Exclusive: Matt Millen on Al Davis: "Trying to Write Him Out of League History."
Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr.
HENDERSON, Nev.--Legendary Raider Matt Millen believes the NFL is trying to eliminate Hall of Fame owner Al Davis from the pages of its history book.
"You always knew where you were coming from with Al Davis," Millen told Sports Illustrated's Raider Maven. "He was a treasure trove for the history of the league. But I think as the narrative is being written for the NFL going forward, I believe, unfortunately, they are trying to write him out of league history. But Al Davis was a true force in the National Football League."
Davis had a contentious relationship with the league.
He was commissioner of the AFL during the height of the war with the NFL in the mid-1960s and signed a number of the established league's higher profile players, including quarterback John Brodie and tight end Mike Ditka.
The AFL spending forced the NFL to pay players more to keep them in their league. Then once the merger occurred, Davis and the NFL faced off often in court on multiple occasions.
We asked long-time NFL writer Rick Gosselin about Millen's comments and he said: "I knew Al Davis. I covered the league for almost five decades. I don't see how they can cut Al out of the mix. You couldn't possibly cut Al Davis out of the NFL history book."
While it is no secret that Davis and NFL had their issues, there is also no doubt that both benefited from the other. Raiders' fans believe wholeheartedly that the league has an agenda against the Silver and Black.
True or not, when a member of the Raider family who has had NFL success like Millen feels that way, it can't be swept under the rug.
The entire podcast with Millen will be published on Tuesday in our weekly, What it Means to be a Raider podcast. That will have a lot more for the former Raider great.
Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
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