Al Davis on Sirius radio transcript


The transcript of an interview Raiders owner Al Davis did with Sirius Satellite Radio host and friend Gil Brandt Tuesday:

Q: Why are the Raiders called the team of the decades?

Davis: Well, that’s because there are five decades in which the American Football League and the National Football League have played professional football. And during those five decades, there’s only one team that has played in the Super Bowl four of those decades. And that’s the Raiders. They played in the Super Bowl four of the five decades. They played in the 60s, they played in the 70s, they played in the 80s and in 2000 (actually 2002), they played in the Super Bowl, and No. 2, Gil, in each decade, beginning in 1970, the first 10 years of the decade, the Raiders played in the championship game. In 1980, the Raiders played the San Diego Chargers in the championship game.

In 1990, the Raiders played the Buffalo Bills played in the championship game and in the year 2000, the Raiders played the Baltimore Colts (Ravens) in the championship game. So in every decade, beginning in 1970, 80, 90, 2000, we played in the championship game and it’s our hope that in the year 2010, which we’re getting ready to start, repeat the Raiders hope that they do again what they’ve done in the last four decades, play in the championship game.

Q: Tell me about the 50 years you talk about, tell us about your feelings now that it has been 50 years since the NFL-AFL merger . . .

Davis: Well, they were exciting years for me, as you know, I was the head coach and general manager of the Raiders. I was asked to be commissioner of the American Football League against the venerable traditions of the great National Football League. We were in competition, and then because of strict competition and because of the rules and the regulations of player allocation, we were forced into a merger.

That merger was in the 60s, ’66 to be exact, and culminated in ’70 with a joint schedule between the Raiders and the National Football League and all teams in the American Football League, and teams in the National Football League. But something that has stuck with me that I’ll never forget, just recently, I came across a picture, that in 1968, Pete Rozelle, who was named commissioner of both leagues, I had come back to be the owner of the Raiders, he named a committee to do all the scheduling and all the realignment and all the methods of competition, player rosters and numerous things, a joint committee of both leagues, and I have a picture of that joint committee, and they were some of the greatest people who have ever lived, who ever put the hats on, that were coaches, or general mangers in professional football.

From the Green Bay Packers, the representative was Vince Lombardi. From the Cincinnati Bengals the representative was Paul Brown. And then the great Tex Schramm of the Dallas Cowboys, and then myself, Al Davis, comprised that committee. Unfortunately, three of them are gone now, passed on, but the time still holds in my hand my love for those people, even though we were strong rivals, strong enemies from time to time.

Our respect goes out to them because they really, they really were the game, they helped make this game, the great game, and we can never lose sight of that Gil. You and I both know about the great players who came before us, who we watched, who we idolized, we go back to the Hall of Fame regularly in Canton, to honor them, and to take our place with them. But one thing we can never forget _ those who came before us. And we hope in the CBA, that we can make amends and help those people who need it most.

Q: The Raiders have been in five Super Bowls with four different quarterbacks and four different head coaches, how have you kept the organization so successful for so long with such change at key positions and where does this team rate?

Davis: Well, we haven’t been successful, Gil, in the last few years. For example, since 1963, when I took over as head coach and general managers of the Raiders, the Raiders, up until a few years ago, were the No. 1 team of wins and losses in the National Football League. Now the No. 1 team is the Dallas Cowboys of which you were a proud, proud organizer an doer.

The Miami Dolphins are 2, and the Raiders are 3. We’re very close to the top, but we let go the last few years which took us from the top. We had been the No. 1 for many years, back to No. 3, and we’re hoping that the start of this decade is a prelude for greatness for the Raiders. For example, in the year 2000, we played the Baltimore Colts (Ravens) in the championship game. In the 2001 we played the New England Patriots in the great tuck game up in Boston which we thought we had won the ballgame, but had it taken away from us in the moments by officials that changed the call and took a win away from the Raiders.

In 2002 we played in the Super Bowl, so we thought that the decade of the 2000s would be ours, but boy we slipped. We slumped. And now we come in the year 2010 and I really liken this team a great deal to the team of 1980, in which the great Jim Plunkett pulled us out of the doldrums, took us to the Super Bowl as a wild card, and we had so many great players who eventually made their way into the Hall of Fame.

I see this young Jason Campbell as a football player like I saw Jim Plunkett. He has everything. He was 13-0 in college, at Auburn, he can throw up the field, he can run, he’s big, he’s smart. I really predict great things for him. I hope he doesn’t let me down. I don’t think he will. I think we have a team that’s pretty similar, we don’t have as many Hall of Fame players as we have on the ’80 team, which was the first wild card team to win the Super Bowl. But this team has a lot of potential and a lot of great young players.

It’s ironic. When we started every decade like I said to you in 1970, being a different quarterback, Daryle Lamonica, and a different head coach, the great John Madden, 1980, we had Jim Plunkett and Tom Flores, who won two Super Bowls. In 1990, we had Art Shell, the first Afro-American head coach in the modern era, and Jay Schroeder, and in the year 2000, we had Rich Gannon and Jon Gruden. That’s four different quarterbacks, four different head coaches, and this year we come in and we have a bright new young offensive coordinator in Hue Jackson, and I just have great hopes for this young team. It’s a very young team, but I do have hopes for it.

Q: Your place in history, your legacy is already intact _ in fact NFL Films produced a film naming you No. 1 all time relative to your impact in pro football based on personal achievement, team achievement and contributions to the game. What else is there for you to achieve?

Davis: Oh, Gil, just like you. Gil, the will to win will always be here. The fire that burns brightest in me and my family, Carole and Mark, is the will to win. We just want the Raiders to do great. As you know, I’m 81 years old, but I still can contribute a great deal. We do a great deal for the team, I think we have our stamp on this team. It’s our personnel, it’s our picks, its our want to be great once again, to join the ranks of the elite and get back that No. 1 rating on terms of wins and losses since we come into the league, and to make the National Football League, which is the greatest game which is always played by the greatest players, the greatest coaches, the greatest players, the greatest games, and of course, the greatest fans, than anyone could want.

Q: I want to leave you with one thought. This morning I did a chat for NFL.com and we announced that were in Raider camp. Our first call, or our first message that we took came from Norway, our last one came from Canada, and we had Australia in the middle of it, so I think you realize what the Raiders are to the world?

Davis: We’ve always wanted to be global, and we are global. You take that silver and black, you take that uniform, and you can go anywhere in the world and you say silver and black, and you know what they’re talking about. Whatever else you want, I guess the star, the Yankees, you have to stay the pinstripes, the Celtics, the green, but the silver and black of the Raiders, we want that flag to be the dominant flag over the sports world.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • 24

    Go Raiders!

  • MistaBrown

    Al stay out of the game plan. Keep your paws off things. Let the coaches coach and run their scheme. Let the best players on the field.

    The end.


  • Al talked about Jackson, but he didn’t say anything about Cable when he was talking about HC & QB.

  • He talked about J Campbell & Hue Jackson, but no Cable!!

    You are on thin ice Fat Monkey!!

  • priesttj

    Why don’t you go tell him personally maybe he’ll listen.

  • JB

    He sounds as though the elevator still goes to the top; the 6 pack is still full; there is still 52 cards in the deck; you get the idea.

    There’s still no way you can’t admire what he’s done for the NFL. There IS a reason he’s in the HOF. That wasn’t a mistake.

  • What do you think about that BHP?

  • MistaBrown

    tj is a deranged lunatic that takes a dump on himself daily.

    Pastorini got booed weekly. When he got hurt Raider fans cheered him right off the field.

    Insert J Plunkett

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    August 10th, 2010 at 9:47 pm
    Priest, are you gone? You’re not going to answer? You know Pastorini was Al’s guy, don’t you? You know Plunkett was nothing more than a scrub backup in Al’s eyes, don’t you? That’s why Al started Marc Wilson in ‘83, Priest.

  • Weakest interview I’ve ever seen. One softball after another. Obviously terms were arranged prior to the interview. No self respecting journalist would have let Al get away with claiming Plunkett as his, when it’s documented that Pastorini was his guy, nor his point that he could still contribute a great deal. That’s when you ask him if a GM who’s been as bad as he has for the past 7 years should continue to “contribute greatly”. This interview reads like it was in one of those Raiders greatest games books.

  • BoJacks

    Is it telling that he gave props to Hue Jackson and not Cable?


  • Al is great!!!!

  • This interview is an ad. Nothing more.

  • MistaBrown

    Fat Runt is still posting on the last thread!


  • Al, couple years ago.

    Reporter: “So, you ever plan on retiring, Al?”

    Al: “Yes I do. When the Raiders win TWO more Super Bowls, I’ll hand over the reins.”

    two? TWO??? WTF?
    Not one, which most would state as their effort to go out on top, but two.

    In other words, he knows full well he has no desire on retiring until they pull his fonzie suit from his cold dead fingers.

  • Q: I want to leave you with one thought. This morning I did a chat for NFL.com and we announced that were in Raider camp. Our first call, or our first message that we took came from Norway, our last one came from Canada, and we had Australia in the middle of it, so I think you realize what the Raiders are to the world?
    Yes, LMFAO at this nitwit, and Al’s answer about ‘being global”.
    See, this guy was on a chat on NFL.com..people were tuned into the chat, obviously from the above mentioned places..
    He announced he was in Raider camp…THE MESSENGERS DIDN’T KNOW THAT ONCE THEY SIGNED ON, only found that out during the chat…so why is Gil spinning it as if those “callers” were Raider fans?

    Al promise him a used comb, or something?

  • priesttj

    Raider O

    what are you talking about the article?

  • BHP,

    I’m talking about this interview. When he was talking about coaches and QBs, he talked about Lamonica & Madden, Gannon & Gruden, etc.. Then he talked about J Campbell & H Jackson, but he didn’t say anything about Cable.

  • Al stepping back? He’s on record stating the contrary.

    “I’m 81 years old but I still can contribute a great deal.”

    With his record in the past 7 years should he be contributing at all?

  • M Lonetree

    how does it feel?
    oh yes, pissant and puissant.
    how does it feel?
    the eighty-one year old man speaks.
    he is Halas and Brown and Lombardi and Coryell.
    he owns a global franchise.
    he is Al.
    how does it feel?
    seven lost years that is harped on.
    small-mindedness doesn’t rate at all.
    Raider On.

  • Al Davis used Ron Wolf, now distances himself from him to give the impression that he built the Super Bowl teams. Al Davis is a fraud, period. And he’s far from retired.

    “I’m 81 years old but I still can contribute a great deal.”

  • M Lonetree

    did anyone ever mention to the jealous lil’ pukes that AD is basically the most influential man in the history of American football?

    Raider On.

  • Name one owner or GM today influenced by Al Davis.

  • Used Ron Wolfe?!?

  • Jerry Jones!!!!!!

  • fat kidd

    The first recorded Words of Al Davis that we have are “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3 NIV

  • Interesting he’s bringing up his family, and their will to win and the Raider’s………….????????????

  • M Lonetree


    your Wolf’s clothing was an inaccurate and tired sheepish depiction years ago.
    Just forget about sheep and wolves. Don your Lance Kitten outfit as a pinata and allow yourself to be properly dispensed.

  • Jerry Buss

  • How is Jerry Jones influenced by Al Davis? Give me an example of anything he’s doing today that he picked up from Al.

  • # r8eray Says:
    August 10th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Jerry Buss



  • priesttj

    Well Raider O

    I think it was an oversight on his part but it could’ve been a freudian slip. It could mean that he is more impressed with Jackson than Cable and who would find that hard to believe. Cable hasn’t distinguished himself at all. They haven’t won and any chance of winning may be seen as attributable to Hue Jackson than Cable.

    However Cable is still the HC and that gives him every chance to become what Mr Davis sees as a real asset. It certainly seems he trust him and gives him the leeway to put together team with his imprint on it. So we’ll see, but if I’m Cable I make sure that Oline is solid as possible.

  • Whats up with McFragile?? Homeboy (chicken little legs) is whining about his hamstring…..trade his a$$!! I give up on this guy..this guy…shishh!!

  • priesttj Says:
    August 10th, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Well Raider O

    I think it was an oversight on his part but it could’ve been a freudian slip


    More like a senior moment.

  • Kirk

    We will find out more about this team on Thursday.

    The Cowboy defense looks pretty good.

  • fat kidd

    dmac needs some purpledrank and he could play thru his injuries.

  • Jerry,

    Who was the interviewer?

  • hendu

    M Lonetree, Raider On,Yes! Post22,Thanks for the wisdom,It gives me a POSITIVE vibe when dealing w/haters /niner fans,pretenders, RAIDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • priesttj


    As you stated they wouldn’t have the guts to utter a single word. But in here they’re Tarzan, in his face they’re Jane(Damsel in Distress).

  • M Lonetree Says:
    August 10th, 2010 at 10:42 pm
    if any of you sorry a$$ed mutherF^%kers evr sat with Al face to face and said the same shyte that you do on this blog…
    then good for you.
    but you would not.
    internet crap is what it is.
    That’s because Al Davis doesn’t do many interviews.

  • When he’s hiding in his office behind bodyguards and Secret Service, there’s no opportunity for interaction with the fans.

  • # KoolKell Says:
    August 10th, 2010 at 10:43 pm


    Who was the interviewer?


    John Herrera, it seems.

  • priesttj

    The interviewer was Gil Brandt who worked for the Cowboy’s for a long time.

  • Priesttj Says:
    August 10th, 2010 at 10:49 pm
    The interviewer was Gil Brandt who worked for the Cowboy’s for a long time.
    Ah yeah, that’s right.

  • I was watchng an interview during an Owner’s annual meeting, and JJ said that Al Davis taught him a lot about managing an NFL team, and that he call him often for advice.

  • M Lonetree


    don’t know if you’ve been around but I appreciate the words.
    BHP and KK and I have been around since before Clem Daniels and Art Powell.
    Al has been around almost as long as we have.
    Raider On.

  • Well said BHP. I think he said Jackson becuase responsible for the offense IMO. It could be a lot of things, so we will gave to wait and see.

  • Have*



  • priesttj

    I agree Raider O

    you said it better than I did.

  • Try Some Reality

    Davis – boy, I hope you’re right about this year.