Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Al Davis: Raider of the lost art (of winning)

Al Davis 1929-2011

Yes, I root for the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants so why am I carrying an Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders flag? Next to the blue of the Giants, I love the black and silver of the Raiders. I followed them because of Jim Plunkett, Marcus Allen, and Lyle Alzado. Of course, there was John Madden and Al Davis himself. Davis... any conversation about the NFL has to include this maverick owner (Mark Cuban doesn't come close). The man at 82 years of age passed away. Even if the Raiders had a lot of outstanding players over the years (they did win three Super Bowls), when one said "Oakland Raiders" you thought of Al Davis. He was such a huge influence in American football just as George Steinbrenner was for the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball. He named the first black head coach in the modern era in Art Shell and he also had a female CEO. His successful teams were made up of discards and cast-offs. And he (despite having some really good head coaches)  molded them to win. He fought for his team, his players, and every advantage he could get. A rogue in a black suit, Al Davis will be missed.

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