NFL commissioner Roger Goodell considers longtime Oakland Raiders owner and Hall of Famer Al Davis a "true legend" of the game.
The 82-year-old Davis died at his home in Oakland on Saturday morning, while his beloved team was in Houston preparing to play the Texans on Saturday. That Davis was not with his team was telling as he is believed to have missed only three games since joining the team as coach in 1963.
Davis, one of the most important figures in NFL history, followed his famous "Just Win Baby" motto on and the field and in the courtroom to three Super Bowl titles in a trailblazing career.
"Al Davis's passion for football and his influence on the game were extraordinary," Goodell said. "He defined the Raiders and contributed to pro football at every level. The respect he commanded was evident in the way that people listened carefully every time he spoke. He is a true legend of the game whose impact and legacy will forever be part of the NFL."
Published in The Arizona Republic from Oct. 8 to Oct. 9, 2011