Al Davis, Raiders Owner Dies at Age 82

The controversial and enigmatic Oakland Raiders owner passes away

<p> The controversial and enigmatic Oakland Raiders owner passes away</p>

Al Davis, the always controversial and enigmatic owner of the Oakland Raiders passed away today, October 8th, 2011.

The cause of death is currently unknown, but the team site says they will issue a statement later today with more information.

Davis, who has been highly criticized in recent decades for making seemingly poor football decisions, was 82 years old. And while the Raiders had struggled in recent years, it should not be forgotten that his "Just Win, Baby" mantra in the 70s turned the Raiders into a very successful franchise. And even though he has taken a lot of flack in recent years, the Raiders have exceeded expectations this season and have one of the more exciting offenses in the NFL.

In his 48 years as owner of the Raiders, Oakland won 3 Super Bowl championships (Super Bowls XI, XV and XVIII) and had 28 winning seasons. Davis was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992. Loved him or hated him, you had to admit that he always wanted the best for the Oakland Raiders. He was George Steinbrenner before there was George Steinbrenner.

He was known for feuding with players and coaches and had a penchant for being an owner who made decisions that would override those of his coaching staff and GMs.

His death marks a very big turning point for not only the Raiders team, but for the league as well. With Davis at the helm and making unconventional decisions (like paying Nnamdi Asomugha much more than the market would have), the Raiders have had a ripple effect on the league. 

It is unclear who will take over control of the Oakland Raiders, but much more information should be forthcoming. Davis has suffered from ill-health for a while.

Earlier this year, Al Michaels said that the Raiders would never win a Super Bowl as long as Al Davis was still alive and running the Raiders.  We're guessing he feels a little bad for saying that now.

It will also be interesting to see how the Black Hole, the Raiders rabid and often insane fan base shows their support for Davis this weekend.

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