Our reporting relies on your support. Contribute today! 

Help us reach our goal of $250,000. The countdown is on!

The Oakland Raiders and their owner Al Davis, who collectively represent everything that is evil in sports, are finally getting what they deserve.

The Chargers are heavy favorites to win Sunday when they play the Raiders at Oakland, and why wouldn’t they be? The Raiders are being mocked around the country as a bad football team and a dysfunctional organization.

What took so long?

The Raiders are the ones who popularized black uniforms that gangs embraced and celebrated.

Before long, respectable pro sports teams were incorporating black into their uniforms. The St. Louis Cardinals wore black baseball hats, even though black isn’t a team color. That’s just one example of gang-style clothing inspired by the Raiders creeping into the mainstream.

The Raiders and Al Davis are the ones who popularized the expression, “Just win, baby!”

In other words, bend the rules, flat out cheat and set examples of poor sportsmanship. And then laugh about how you got away with it. Never mind the negative trickle-down effect on high school and youth sports.

Sports talk radio personalities latched on to the expression as a gimmick to talk about on the air, spreading the word among impressionable fans. They celebrated the Raider way. Never mind they denigrated everything good about sports.

The Raiders are the ones who popularized milking public tax dollars from schools and fixing roads to remodel stadiums. They did it when they moved from Los Angeles to Oakland and then back to Oakland. In between, Davis suckered Irwindale, Calif. in to paying him millions for the possibility to move the Raiders up the freeway from the Coliseum.

“Genius,” the Raiders players chanted in the locker room after they won the Super Bowl in 1980 by beating the Philadelphia Eagles.

Now we know Davis is nothing more than an eccentric old man who is spoiling the proud legacy he built, but we’re stuck with this “genius” label being thrown loosely around within all sports.

For example, after Eric Mangini was called a genius in 2006 after he went 10-6 with Herm Edwards players. “Man-Genious,” they said. Yeah, right. Try saying that now.

Remember how Davis was always accused of interfering with the head coaches’ game plans? The coaches and players always denied it. Even after they left the Raiders organization, they wouldn’t admit it.

Now people are finally admitting Davis interferes with the team. There was an interesting interview Thursday with former Raiders head coach Tom Flores on XX Sports Radio.

Flores, now a commentator for Raiders radio broadcasts, admitted Davis always interferes. He explained it was that way when he played for Davis, so people brought up in the Raider system accepted it. I was stunned to hear him admit it. He must figure Al is so out of it, word won’t get back to him about what he said.

But Davis has brought in so many outside coaches in recent years, and he can’t get away it anymore. Plus, he has apparently lost his ability to judge football talent.

Here’s one more story, and then I’ll get off this rant about Al Davis and the Raiders. I heard it from a former Raiders assistant coach.

La’Roi Glover, the former Point Loma High and San Diego State defensive lineman, started his career with the Raiders in 1996, but was cut after one season.

A couple of years later Glover, who is now a six-time Pro Bowler in his 13th NFL season with the St. Louis Rams, played against the Raiders as a member of the New Orleans Saints. Glover, exacting his own revenge, had a monster game, blowing up the Raiders’ offense line from the first snap.

When the coaches watched film on Monday — with Davis present as always — Davis kept muttering out loud, “Can’t anybody block him?” each time Glover made a play.

The coaches, under their breaths, kept muttering, “He used to be on this team, Al.”

That’s the Al that used to be considered the clever guy who was a step ahead of everyone. Now we know the Raiders are what they are — and that they represent everything evil about sports.

— TOM SHANAHAN

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.