The pro football world lost a legend over the weekend when Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis passed away at the age of 82. Quite a few owners, general managers and others associated with the game of football have commented on Davis' death and the impact he's had on their careers.
One of those people is John Madden, who coached Davis' Raiders for a decade. Madden reflected on Davis and how he felt when he initially heard the news in an interview with a San Diego radio station.
"I heard about it sometime, it was either late Friday or early Saturday. It was one of those calls that you get in the middle of the night when you're sleeping and it coulda been five or six o'clock. Amy Trask of the Raiders called and said ‘Al Davis passed away' and I was in shock. I had been with Al Davis since I left San Diego State as a matter of fact in the 1960's. I had been with him directly or indirectly all those years, for six decades. He was a bigger part of my life than any outsider outside of family. He was my best friend. It's Al Davis. Al Davis doesn't die. Just the shock of it. Even though you could see him and knew he was sick and he was failing, he is a fighter, he fights that, you know he was gonna beat it. You always say that you knew he was failing and stuff, but it was still Al Davis. You didn't think it would happen to him."
Madden is one of the people most associated with Al Davis, who often went against the grain in hiring executives and coaches. Madden was the youngest head coach in the league when Davis tabbed him as the leader of the Raiders, and all he did was go on to win 100 games in a decade, along with a Super Bowl.