1. In 1988, the Redskins traded quarterback Jay Schroeder to the Raiders for offensive tackle Jim Lachey – one of Bobby Beathard’s brainier moves. The Redskins also received two ’89 draft picks in the swap, a No. 4 and a No. 5.
When the ’89 draft rolled around, the Raiders were sitting with the 11th pick of the fourth round (95th overall) and the 10th pick of the fifth (122nd). So Davis called Beathard and reminded him he owed the Redskins a pick in the fourth and fifth rounds, according to the terms of the deal, but not necessarily the Raiders’ pick.
“If you want my picks,” he said, “you have to give me something in return. Otherwise, I’ll trade down in those rounds as far as I can, and those are the picks you’ll get.
Bobby just laughed and said, “Go ahead, Al. Trade away.”
Davis started dialing. When he was done, he’d traded down in the fourth round, from 95 to 110, and picked up a six-rounder (165). He’d also traded down in the fifth, from 122 to 139, and picked up an eighth-rounder (223).
He then packaged the No. 6 and No. 8 to move up in the sixth round and draft a running back out of North Dakota State named Doug Lloyd. Lloyd played exactly one game in the NFL, in 1991, and neither carried the ball nor caught any passes. That’s what Al got for all his maneuvering: 60 minutes of special teams duty, presumably, by a guy who never suited up in the league again. (Now you know why Beathard laughed.)
But, hey: waste not, want not.
2. It’s several hours after the Raiders’ rout of the Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII – around midnight, maybe a little past. The Washington Times sports staff is hunkered down in a Denny’s near the Tampa airport, getting some much-needed sustenance. Suddenly, there’s a stir over by the entrance. Heads raise. Necks crane.
Al Davis has just walked through the door with movie star James Garner – a Raiders fan of the stand-on-the-sideline type – and a few other members of his entourage. Davis might be a three-time Super Bowl winner but, populist that he is, he’s grabbing a bite in an all-night diner (owned – who knew? – by future Panthers owner Jerry Richardson) instead of clinking champagne glasses in a penthouse overlooking the city.
There’s a smattering of applause as Davis’ group makes its way to its table. Plenty of females – waitresses and customers both – have their picture taken with Garner, and he and Al scribble a couple of autographs. Finally, things settle down and the Raiders owner orders some food.
A short time later, Tom Jackson, then one of the Times’ columnists, utters the immortal words:
“Al just put ketchup on his pasta.”