Over the weekend, the National Football League (NFL) lost once of their most famous and iconic personalities of all-time as the Oakland Raiders owner, Al Davis, passed away at the age of 82. (Read the complete story on ESPN.com)
He was associated with the Raiders organization since the early 1960’s. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Davis was the only person to work in professional football as a personnel assistant, scout, assistant coach, head coach, general manager, commissioner, and team owner/CEO.
I’ve personally been a Raiders fan since the 1980’s, when they were located in Los Angeles, so my opinion of Davis may be a bit biased. The big thing with Davis which really stands out was his incredible knowledge of the game and his continuous hands on approach to the team. He had an incredible knack to find the speedsters, the castaways, and the unexpecteds. In his later years, this philosophy may not have fully played in the Raiders favor. But, for me, players like Jim Plunkett, Marcus Allen, Bo Jackson, Howie Long, Tim Brown, Rich Gannon, and Sebastian Janikowski (and countless others) were guys that simply dominated their positions and the game.
Over the years, Davis’ maverick-style generated quite the love/hate relationship with many individuals, but he impacted the game of American football in such a huge way that many of his contributions are still largely felt in today’s game. Whether you’re focused on driving success in the workplace or personally, these phrases Davis devised, in all essence, completely drive individuals to give their 110% and strive for superiority in anything they try to accomplish:
- "Pride and Poise"
- "Commitment to Excellence"
- "Just Win, Baby"
For as long as I’ve been a Raiders fan, these mantras have been great motivators in my life, and I hope football fans from across the world take the time to learn more about the many accomplishments of Al Davis. Go Raiders!