For those that did not know, the legendary owner of the Raiders, Al Davis, has passed away at the age of 82. Below are some people remembering Al.
Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on October 8, 2011, 4:57 PM EDT
We’ve been posting some of the remembrancesof Al Davis in the rumor mill throughout the day. (And writing some of our own.)
We wanted to also provide a place to include the other many statements that continue to come out about Davis from around the league. We’ll try to choose the statements that best show Davis’ far-reaching impact.
We’ll continue to update this page throughout the day.
San Francisco 49ers Owner and Co-Chairman Denise DeBartolo York:
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Al Davis. One of my fondest memories of Al is a dinner we shared many years ago. During that meal, he presented my father with a very special opportunity to purchase the San Francisco 49ers. In recent years, we were pleased to spend time with Al as our guest in the Owners’ Suite at Candlestick Park while our two teams met on the field. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends.”
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh:
”Mr. Davis is a titan and pillar of the game. I had the pleasure and honor to know him and to work for him. And to me, he is the greatest. The autumn wind will always be a Raider.”
Chargers owner Dean Spanos:
“Al Davis is one of the main reasons our family is in the NFL today. Al approached my dad (Alex Spanos) about getting involved in the NFL and was very helpful to us through the process. He had great insight into the league, both the product on the field and the business off the field. He saw the potential for growth. He was very much a visionary. Our family will always be grateful to Al for his friendship.
“Al is also a big reason for the strong rivalry between the Raiders and the Chargers and its popularity among both teams’ fans. He personified the image and mystique of the Raiders, and that image has helped build the strength of our rivalries and the popularity of our game. There has been no one in the NFL like Al Davis.
“The NFL and NFL fans everywhere – not just Raiders fans – owe Al Davis for helping to build the game we all love so much. He will be missed.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick:
“While I am saddened by the news of Mr. Davis’ passing, I will forever be heartened and enriched by the many personal interactions I had with him over the years. His winning, his football knowledge, his passion for his team and contributions to the league made him one of the all-time greats. By striving for the highest level of excellence with our respective teams and the game itself, we will be honoring the memory of Al Davis.”
Bengals president Mike Brown:
“Al was a fiery individualist, an important part of pro football — the AFL and NFL –for almost 50 years. His teams had times of great success, and he was heavily involved both on and off the field. I admired the achievements the Raiders attained under Al.
“Personally, I was fond of him. He battled with the NFL, and a lot of us wished that had not been where things went, but under all that was a person I respected. It saddens me to hear that he is gone.”
Linebacker Thomas Howard:
“He was an icon, a legend, a pioneer. I’m honored that he chose to draft me. It was a great pleasure being a part of Raider Nation, part of all the great teams and players that put on that Silver and Black. You don’t know what it means to be a Raider until you are a Raider, and that was his team. He spoke to you not just as an owner but as a coach. He was very hands-on. You felt his presence, and he really cared for you and your family.”
Broncos coach John Fox:
“I want to offer my sincere condolences to the Davis family. I will always be grateful for the opportunity Mr. Davis gave me to become a coordinator in the NFL. There is no doubt that I learned a lot of football from him during my time with the Raiders. Al Davis was great for the game, and he will be missed.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones:
“In my eyes, so much of his legacy will be defined by the loyalty he had for the men who played for the Raiders and the love that they had for him. That was a bond that extended beyond the playing years and lasted lifetimes.
“His contributions and expertise were inspiring at every level–coach, general manager, owner and commissioner. There was no element of the game of professional football for which Al did not enjoy a thorough and complete level of knowledge and passion.
“He welcomed me and my family to the NFL 23 years ago and was a trusted friend for all of our time in professional football. We will miss him deeply and we are thinking of Mark and Carol at this difficult time.”
Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt:
“From the earliest days of the AFL, Al’s love for the game and fierce loyalty to his franchise contributed to the success and popularity of pro football. His competitive spirit helped develop the great rivalry our team and fans enjoy today with the Oakland Raiders. His contributions to the game played an important role in building the strong foundation the NFL enjoys today.”
Broncos owner Pat Bowlen:
“During my 28 years with the Broncos, I came to know Al Davis as one of the most influential and innovative people in the history of the National Football League. His competitive spirit and intensity grew our rivalry with the Raiders into one of the fiercest in all of sports.
“I respected Al for what he meant to the NFL. He was a visionary who defined the Raiders and had an enormous responsibility for the prosperity of this league.
“I join Al’s family, the Oakland Raiders and the rest of the NFL in mourning the loss of a man who gave so much to the game we love.”