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Al Davis turns 82: the Churchill comparison

Friday, July 1, 2011

imageVeteran Bay Area News Group columnist Martin Snapp writes that when the Oakland Tribune’s longtime sports editor, Bob Valli, retired in 1993, his buddies at the paper asked him who to invite to the bon voyage party “and the first name on his list” was Al Davis. “Come on, Bob!’ I said, ‘He’ll never come! Everybody knows he’s a recluse.’” Davis was the first to arrive and the last to leave, Snapp says, reflecting on the enigmatic Raiders owner. The occasion: Davis turns 82 on the Fourth of July.

Add: Snapp, who once studied history at Yale, notes that some fans still haven’t forgiven Davis for moving the team to L. A. in 1982, despite his bringing them back in ‘95:

He's like Winston Churchill, who was originally elected to Parliament as a Conservative, crossed the aisle in 1904 to join the Liberals, then crossed the aisle again 20 years later to rejoin the Conservatives.

As he took his seat on the Conservative bench, his erstwhile Liberal allies hooted at him, "Rat! Rat!" Unperturbed, Churchill replied, "Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to re-rat."

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