Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Members Only?

I noticed something today, when I read--against my better judgment--the last tripe from Rick Reilly. In a column addressing whether or not it's okay to abandon your team, and under what circumstances it's okay to do so, he writes,
Rule 6b. Your owner still wears Members Only jackets. His initials are Al Davis.
Curious, because I can recall exactly three outfits I've ever seen Al Davis wear: White Sweats, black leather Raiders jacket, and a black suit when he needs to dress it up. So I googled "Al Davis Members Only Jacket" and got this, from Jay Mariotti's Fan House column of August 19:
Not that I'd expect anything more from the creature forever embalmed in a Members Only jacket, Al Davis.
Then I did an image of Al Davis, with the "moderate safe search" on. Look at it. Admittedly, this is unscientific, but do you see one picture of Al Davis in a Members Only jacket? Scroll through it. Even the Freddy Krueger picture doesn't show a Members Only jacket. One photo, on the third page of images, shows Al in the 70s, in some kind of awesome, gray wool number with buttoned straps on the shoulders, but that's not a Members Only jacket.

I get what they're saying, that only out of touch old guy's wear Members Only jackets. But I want to ask these two, can you produce one photo of Al Davis wearing a Members Only jacket? And even if you can, in Mariotti's case, does one photo out of thousands constitute enough evidence to level the charge that he is "forever embalmed in a Members Only jacket?"

This is the kind of lazy and stupid reporting that guys like Reilly and Mariotti can get away with, because they're big stars on ESPN. You would never see Lowell Cohn or Ray Ratto or Monte Poole or even Kawakami write something like this, because they know first hand that whatever Al Davis is, a schmuck in a Members Only jacket isn't one of them.

UPDATE: I sent submitted this email, via this form, at for Rick Reilly:

Hi, I was wondering if you have any visual evidence of Al Davis wearing a Members Only jacket?

Thanks, and I'll print any response.

John Sousa

Maybe if both of our readers also send him emails, we'll get a response.

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