Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis has died. The controversial firebrand, who remade one of the NFL’s best known franchises in his own renegade image, was 82.
The Raiders said he died at his home in Oakland.
In recent years, Davis was best known for dubious personnel moves, lackluster success and irritating fellow NFL owners. But his teams pioneered the “vertical” or “West Coast Offense” style of play and won three Super Bowls (XI, XV, XVIII).
Al Davis (1929-2011) was a 1992 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.
With his authoritarian, often-polarizing style, Davis became – as coach, then owner and managing partner of the Raiders – the symbol of the franchise for decades.
The Raiders’ signature silver and black colors were chosen by Davis to intimidate, as was their pirate insignia. The Raiders’ unofficial team motto, also coined by Davis – “Just win, baby!” – was reflected in their take-no-prisoners style of play.
Wherever the team called home (the Raiders moved from Oakland to Los Angeles, then back again) Davis was a fan favorite … mostly. Sometimes not at all.
From his emergence in the ’60s to his death this morning, Davis was an enigmatic guy. Bot good or bad, his influence on pro football will never be forgotten.