Raiders owner Al Davis remembered by friends, fans
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One of the most important figures in pro-football history has died.
Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis passed away at his Bay Area home on Saturday.
Over the years, Davis was a scout, assistant coach, head coach, general manager and League Commissioner. There is no denying his impact on the Raiders and professional football more widely.
Davis joined the franchise in 1963 as general manager and coach, later becoming its owner and leading the Raiders to three Super Bowls.
Along the way he established a brand of football with three words that helped define the Raiders: "just win baby".
Fans and even former player Daryle Lamonica all say the "Raider Nation" has suffered a major loss.
"It's sad. We all feel it. We're all part of the Raider family," Lamonica said.
The "Mad Bomber", Daryle Lamonica, played for the Raiders from 1967 to 1974, with Davis owning and leading the team.
"My fondest memory is of Al Davis coming into the locker room after a game with a smile on his face. He says 'Daryle what's the most important thing? I go no i.n.t.s, that meant interceptions, and we'd won the game," Lamonica said.
Football was Davis' whole life, and Raiders fans say that's what they loved about him.
Albert Deluna is the president of Knights of the Shield, a Fresno-based Raiders booster club.
He and other club members spent Saturday afternoon at the Reedley Fiesta celebrating Davis' legacy.
"Now he's gone," Joseph Cantu of Fresno said. "All we have to do is move forward and hopefully go to the big game, to win a championship for him."
As for Lamonica, he says he still lives by the lessons davis taught him decades ago.
"He was synonymous with that 'commitment to excellence' and the 'pride and poise,'" Lamonica said. "Those are things the ex-players and the players today live by."
The Oakland Raiders issued a statement Saturday saying that phrase, "commitment to excellence", best exemplifies Davis' life.
oakland raiders, sports, rick montanez
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