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The Autumn Wind
The Autumn Wind is a pirate
Blustering in from sea
With a rollicking song he sweeps along
His face is weather beaten
He wears a hooded sash
With his silver hat about his head
And a bristly black moustache
He growls as he storms the country
A villain big and bold
And the trees all shake and quiver and quake
As he robs them of their gold
The Autumn wind is a Raider
Pillaging just for fun
He'll knock you 'round and upside down
And laugh when he's conquered and won.
Al Davis passed late Friday, early Saturday at the age of 82. One of the true mavericks of football and one of the most iconic personalities in all of sports. Mr. Davis had been in decling health for some time and while it's very sad to see him go, hopefully he'll be with his departed wife in a much better place. An amazing competitor, rule breaker and game changer on so many fronts. The first to hire "minority" head coaches (Art Shell and Tom Flores) and have a female CEO (Amy Trask). He refused to let the NFL dictate to him how things were to be done. A mysterious character to be sure, he will be missed. Part of the forging of his legacy was in the pre free agent era of football he'd take all the malcontents, injured and discarded players off the scrap heap and invest his faith and trust in them. Giving them a second (and in some cases third) chance to get back in the game. Even when the rest of the league turned their back on them, this kind of belief made the players almost fanatically loyal and they would surge onto the gridiron on seek and destroy missions w/a reckless abandon that made them the one of the most feared teams in the NFL for a VERY long time. "Just Win Baby" was his mantra and the team emulated his persona…the win at all cost mentality. Not just content to beat an opponent but make them hurt in an unforgettable way. It's been said that perhaps the MODERN game had passed him by as the players' mentality had changed from an allegiance/loyalty to the man himself and the game and more about the $$$. As his health issues increasingly became an issue it became harder for him to keep up, which is sad. He became a parody of his former greatness, so it was nice to see the Raiders have a little resurgence lately. There is no one in the modern game who can replace him or his overall contributions to the game. Always ahead of the curve and usually forward thinking. He's the anti Jerry Jones. Mr. Davis wasn't all bluster and PR. He didn't need the limelight to shine or necessarily seek it out, in fact, he preferred to be the power broker in the shadow, the ultimate puppet master. But as any truly powerful personality, he didn't shy away from the media. This outspoken innovator will be sorely missed.
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My husband met him several years back, and my husband's uncle was actually asked to work for him at one time.
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