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As you’ve probably heard by now, pro football lost probably its most colorful character over the decades this weekend.  Al Davis, former Oakland Raider head coach who became the franchise’s owner/managing general partner, is dead at the age of 82.

Davis was charming, cantankerous and compassionate. But he was best known as a rebel, a man who established a team whose silver-and-black colors and pirate logo symbolized his attitude toward authority, both on the field and off.

Until the recent decline of the Raiders, he was a winner, the man who as a coach, then owner-general manager-de facto coach, established what he called “the team of the decades” based on another slogan: “Commitment to excellence.”

Under Al Davis, who joined the franchise in 1963 as GM/coach and later became its owner, the Raiders also won three Super Bowls.

And the Raiders were excellent, winning three Super Bowls during the 1970s and 1980s and contending almost every other season — an organization filled with castoffs and troublemakers who turned into trouble for opponents.

“Al was a football man — his entire life revolved around the game he loved,” said Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams, an original AFL owner of the Houston Oilers. “He worked his way up through the ranks and had a knowledge of all phases of the game. That experience aided him as an owner.

The Realm™ sends its condolences to the Davis family.




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