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NFL Loses a Legend With Death of Oakland Raiders Boss Al Davis 18

Posted on October 08, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Oakland Raiders managing partner Al Davis has passed away at the age of 82.

For all the jokes that have been made about the Oakland Raiders in recent years, there has always been a special aura around the “silver and black”. The reason for that was the man who built the Raiders practically from scratch, Al Davis. His death at the age of 82 is a huge loss not just for the Raiders, but for all of professional football.

Few could have predicted when the 33-year-old Davis became the youngest person in the history of professional football to hold the position of head coach and general manager at the same time that Davis would turn the Raiders into one of the iconic sports franchises in America.

Though he showed glimpses of brilliance immediately as the Raiders went 10-4 and Davis was named AFL Coach of the Year during his first season as head coach. He spent two more seasons as head coach and compiled an overall record of 23-16-3.

In April of 1966 Davis was named commissioner of the AFL, but his tenure would prove to be very short. While Davis was working to make the AFL stronger and more formidable in their competition with the NFL, other owners (without his knowledge) were working on an agreement to merge with the NFL. Davis ultimately opposed the merger because he felt the NFL was receiving excessive compensation from the AFL teams, but the merger still went through.

He ultimately resigned as commissioner and returned to the Raiders where he bought a 10 percent share of the team and became one of three general partners.  He also served as head of football operations as the Raiders played in Super Bowl II and continued to build a squad that would be among the best in football during the 1970s.

In 1972 he took control of the Raiders as managing general partner and served in that role until his death. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

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