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Al Davis

From Academic Kids

Allen "Al" Davis (born July 4, 1929 in Brooklyn, New York) attended Wittenberg, graduated from Syracuse University, and went on to become an icon of the fledgling American Football League, first with the Los Angeles Chargers and then with the Oakland Raiders.

In 1963 at the age of 33, as the head coach and general manager of the Raiders, Davis led them to a 10-4 record and received unanimous American Football League Coach of the Year honors, with a team that had been 9-33-0 in its first three years.

In 1966 he became the American Football League Commissioner and brought the NFL to its knees by orchestrating a masterful series of signings by AFL teams of star NFL players, including 49ers quarterback John Brodie, Bears tight end Mike Ditka, and Rams QB Roman Gabriel. He believed the NFL should have merged into the AFL, not the other way around.

AFL Hall of Fame reporter Jerry Magee of the San Diego Union says: "Al Davis taking over as commissioner was the strongest thing the AFL ever did. He thought the AFL-NFL merger was a detriment to the AFL...it was a disappointment to him that they merged." Had Al Davis been given the opportunity to continue his efforts, the NFL would have folded or capitulated to join the AFL. For his contribution in making the AFL the genesis of modern professional football, Al Davis is a hero to American Football League fans, and is known as "Mr. AFL".

A member of the American Football League for its entire ten-year existence, and a member of the American Football League Hall of Fame, today Davis is the President of A.D. Football, Inc., the managing general partner of the Oakland Raiders.

Today he is considered one of the most controversial owners in the NFL. In 1982 he moved the Raiders to Los Angeles where they remained until 1994. In 1995 he moved the team back to Oakland. Since then he has been involved in lawsuits with both LA and Oakland.

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