To say that the late owner of the Oakland Raiders, Al Davis, made his share of enemies over his more than 4 decade career in the AFL/NFL would be an understatement. Marcus Allen, Mike Shanahan, Lane Kiffin, Pete Rozelle, the list goes on and on. Davis has long been known as someone who treat his friends like royalty while trying his best to make his enemies’ lives a living hell.
The latter is the scenario described by former Raiders QB Dan Pastorini, who told the Jim Rome radio show that Al Davis harbored resentment towards the QB after breaking his leg in a game early in the 1980 season, for reasons unknown to the gunslinger:
I broke my leg, [Jim] Plunkett took over…I was ready to play towards the end of the season, came back from my injury but Al Davis decided he wouldn’t activate me. He went into the playoffs and the Superbowl with Plunkett and the rookie [Marc Wilson] and just wouldn’t let me back on the team, wouldn’t even let me suit up for the Superbowl.
Pastorini was asked why he felt Davis decided to treat him this way and Pastorini said he is as confused about it today as he was back then:
I tried to [ask him why]. I remember I was in the locker room after the injury and he [Davis] was walking by and I said “hello Mr. Davis” and he ignored me…when he walked by me I said “hey, whats the problem?” and he just looked at me and sneered and shook his head and walked away like I was dirt….I wasnt one of those guys that was sorry to see him go. I’ve got some deep seeded problems with him and not ashamed to admit it
Stories like this are not uncommon when talking about Al Davis. Raiders running back, Marcus Allen, had a strained relationship with the team owner for reasons still unbeknownst to Allen. Part of the old Raider mystique is that no one knew what Al Davis was thinking except Al. Thats the way he operated until the day he died