Last Sunday was my first ever Sunday without Al Davis. Now Davis wasn’t always the man behind the curtain pulling all the strings for the Raider franchise. It just so happens I’ve never experienced a Raider game without the presence of Davis until last week.
That was a first for me and plenty of other members of Raider Nation out there. There are also more than a fare share of Raider faithful that can recall the days before Davis was in charge.
Today will mark a first for all members of Raider Nation and the franchise alike. Today marks the first ever home game in which Al Davis will not be present. In recent years Mr. Davis has missed a couple of road games as health would not permit his travel. But one thing you could always count on was that serious glare peering down on the field of play whenever the Raiders played in front of their fans at home.
While Mr. Davis might not be at the game in the flesh, his presence will still be felt. The team has been planning all week long to pay tribute to one of the most iconic figures in the history of sports. A moment of silence will be observed before the opening kick. There will be a halftime tribute and various video tributes will be displayed at the O.co Coliseum throughout the afternoon. Other than that little is known of the specifics of the tribute.
Last week the Raiders felt the presence of Davis when the team needed him most. Though unintentional, the Raiders took to the field for the final dramatic play with only 10 men on the field. Michael Huff came up the victory sealing INT but it was the unseen hand of Mr. Davis as the 11th man that helped guide those hands of Huff.
While all of the tributes to be paid today are a great way to remember a legend there is only one true way for the Raiders to honor Mr. Davis.
Just win, baby!