Saturday, October 8, 2011

Al Davis, Controversial Owner Of Oakland Raiders, R. I. P.

Al Davis, the controversial owner of the Oakland Raiders, passed away on Saturday at age 82.

Mr. Davis, who had been an assistant on Sid Gilman's staff with the San Diego Chargers, became the head coach and general manager of the Raiders in 1963.  Prior to his arrival, the Raiders won nine games in 42 starts in three seasons.

When he arrived, Al changed the personality of the franchise inside and out, changing the team colors from black and gold to silver and black and replacing the rounded numerals on the jerseys with squared blocked numerals.  The nondescript black helmets were replaced with silver ones with the Raiders' distinctive logo on each side.

In Al's first year, the Raiders finished second in the American Football League's Western Division at 10-4.  He was named the AFL Coach of the Year.

In 1966, he briefly served as AFL commissioner, helping in overseeing the merger with the rival National Football League before stepping down and becoming part owner of the Raiders.

In 1976, he became the Raiders' principal owner.

In 1982, Al made the controversial decision to move the club to Los Angeles.  In 1995, the Raiders returned to Oakland.

During Al's years with the Raiders, the team made five Super Bowl appearances, winning three of them (Super Bowls XI, XV, and XVIII).

Al Davis was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992.

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