After watching the Red-River classic, I decided to take a quick look at the NFL Network just to see what was cooking. I was astounded to see that they were doing wall-to-wall coverage of the death of Al Davis.
I was astounded because I had just watched 3 hours of college football, and nobody said a one word about the fact that Al Davis had died. You might think they would mention it... in passing at least. What a contrast in reaction. No word on the college programs. Nothing but Al Davis on the NFL Network.
I suppose it is fitting in at least one way. Al Davis was a very polarizing figure. You either loved him or you hated him. I hated him. I know that's not PC in the immediate aftermath of the man's death, but it is the truth. I find myself in the same position I was when Georgia Frontiera and Michael Jackson died. Although you feel a bit sorry for the one who just lost his/her life, and you feel bad for those who grieve, you also feel... well... should I say it?
"Thank God the freak show is over."
My apologies to the ones who grieve, but I do have a sense that the freak-show is over. We are hearing endless praise for the positive impact Al had on the league, and there is more than a little truth to this. There is also the dark side of this guy. If you're not cheating you're not trying. Cheating is encouraged. We are the bad guys. I don't care what sort of a bad guy you are off the field, as long as you perform on the field. Whoever is on parole, that's whose starting for us Sunday. Commitment of felonies. We'll spin you around and upside down and laugh when we have conquered and won. Just win baby.
Pardon me, but I am not into the bad guys. I am glad that when my Rams won the Super Bowl in 1999-2000, our team was composed of a bunch of good guys. I like the good guys.
Still, when you hear a man like Jerry Jones--a guy I consider one of the good guys--break down in grief over Al Davis, you must think that there was a good side to this Al Davis. I certainly hope all the good things we have heard about him in the past few hours are true.