Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oh, Al Davis, you lovable undead nightmare.

Anyone with a passing familiarity of Oakland Raiders' owner/president/cryptkeeper Al Davis is probably aware of his obsession with measurables. It's the reason JabbaMarcus Russell - the quarterback whose ability to throw the ball a country mile was rivaled only by his ability to consume country ham - was made a Number One Overall pick by the Raiders, guaranteeing Russell as a first-ballot member of the Draft Bust Hall-of-Fame.

More than football-chucking strength, though, the Combine datum that gets the sand racing through Davis's black, pruney heart is speed. Speed with a capital 'S'. It's the reason by-all-rational-projections early second round receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was taken seventh overall in 2009. And more recently, it's the reason the Raiders chose Terrelle Pryor in the third round of the NFL Supplemental Draft.

Here are a few lesser known instances of Davis's Need for Speed:

1972 - Bought a custom silver and black Jaguar E-type Series III convertible that he called Irene. Davis was forced to scrap the car after lending to Robert Evans, who returned it with a gas tank full of cocaine.

1980 - Read the Bill Cosby advertisement/essay "How to Read Faster" in Ebony magazine. Found much quicker ways of completely disregarding feedback from college scouts.

1983 - Enrolled in Surgical Technology courses at Las Positas Community College hoping to find a way to create a human/quarter horse hybrid. Transferred to Photography after his first semester, focusing on nude self portraiture. Was promptly expelled.

1992 - Bought a minority share in Galoob after being wowed by John Moschitta in a Micro Machines commercial.

1994 - Outfitted all Raiders offices with state of the art 28.8k modems. (Note: offices have not been upgraded since.)

1998 - Perfected a spinach, applesauce, wheat germ, methamphetamine smoothie recipe that has kept him alive to this day.