The Raider Nation mourned together this weekend after the passing of Al Davis early Saturday morning. It started on Saturday as sports networks around the country paid tribute to one of the most influential men in the history of professional football. During most of these tributes, tickers at the bottom of the screen showed the love being poured out by the Raider Nation for Mr. Davis via Twitter.
On Sunday, the Nation continued the celebration of Mr. Davis as they came together across the country to do what Mr. Davis did every Sunday for years, watch the Silver and Black play football the Al Davis way. The Oakland Raiders traveled to face a very good Houston Texans team on Sunday, in a game that no one expected the Raiders to win.
After being blown out by the New England Patriots at home just one week earlier, most believed that the Raiders would not be able to bounce back on the road against such a good team. At first, it looked as though the talking heads were right. The Raiders offense looked terrible as it failed to get a first down until the very end of the second quarter. Then, something changed at half time.
Whether you believe Mr. Davis played a role in it or not, the Raiders players certainly felt a change and came out in the second half with a passion and determination not seen yet this season. The defense stepped up to the plate and continuously harassed Matt Schaub throughout the second half. The coaching staff stepped up making gutsy calls like the fake punt in the fourth quarter. And the offense stepped up, taking and increasing their lead over the Texans.
At the end of the day, as the dust settled, one of Al Davis' draft picks, Michael Huff, stood in the endzone with the ball in his hands as the Raiders celebrated a big and very emotional win.
To thank the players for playing their hearts out, and to show respect for the man who is responsible for making the Raiders what they are today, nearly 500 fans showed up at the Raiders headquarters on Sunday night in order to welcome back the team.
Amy Trask joined the Raiders coaching staff and players who mingled with fans for half an hour and shared in the heart felt celebration. This time though, the Raiders were celebrating more than just a win, they were celebrating the legacy of Al Davis, a man that changed professional football in this country forever.
We miss you Al. Just Win Baby!