Al Davis is a football legend. Even his most staunch critics wouldn’t argue that fact.
However, Davis has taken a lot of criticism lately for his decision making that has turned one of the proudest and most successful franchises in the NFL into a perennial loser.
As most of you reading this blog are painfully aware of, the Raiders haven’t had a winning season since 2002, when Oakland was beaten by Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl.
Since then, it has been a string of bad decisions and bad draft picks by Davis, and he’s felt the wrath of both fans and media for it.
One Raider great refuses to pile on the Davis bashing and is defending his former owner. Bo Jackson told the Los Angeles Times that he still believes in Davis.
Raiders owner Al Davis has become a figure of scorn in recent years, as many NFL observers think he’s no longer capable of running an NFL franchise and has driven the Raiders into the ground.
Davis is a Hall of Famer who has accomplished a great deal in his half century in pro football, and he’s beloved by many of his former players. One of those players is former Raiders running back Bo Jackson, who praised Davis in a Los Angeles Times interview.
“Everybody stands up and says, ‘Al Davis, that crazy SOB.’ That isn’t so,” Jackson said. “This is a man who would have fought a lion with a switch to defend his players.”
Jackson said he thinks Davis got a bum rap from many in Los Angeles over the circumstances that led the Raiders to move back to Oakland. And he said that in his experience, Davis is one of the most honest people he dealt with in pro sports.
“Mr. Davis tells you exactly what he thinks,” Jackson said. “That’s what I like about him.”
No one can argue Davis’ resume and accomplishments. But what I think bothers most Raider fans is the fact Davis still wants to run the team virtually alone. Davis is older now and the league is always changing. One man simply can’t do everything by himself.
Every Raider fan loves Al Davis to some extent but to be fair, if something isn’t working it’s time for a change. This offseason looks like a step in the right direction. Let’s just hope it continues in the future.