Part of my goal covering this storied franchise is to shed light on what makes this organization so endearing. Raiders patriarch Al Davis was a visionary – a man who did things his way regardless of the backlash. You can fill an entire notebook with celebrated Davis quotes. My personal favorite being:
“We don’t take what the defense gives us; we take whatever the hell we want.”
AFL Godfather is someone I have followed on Twitter for quite sometime and have long been an admirer of his work. In my quest to uphold the legacy of the Raiders and their amazing fans, I reached out to Mav for an interview request. To say I was elated that he agreed would be an understatement. Without further ado, here’s how our conversation went.
Conversation with AFL Godfather
Q: What year/era did you become a Raider fan?
A: I have been associated with the Raiders since the 1970’s.
Q: From your posts I get the sense that you have served our great nation in the military. Is this correct? If so, what branch?
A: I did not serve, but I have great respect for our military personnel.
Q: Do you regularly attend games in person? If not, how frequently do you go? What was the most memorable game you attended? Have you made plans to experience a game at Allegiant this season?
A: Yes, and many. The most memorable game for me would be the 1976 AFC Championship Game vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Q: I notice that you daily make it a point to wish former Raiders a Happy Birthday. What is the significance behind this?
A: It is important to acknowledge their birthdays. They should all be remembered and birthdays are a great way to do so.
Q: Clearly you are dedicated to memorializing Al Davis. Other than the great Mr. Davis, who would you say is your favorite Raider of all-time?
A: Gene Upshaw was a great man on and off the football field. His leadership was immeasurable. The team enjoyed their greatest period of success during Highway 63’s tenure. Although many other Raiders are special to me, Gene stands alone.
Q: Speaking of Mr. Davis, what are your thoughts on the new prominently displayed Memorial at Allegiant Stadium? Do you think it does his legacy justice?
A: The Allegiant Stadium Memorial Torch is good, but I like the Coliseum Torch even more so. It is situated at the Raider Headquarters in Henderson.
Q: When Mark Davis took over in late 2011, much of the fan base couldn’t have imagined he could get the team the type of stadium his father dreamed of. Even though he had to move the organization to Las Vegas, he was able to pull it off. What are your thoughts on the team relocating for the 3rd time in its storied history?
A: It was a necessary move and Las Vegas has always been a significant place for the Davis family. It is perfectly situated near Los Angeles.
Q: Before we let you go; do you have a message for Raider Nation? What should they be the proudest of in your eyes? And how are they able to maintain such a loyal and rabid fan base after a really rough stretch the past 20 years?
A: Raider Nation should be most proud of the franchise’s maverick ways. The organization is unique compared to other NFL teams. Win or lose, the Raiders have a separate and special feel. The history is remarkable in every aspect. This franchise is a representation of a culture created by a significant individual. The Raiders are a family and others must beware.
Additional commentary by Mav (AFL Godfather):
I started my Facebook page (2011) and the Twitter handle (2012) in response to the passing of Al Davis. I believed it was very important to honor him. I used these platforms to disseminate photos, history, and anecdotes. His death was very difficult for me. Literally not a day goes by that I don’t think about him.
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