The NFL lost an iconic figure today. Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis has passed away, according to Raiders.com. The Raiders will release a statement later today. Davis was in poor health, that much was obvious. While it was fun to poke fun at how Al Davis operated the modern Oakland Raiders, he was a visionary early in his career as the owner and one of the few owners in the league who could evaluate talent and knew football.
If you've read the book The League by David Harris, you will know that Al Davis was a significant figure in the AFL/NFL merger days. He at one point the commissioner of the old AFL and was the head coach and general manager of the Raiders prior to becoming the owner. From 1967 to 1985 the team won 13 division championships, one AFL championship (1967), three Super Bowls (XI, XV, and XVIII) and made 15 playoff appearances with Al Davis in control of the team.
While his decisions clearly wained as his health declined, the NFL lost an icon today.
"Just win, baby."