Category Archives: Al Davis

My Memories of Al Davis – One Year Later

 The one-year anniversary of Al Davis’s death passed on Monday.  I posted the story and interview below on October 8, 2011.  It remains one of my greatest AFL experiences, and I thought it worthy to be brought up again.  If you have already read it, take another look.  I did, and enjoyed it just as much the 25th time around.  If you have not yet read it, sit back and enjoy!

davis, al - 2007

As a young Charger fan growing up in the heyday of Kellen Winslow, Dan Fouts and “Air” Coryell, I learned to hate the Raiders and Al Davis.  To everyone that bled blue and gold, Davis, clad in silver and black, embodied all that was evil in professional football. His teams were built of tough guys, rejects some called them, who played hard, sometimes dirty, and seemingly always won. read more

Just Win, Baby – A Book Review

al davisThis time of year the shelves at local book stores bulge with new tomes pertaining to every theme in football – college, professional, biography, autobiography, strategy, important team/game, and on and on…  Fortunately there are several interesting AFL-related books that have been recently released.  One of them is Just Win, Baby; The Al Davis Story, by legendary sportswriter and cartoonist, Murray Olderman.  I purchased this book last week, and had the opportunity to read it over the weekend.  At just 202 pages, it is a fairly quick read. read more

Favorite AFL Images – Lance & Al

lance alworth and al davis

Lance Alworth and Al Davis are two of the more important individuals in AFL history.  Alworth, a flanker out of the University of Arkansas, has been called the AFL’s first true superstar.  A fast and agile receiver with a wonderful set of hands, Alworth led the league in receiving in three separate seasons, and caught a pass in 96 consecutive games.  Al Davis began his AFL association as an assistant coach with the Chargers.  He left San Diego in 1963 to become head coach and general manager of the Oakland Raiders.  He later took over as the AFL commissioner, and then ultimately returned to Oakland as the Managing General Partner of the Raiders, a position he held until his death in 2011. read more

Important Moments in AFL History Gallery

joe foss hired as afl commissioner

Joe Foss (center) is congratulated by Lamar Hunt (left) and Harry Wismer (right) after being named as the first commissioner of the AFL.

For the past few years I have been putting together a collection of wire service photos that represent some of the more important moments in AFL history.  I recently opened a new photo gallery for this collection, which can be found on the home page.  The gallery is titled, “Important Moments in AFL History.”

The gallery opens with a photo that was distributed by the Associated Press on August 1, 1959.  This image, which is the earliest piece of AFL memorabilia that I have found, shows a young Lamar Hunt, and carries the following caption: DALLAS, TEXAS – AUG 1 – SEEKS NEW FOOTBALL LEAGUE – Lamar Hunt, 26, son of oil billionaire H.L. Hunt of Dallas is seeking to organize a new pro football league which will try to start play in 1960. read more

The Most Impressive Coaching Staff, Perhaps Ever!!!

Al Davis and Chuck Noll

Chuck Noll and Al Davis work from the booth as the Chargers face the Raiders on September 30, 1962.

One of the interesting things about the AFL is that many coaches that went on to prominence in the NFL got a heads-up in their career with the American Football League.  The Los Angeles and San Diego Chargers in particular had a very impressive grouping of assistant coaches over the years.  Head coach Sid Gillman demanded a lot out of his assistants, and as a result, hired the brightest and hardest-working individuals that he could find.  The result was team that played for the league championship in five out of the first six AFL seasons. read more