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Al Davis - The Black And Silver

Famous Sports StarsFootballAl Davis Biography - Growing Up, Davis And The Afl, The Black And Silver, The Glory Years, Chronology

The Black and Silver

In 1963, Davis was hired by the AFL's Oakland Raiders as the head coach and general manager. He was the youngest man to ever hold both positions. That year the rookie head coach would transform a 1-13 team into a 10-4 contender and win the AFL's Coach of the Year award. His innovative ideas, such as bump and run pass coverage, would become staples of the NFL in years to come. He redesigned the team's image, changing their colors to black and silver, and gave them a motto, "Pride and Poise." With the relentless passing attack and intimidating defense that would become their trademark, the Raiders were on the verge of becoming one of the AFL's most dominant teams.

In 1966, Davis was named the AFL's commissioner. In direct competition with the NFL, the AFL chose Davis in hopes of forcing a merger. They had hoped his ruthless tactics would eventually weaken their rival. Davis immediately set out to lure unhappy NFL players to the AFL. Their strategy worked and the two leagues merged following the 1969 Super Bowl. Pete Rozelle took over as commissioner and Davis went back to Oakland, but the hostility that festered between the two would last for decades.

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