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Friday, January 6, 2012

Post Al Davis Era, Raiders Get It Right

AP File

Today was a tremendous day in Raider history, certainly
not bigger than the day Al Davis took over the Raider
franchise, but BIG. It makes the acquisition of Carson
Palmer earlier this season look like a 55th round pick
in the NFL draft, and yet much much smaller than Oct 8th
2011, when all that was Raider Nation changed for ever.

If you are reading this far down, there is a decent chance
you are a Raiders fan, and if you've been a Raiders fan
for more than 20 years then you understand that you cannot
be a Raider fan without being an Al Davis fan. It's like
being a Christian and not liking Christ, or claiming to be
a Scientologist and not believing in L. Ron Hubbard, it's
just not possible. These examples are extreme I know, but
they are as close to the truth as you can get. That being
said, if you hate the Raiders then you hate Al Davis, he is
the total embodiment of what they have become, make no
mistake about it.

Today his name was honored, today Reggie McKenzie was named
the first GM of the Raiders since Al Davis was GM of the
Raiders, but that's not the story, at least not in my eyes.
I have bled Silver and Black longer than most folks I know
have been football fans. You often hear terms like:
"The Cowboy way" or is has to be done "the Patriot way",
well this was done "THE RAIDER WAY", and I couldn't be more
happier with the process than if Al Davis himself came back
to life and approved it. That would be kinda scary though.

So many things happened that made this right. Ron Wolfe, a
long time Raider executive, and friend recommended McKenzie.
Ken Herrock, a former Raider player, and executive also went
on to recommended McKenzie. Mark Davis, Al's son was also
part of the interview process, and yet for me two big factors
were that McKenzie was a Raider, and John Madden assisted in
the interview. For me this was huge. Al Davis inducted John
Madden into the Hall of Fame, and John Madden inducted Davis
into the Hall of Fame, there is and was no one aside than
maybe Ron Wolfe that knew Al, and what he would have wanted
or that would have made me and scores of Raider fans happier
going forward.

McKenzie is a Raider, he has an impeccable reputation in the
league, and I trust that he knows exactly what the RAIDER
way is. When Davis passed I feared that my fandom would fade,
it has, but not enough to not care. I needed to see where the
family went with this, and thus far good steps have been taken.
It will NEVER be the same, change is inevitable, death is part
of life, and football is just a game, and yet we care.

The move today was good. The Raiders still have a chance, not
to be good, but to be "The Raiders", and that's a good thing,
and yet I can't help but think: THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME


Don't Believe In Plays, Believe In Players - Al Davis

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