Iconic Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, he of the slicked hair, dark sunglasses and white jumpsuit, passed away on Saturday. He was memorialized by countless national football writers over the weekend, reminding fans like me who are under 30 years old that Davis was more than just the guy who had an annual ritual of selecting the fastest player on the board -- or the huskiest kicker in the case of Sebastian Janikowski -- in the first round of the draft.
While Googling Al Davis, I stumbled across an interview that Steve Bisciotti did with Yahoo’s Jason Cole. Bisciotti -- who also slicks his hair back and rocks the shades (though he hasn’t started wearing a purple jumpsuit just yet, unfortunately) -- talked about meeting Davis for the first time when he purchased the Ravens in 2000.
“Al is this magnetic personality, just so brilliant in everything about football and I immediately thought to myself, I want to really pick his brain, try to learn from him,” the Ravens owner told Yahoo’s Cole.
So Bisciotti approached Davis at the NFL’s annual spring meeting in 2000 and asked to set up a meeting.
“No, kid, you don’t want to be associated with me,” Davis told him.
It sounds as if Davis blew Bisciotti off, but he Bisciotti remembered it fondly. Read Cole’s full story at this link.
Anyway, it is nice to see Davis remembered fondly for his entire body of work and not the dark ages of the past decade. And kudos to former Maryland wide receiver Darius Heyward-Bey, who is widely viewed as one of the Raiders’ recent draft busts, for hauling in seven passes for 99 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s emotional win.