans who'd supported the team from the early dark AFL days. But he did that nasty **** because he was trying to get a competitive advantage. Conversely, Mike Brown is just a cheap ass pos who's been ripping off Cinny fans for decades. At least A$ was trying to win games.

DomCasual
10-18-2011, 12:35 PM
I deliberately kept away from any Al Davis discussion after his death. If he was a great man, as many said, it must have been when he wasn't doing things in the public eye. The parts of him that we saw in the media, and the parts of him that people who knew him related in the media - well, those made him look like a creep.

Kaylore
10-18-2011, 12:42 PM
No, that's not what I said ... or tried to say. The raider spin was D$v$s had no problem paying, but he didn't want to count the cap. I can see that. His refusal to pay was to pressure the League for cap relief. Or that was the raider spin. The kid never even made it to training camp. But still, doing the right thing means you gotta pay even if it screws your cap numbers. D$v$s was sure the League was out to get him, and he may not have been totally wrong about that.

I still don't know if he ultimately paid. I googled but didn't see anything other than the players association was pursuing it ... way back when.

What I tried to say was that if anyone disliked A$ because he was "cheap," I just don't thing the overall facts bear that out. He did do some ****ty stuff, not the least of which was pulling the rug out from under the Oakland fans who'd supported the team from the early dark AFL days. But he did that nasty **** because he was trying to get a competitive advantage. Conversely, Mike Brown is just a cheap ass pos who's been ripping off Cinny fans for decades. At least A$ was trying to win games.
I see what you're saying. Asking for cap relief given the circumstances. Unfortunately he was using the argument that the contract was ended at the time of death as an argument for both the cap relief and an excuse not the pay the remainder of the sighing bonus. I'm not going to dance on his grave, and I respect what he did for the game of football. However I don't consider him to be a good person and certainly find a lot of what he did at least amoral and at worst completely despicable.

bendog
10-18-2011, 12:58 PM
[QUOTE=Kaylore;However I don't consider him to be a good person and certainly find a lot of what he did at least amoral and at worst completely despicable.[/QUOTE]

I don't disagree. However, w/o him there very possibly, even likely, wouldn't be a denver broncos. Some people reviled George Halas. Paul Brown loved football, but he may have loved money even more. D$v$s did ****ty things along the way. He took care of his family, and they actually loved him, and he didn't use his power to prey on weaker people for immoral pleasures ... so I can't work up any hate. And honestly, the old guy brought me a lot of laughs with some of his clusterfks.

BroncoBuff
10-18-2011, 11:10 PM
Yes, Al Davis' life should be celebrated. He was a maverick and an innovator, "the brains behind the AFL-NFL merger, the curator of the downfield passing game" (Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times).

Not true, not according to "Full Color Football," the great AFL documentary series a couple years ago. Davis was infuriated at Lamar Hunt for the merger. In fact, Hunt and some other AFL owners met with NFL people without telling Davis. It was there I think in Houston where they closed the merger.

They said Davis was 100% against the merger, he thought the AFL would win in the end.

BroncoBuff
10-18-2011, 11:22 PM
He fired Mike Shanahan and never paid the remaining $250,000 on his contract.

Not trying to defend Crypt-keeper's every move, but this was Mike's fault. Shanahan lost two grievances he filed with the league - or one grievance and then the appeal of that grievance. Contract details are not public, not for coaches anyway, but most have heard that the contract specifically forbade Mike taking a job with Denver whenever his employment with the Raiders ended.

Mike could've sued in civil court after he exhausted his NFL remedies, but he didn't. That doesn't sound like Mike I know ... sounds like a Mike who knew that everything becomes public record in court, and he knew he'd lose again if he did.

Shananahan
10-19-2011, 06:21 AM
I do gotta give credit and give thanks to one of the more epic beat downs by an old poster -Slap- who brought this to my attention in the thread linked below.

As a bonus, you also get to see Maximus completely melt down unable to defend the scum that was Al Davis. Trying to cheat a widow with two infants....those people have a special place.

http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?t=51605&page=2
Thanks for this. I do miss Slap.

Shananahan
10-19-2011, 06:23 AM
this has nothing to do with Al Davis and everything to do with Rick Reilly, who has enough clout to write an article like this without seeming disrespectful (and also happens to be an enormous Elway fan, and probably a closet Bronco fan as well).
Fixed it for you.

bendog
10-19-2011, 09:10 AM
In 1994 while coaching for the 49ers, Shanahan added to the ongoing feud between him and Raiders owner Al Davis when he had then QB Elvis Grbac throw a football at Davis's head. [4]

http://larrybrownsports.com/football/elvis-grbac-mike-shanahan-ordered-me-to-thr ow-a-football-at-al-davis-head/91492

Natedog24
10-19-2011, 05:33 PM
In 1994 while coaching for the 49ers, Shanahan added to the ongoing feud between him and Raiders owner Al Davis when he had then QB Elvis Grbac throw a football at Davis's head. [4]

http://larrybrownsports.com/football/elvis-grbac-mike-shanahan-ordered-me-to-thr ow-a-football-at-al-davis-head/91492

Al had nothing to worry about

Bronx33
10-19-2011, 05:41 PM
Thanks for this. I do miss Slap.


Ditto and he owned minimus up one side and down the other in that thread.

broncocalijohn
10-19-2011, 07:14 PM
I missed this thread originally http://www.orangemane.com/BB/usercp.php but with Minimus being on my iggy list for years, I probably saw his name in it and skipped over the thread.