“You can see through this stuff sometimes, and you know Al Davis just died, obviously had a great career and did a lot of good things but it seems when people die sometimes, the narrative…you know ‘They’re doing this for Al Davis’ and all that, and in this case, I really doubt the Raiders had that much of a connection with Al Davis” –Bill Simmons, B.S. Report 10/14 with Al Michaels.
“He used to come out to practices and say hi,” Boyd said. “I came in as a free agent, so I didn’t think he knew everything about me, but the first time I met him he went all the way back to my high school years. He knew about everything from my high school years till I came here for the first time. It was amazing for somebody to know everything about everybody” –Raiders safety Jerome Boyd on Al Davis from Steve Corkran’s 10/10 Inside Bay Area Buzz column
“When I first got here, Al called me and the first thing he said was, ‘The last time I saw you, you were running around this facility knocking things over,’ ” — lineback Bruce Davis II (who consequently was cut to make room for Aaron Curry) on Al Davis from the same article.
There is also a video where Darrius Heyward-Bey said that Davis would call him every Christmas and that Davis meant a lot to him.
The point I am trying to make here is that making a statement such as “I doubt the Raiders had that much of a connection with Al Davis”–perhaps the most hands on owner in the NFL up until his death–is just asinine. Bill Simmons is good at what he knows: which is Boston Sports.
He clearly does not read any Bay area papers (although he does live in the perpetually warm and sunny L.A.) or he would’ve been able to read countless statements like the ones above from CURRENT players about how much Al Davis meant to them.
The quotes above are from no-name players (raise your hand if you knew who they were). I know them because I read a Raiders’ article every day. If Davis did that kind of stuff for them, imagine what he did for Darren McFadden or Richard Seymour, other than pay them millions of dollars.
Simmons is very entertaining and I like listening to his podcasts, but every once in a while, he makes statements like these that just drive me completely nuts. Stick to what you know, Bill. Tom Hanks, Boston sports and reality TV please.