Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mr. Davis

With Al Davis for life as we have it, today's Mark Kriegel column on the "lion in winter" is a must read. Loving and hating Al Davis is fundamental to being a Raider fan. The portrait Kriegel paints is brutal and awe inspiring.
"And now, as the owners adjourn from their morning meetings here at the St. Regis resort, the man himself comes into view.

Almost half a century later, the pompadour has been decimated, a matted wisp in its place. Davis' eyes are red-rimmed and damp. His hands are purplish and papery with age. But never — ever — has Al Davis looked more defiant, even heroic, than he does right now, pushing a walker across the marble floor.

Guarding the boss's rear flank is Raiders strength coach Chris Pearson, while a burlier man — could be a pro bouncer — leads the way. If the other owners don't warrant protection, that's only because they're pishers by comparison. Bob Kraft is flitting about in a lavender sweater. Jerry Jones is holding court in golf shirt and blazer. Everybody's dressed for an afternoon at the club. But Davis is in full Raider regalia: new white Adidas, a black and silver jumpsuit that proclaims his franchise to be "THE TEAM OF THE DECADES." Though he'll turn 80 on July 4, the bejeweled bracelet on his left wrist — "AL" set in diamonds on a black stone — suggests a founding father of bling. Then again, Davis was always ahead of his time."

I love the image of Kraft, with a dozen Walt Colemans in his back pocket, as the anti-Al. And true to form, Al eventually gets in his Hall of Fame plug, though today Cliff Branch is emphasized along with Jim Plunkett. I suspect Lester's name would come up in the full transcript.

1 comment:

John Sousa said...

There is a lot going on in this column. It's really amazing.