If Las Vegas was giving odds on which team would disagree with terms of the latest CBA the Raiders would have gone off as the favorites. Was there any doubt Al Davis would be the lone voice of dissension in the room?
31 owners fell in line. 1 went his own way. You’d expect nothing less from Al Davis.
Those that are quick to mock Davis are sadly mistaken. No matter what any of us thinks we know about the current agreement the truth is we all know nothing. Those that are paid to cover and report on these drawn out dealings know next to nothing. The only ones who have any clue are the men and women with seats at the table.
Anything else is pure gossip, rumor, speculation and posturing.
Whatever deal point it is that left Davis with no other option except abstention will most likely never be known. More importantly, it never really mattered.
Davis is unlike any other owner in the business of football. He’s been everything from a commissioner down to a coach. The perspective Davis takes on football greatly differs from that of Jerry Jones. Both a help and a hindrance, Davis’ experience doesn’t allow for much wiggle room. If he liked the CBA he would have been the first to approve. Since we know he hates the agreement he’s the only one standing in the corner, thumbs down.
Forever the clichéd maverick doing things his own way, Davis will never deviate from the approach that has led to a Hall of Fame career in football.
However this is a battle Mr. Davis just can’t win. His fellow owners have placed him on mute, happy to follow the lead of Jones and Robert Kraft.
For Davis the goal was never to sway opinions. He might be stubborn but he’s no fool. Just being able to let the world know how he truly feels about this pointless lockout is a victory in itself. He has no fear of what might or might not happen should he turn his back on the greedy billionaires that pollute the NFL landscape. In many respects Davis is a voice for both the fans and players in this mess.
In the end one abstention was never going to do much except create more punch lines and draw a little more attention to the NFL’s most iconic owner. In the end it doesn’t matter to Davis. He’ll have to go along with whatever terms the new CBA dictates. He’s just not going to do so willingly. You’d expect nothing less from a man born on Independence Day.