- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
- CIA admits $3 billion intelligence operation was a flop
Raider Nation honors owner Al Davis at Coliseum
OAKLAND, CALIF. (AP) - Every facet of the silver and black came together one last time to honor Raider Nation’s late king, Al Davis.
Fans decked out in spikes, war paint and bandanas. Former players and coaches gathered in suits and sweats. Rappers Ice Cube and MC Hammer stood along the sideline in traditional Raiders garb.
All stood united at the Oakland Coliseum again in a 24-17 win over the Cleveland Browns to pay tribute to the owner with a simple two-letter message supplanted on the Raiders shield, spreading across helmets, shirts, posters, pins and programs: “AL.”
“We’re just delighted at the way everybody has come together to honor him. Whether to say he was a great man or wasn’t a great man, the turnout says it all,” Davis‘ older brother, Jerry, told The Associated Press. “While he might not have always looked it, Al’s mind was sharp right until the end.”
The celebrations of Davis‘ life were all over.
The most poignant moment came during a halftime ceremony with dozens of former players standing in a circle around the Raiders emblem at midfield. Super Bowl-winning coach John Madden then lit a caldron on the plaza level in the corner of the stadium with the public address announcer saying the fire will “burn forever” for fans to remember Davis.
“I know he’s looking down saying, ‘Just win, baby,’” Raiders coach Hue Jackson said, echoing the owner’s longtime motto. “That’s what we did.”
A video presentation of Davis‘ life began playing 20 minutes before kickoff and continued throughout the game against the Browns, the first at home since Davis died Oct. 8 of an undisclosed illness. A moment of silence was held before former Raiders offensive lineman Henry Lawrence sang the national anthem.
Coaches, players and team employees wore T-shirts with “AL” inside the Raiders shield. Fans came with signs that read “R.I.P. AL” and “King AL.” Most simply carried handmade posters and ironed out shirts with the phrase, “Just Win, Baby.”
“It’s like losing a family member,” said a fan with 6-inch spikes attached to his pads who wanted only to be identified by the name “Violator,” which was taped to the back of his black No. 57 jersey.
Davis turned the Raiders into one of the league’s premier franchises with a “Commitment To Excellence.” The franchise won Super Bowls after the 1976, 1980 and 1983 seasons _ the last one in Los Angeles, where the franchise moved in 1982 after protracted court fights before returning to the Bay Area in 1995.
Past and present Raiders took flights from all over the country to stand along the sidelines in respect.
They told stories and recounted memories of the renegade owner who became one of the most important figures in pro football history, from his role in the development of the AFL, the merger with the NFL and the success he built on the field with the Raiders.
“A lot of people knew him as an antagonist. But if you were a Raider, you were a Raider for life,” said Plunkett, a championship quarterback who played for the Raiders from 1978-86. “Al was unquestionably loyal.”
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Let’s talk about everything, especially the absurdity of it all
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Never apologetic. Never afraid. Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West joins Communities to bring tales from the biggest Foxhole of them all, the one inside the Beltway.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow