Thursday, May 25, 2006

Vultures Shot Down Over Oakland

Like slobbering vultures, Eddie DeBartolo and Carmen Policy are circling and searching for roadkill on the NFL’s yellow brick road to Los Angeles. But when they tried to ambush the Oakland Raiders, they found themselves caught in the jaws of a much fiercer and more principled animal called the Raider Nation.

Here’s how it went down: Eddie groomed a lapdog at Sports Illustrated, who then shamelessly invoked Mr. Davis’s “walker” to prop up a
totally unfounded story about Eddie potentially buying the Raiders and moving them to Los Angeles. The San Francisco Chronicle, which is often praised for its investigative reporting, then gave the uninvestigated “story” credence while, of course, maintaining a careful distance (ie: they said it, not me! so don't blame me for repeating it to a million newspaper readers).

Thankfully, the Chronicle’s own C.W. Nevius, whom I’ve always considered a class act, neutered the story in
his blog. I disagree with Nevius on one thing: his statement that if the story isn’t pinned down, “the magazine is going to look really foolish. And as a rule, Sports Illustrated doesn’t do foolish.”

Actually, Sports Illustrated is becoming quite adept at doing foolish. This is the magazine that hired Jay Mohr as a commentator. Worse yet, it hired
Jenn Sterger as a commentator. Sterger’s credentials? Flaunting her assets as a student at Florida State. I'm not kidding.

This is also the same magazine that, in
a recent feature on sports blogs, whined that blogging takes traditional journalism “away from facts, reporting and professional decorum.” You know, the type of facts, reporting and decorum that you get from Mohr and Sterger.

This entire episode is a journalistic embarrassment to Sports Illustrated, with collateral damage to the San Francisco Chronicle. As for Eddie and Carmen, disgraceful behavior is par for the course.

But Amy Trask shot all of the vultures out of the sky, and Mr. Davis beat them with his cane, and once again the Oakland Raiders are victorious in matters of integrity.

P.S. For an excellent autopsy on this Sports Illustrated piece, check out Glenn Dickey's blog.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's awesome! I would like to announce here on Raider Take, that I am also becoming a "future" owner of the Oakland/Los Angeles/Anaheim/San Diego of California Raiders, after Al kicks the bucket. It's true! It's all true! And you're going to have to take my word for it, because why would I lie. I can have dreams too.
Nice try idiots! I can't remember which one it was, Policy or DeBartolo; but wasn't one of these clowns removed as an owner for acts of fraud?
I disagree with the article about SI not looking stupid too, RT. The last article I read that was good, was by Mr Riley, and it was about the California School for the Deaf's (Riverside, CA) football team from last year, but I don't recall which exact issue. Outside of that article, they are more laughable than John Clayton, and the rest of the ESPN crew; that ALWAYS report on the figments of their imaginations.

10:51 AM  
Blogger THN said...

People realize that Al Daivs doesn't own the Raiders. He is the representative of the managing general partners, or whatever his title is.

I'm not even sure that the club is his to sell.

But one thing is for sure, he ain't selling to the former 9ers owner.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al sell the team to those two scumlifes from SF? Please. Amy T hit that one out of the park and so did RT. Yikes!

12:00 PM  
Blogger THN said...

I checked with some legal types... the ownership group (about 100 people) could sell the team out from under Al. But because of Al's contract, he would still operate the team.

In other words, it ain't happening.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nfl adam said, "People realize that Al Daivs doesn't own the Raiders. He is the representative of the managing general partners, or whatever his title is."

the official raiders website has him listed "officially" as "owner." the title he has, he gave to himself. to put it another way, the oakland raiders are a "privately held company" in which al davis would be the "majority shareholder" which in sense would make him owner of the company. the other "shareholders" could sell their portions, but the way mr davis set up the front office of the raiders (his privately held company), they would have to sell their "shares" back to al davis. so no, they cannot sell the raiders out from under him because they do not have the final say in the "private company" we know as the oakland raiders.
how do i know this? the nfl is comprised of privately held teams (franchises). hence why a lot of the nfl teams are family owned (like the squeelers). mlb is set up the same way. being an accountant, and understanding business organization; if you research this more, you will find that yes a privately held franchise could have a "board," but the "board" can still be over-ruled on any issue by the "majority shareholder" (al davis). what the board does, legally, is not make al davis solely responsible or legally liable for the team, and separates his personal income from the oakland raiders financial statements.
green bay is set up the same way, but the board is made up by the community/representatives of green bay.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ownership situation of the Raiders is a little difficult to understand because it is unique among sports history as far as I know - the head coach became owner without initally having any capital of his own to invest - a modern tale of pirate plundering if there ever was one.

Here's what I make of it:

The Raiders franchise is what is known as a limited partnership. As a legal entity, this means there are general partners along with other limited partners.

The general partners have management control and can enter into contracts with third parties (the NFL, stadiums, cities, etc.) and bind all the limited partners into these agreements. In return for having more authority, general partners typically also assume more financial risk/ liablility than the limited parnters do.

Anyway, back in the day (the '60s), Al parlayed being Raider Head Coach into being the AFL Commissioner and forced the merger with the NFL.

The owners of the team were Wayne Valley, Ed MCGah, and Robert Osborne. These three were general partners, until Osborne vacated his positon.

To lure Al Davis back to the organization after his commisioner tenure, Wayne Valley offered Davis a share estimated to be 10% of the pie and the third general partnership.

Davis is reported to have "bought" this share at a pittance of $18,000 which he acquired through a letter of credit - basically no money down.

Then, while Valley was out of town, Al got the other partner, Ed McGah, to cede complete authority to Al. The general partners voted 2-1 to make Al incharge, with Al and McGah voting in favor and Valley voting against it. Valley sold his interest in the team after learning how he'd been hoodwinked.

Al's exact title became "managing general partner" and this translates into "owner". The aggreement gave Al exclusive authority over all personnel and hiring decisions, and the authority to do all other things he considers "in the best interests of the team and the partnership."

In 2004, Al Davis settled out of court with the McGah family (the remaining general partner, though Ed McGah had died)

Davis is believed to have purchase McGah's interest in the team, and though no one seems to know the exact details (out of court settlements aren't public), most estimates have Al presently owning about two thirds of the team.

Al Davis is the only general partner left and owns a majority of the shares in the team.

Bottom line: Al Davis runs the team without there being any other general partners who can tell him what to do. He tells all the other limted partners what the Raiders will do. He could sell his general partnership and all/some of his shares in the team if he wished.

My guess is on the sad day Allen Davis passes away, his son, Mark, will gain ownership of the team.

Hopefully Mark will understand his father's way and show the same loyalty to executives like Amy Trask and Mike Lombardi. But there is NO question Mark Davis does not have the football mind his father does. Very few people in history could claim to be Al Davis' equal when it comes to knowing football.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Where do I begin? For starters, they're 49ers. Isn't that enough?

Eddie was forced out of the NFL for his criminal activities, yet he is continually glorified while Mr. Davis, a Hall of Famer and law-abiding citizen, is continually villified.

Lastly, Eddie has the nerve to invoke Mr. Davis's physical health as a self-serving platform to float a classless and ridiculous fantasy about him buying the Raiders and moving the team to Los Angeles. What a creep.

As for Policy, he is convicted of guilt by association.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

As usual, another excellent post RT. I was in the midst of writing a similar entry when you beat me to the punch. These false and ridiculous rumors were put 6 feet under by our esteemed CEO Amy Trask.

Anyone who thinks Al Davis will sell the Raiders franchise to an outside group has been sharing too much wacky tobaccy with Ricky Williams.

When Al Davis' health does eventually deteriorate to the point where he isn't as involved in the day to day affairs, the Raiders organization will always be owned, operated, and controlled by family. When I say 'family', I mean 'Raider family' meaning his wife and/or son being the majority owner, Trask continuing to be CEO, and Lombardi running football operations. Pigs will fly before you see DeBartolo/Policy get their filthy mitts on the Raiders organization.

Think about it. Does Silver (and DeBartolo/Policy for that matter) honestly believe that Davis has shed his blood, sweat, and tears the last 46 years to suddenly cash out his chips for a healthy profit?

Unlike other owners who are businessmen first, Davis is and always will be primarily a football man. His sole motivations are to win more Lombardi Trophies and keep the Raiders organization as his unique vision NOT to become a corporate entity.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a reason why DeBartolo was chased from the NFL in disgrace, and his sad sidekick, Policy flopped in Cleveland: They are two men with zero class.
I suggest they pick up the latest version of "Madden Football". It's hours of fun, and the closest these two losers will ever get to the NFL again.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right, RT. Silver has a history as a Niner lapdog. He did a feature about Al Davis in SI years ago (I forget which year) that portrayed him as a sad, solitary figure who was losing his grip on football. After the article came out there was a chorus of Raiders and ex-Raiders saying that they spoke to Silver and he chose to omit anything complimentary towards Al.

This is more of the same from a smug little man...

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post...except it's a walker, not a cane.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

The cane reference was admittedly a bit of poetic license on my part, I liked the imagery of it, so I couldn't resist. The point being that, whatever physical state Mr. Davis is in, he can still beat down Eddie, no sweat.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point is, Al Davis as unilateral decision-making power as far as the Raiders are concerned.

No one can “sell the team from under him” or take it from him by force, no matter what his physical health situation is reported to be.

To paraphrase Samuel Clemens, reports of Al’s demise are greatly exaggerated.

DeBartolo and Policy cannot RAID THE RAIDERS no matter what they or the mediots say!

Buffoons and idjiots with delusions of grandeur, methinks.

As Trask said in response to the SI story:

"This is not a story about the Oakland Raiders being sold. This is not a story about the team relocating. This is a story about two gentlemen, Eddie DeBartolo and Carmen Policy, who clearly are drinking too much of Carmen's recently bottled wine.''

"The only look those two are going to get at this team is if they want to watch it on television.''

Any sale of the Raiders (or any other football organization) has to be approved by a vote of the NFL owners.

DeBartolo is a convicted felon. Worse yet, his felony involves gambling, namely bribing political officials in New Orleans for a gambling license.

The NFL does not take kindly to known gamblers or convicted felons. DeBartolo CANNOT buy ANY NFL team as a result.

Hell, if he can't even own the SF Whiners - a team he owned during SB glory years - because of his transgressions... how in the blasted-blue-Beelzebub could Eddie possibly own any other NFL team?!?

Eddie needs to put the screw cap back on his cheap Napa Valley Cabernet DeLusiono, like Amy said, baby!

SI is joining ESPN at the head of the mediot parade of @$$clowns and truth jugglers these days.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

We also have Carmen Policy himself, as reported in today's Oakland Tribune, stating: "There's no chance of it happening, and we never really talked seriously about it."

Wow, what a great premise for a two page story in a major magazine.

Either Policy is lying or Sports Illustrated has some explaining to do.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

RT - I think it is a little bit of both. BTW, I just gave 'Seahawk fan' a stiff right jab that you might find amusing. Cheers! LOL :)

7:50 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Classic! I've got great company in the foxhole!

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally, here is the truth from Policy:

""Anybody who has worked with Al Davis in the National Football League knows that team is more important to his life than anything. He's not selling that team as long as long as he is breathing."

Looks like the wine wore off - hope the hangover is a stoop'n'puke for those two buffoons...

2:56 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Eddie D. paid for Silver's
room & airfare to Vegas ... too many complimentary drinks and lap-dances and this story is the end result ... Silver's judgement and integrity was severely compromised. Pathetic.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, if anyone's still reading this, Silver is still on Eddie D's jock this week. Check it out on

1:47 PM  
Blogger The Analyzer said...

good article. It seems that most Raiders fans are the only ones that don't believe this crap.

This rumor stuff keeps the offseasons interesting in Oakland. I couldn't be a fan of any other team.

Raider News

9:37 AM  
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