The Curious Case of Raiders' Owner Mark Davis
Now before I get into my take on the new skipper of the Good Ship Raider I do need to explain that, living on the East Coast, I know very little about what’s happening with teams out west, especially teams that have had a run of futility like Oakland. OK, now that I got that out of the way let me just say that the first thing you notice about Mark Davis is that he has a monumentally bad haircut and tends to dress like an eight-year-old. In short, he looks like a first round pick in a Three Stooges fantasy draft or an all-grown-up ’70s child TV star. The second his image flashed across the screen I looked at my friends in disbelief and said, “Are they serious? That’s the Raiders’ Owner?” Then I quickly checked my calendar to make sure this wasn’t some sort of Halloween stunt. But, hey, you can’t judge a book by its cover, right? So, I tried to find out more about the man who inherited the Silver and Black.
For starters, Mark Davis’s Wikipedia profile isn’t quite sure what year he was born. According to Wiki he came into this world in 1954 or 1955 and is either 58 or 59 years old. Let me state again that this guy owns a professional sports franchise worth hundreds of millions of dollars and no one knows when he was born? His entire Wiki profile runs seven sentences. Seven! Two of which are devoted to Davis firing Oakland’s PR director this spring because of an unflattering story Sports Illustrated did on his late father. As if the PR director could have controlled such a thing. The only other thing I could dig up on the guy was a Michael Silver story on him from last year which stated that Al Davis used to treat his only son like crap in public. Once Al reportedly asked him his opinion on what the Raiders should do in the upcoming 2008 draft in front of a room full of team personnel and, after hearing his response, saying: “A (bleeping) receiver? Get the (bleep) out of here?” Thanks, Pop.
This just seems different than, say, Hal and Hank Steinbrenner inheriting a business they’re not all that interested in from their larger-than-life father. If Mark Davis’s Dad actually did do things like that to him in public, God knows what he had to suffer behind closed doors. Perhaps therein lies the explanation for why the guy’s bio reads like he was literally born in a Black Hole. It might also be somewhat responsible for his awkward early tenure as owner of the Raiders. Though I’m still not sure it explains the haircut.