Raiders pay tribute to Al Davis

October 17, 2011, 5:44 am
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OAKLAND -- It began with a moving tribute to the late Al Davis shown on the Coliseum's big screen video boards, reached a crescendo with 30-plus former Raiders players ringing the Raiders shield at midfield as John Madden lit an eternal flame on the southeast concourse and concluded with Oakland holding off Cleveland for a 24-17 victory.Just another day for the Raider Nation?"We honored one of the greatest Raiders ever in Coach Davis," said first-year coach Hue Jackson. "I know he's looking down saying, 'Just win, baby.' That's what we did."And they did it with a day full of tributes to Davis.Staff members wore black T-shirts with a silver Raiders shield with "AL" in it. Vignettes were shown on the big screen commemorating Davis' life. Fans brought in homemade signs.Emotions were high, but rather than a funeral feel, it felt like a celebration.Especially when the ex-players took the field, and Madden made like Muhammad Ali at the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.A sampling, then, of the players recognized at halftime: Jim Otto, Rod Sherman, George Atkinson, Jeff Barnes, Morris Bradshaw, Cliff Branch, Willie Brown, Sean Jones, Jerry Robinson, Raymond Chester, Clem Daniels, Anthony Dorsett, Kern Herock, Napoleon Kaufman, Henry Lawrence, Ted Hendricks, Rod Martin, Bob Moore, Jim Plunkett, Bill Romanowski, Mervyn Fernandez, Dave Casper, Robert Jenkins, Vance Mueller, Greg Townsend, Howie Williams, Phil Littleston, Art Thoms, Tom Flores. Rich Gannon, Steve Wisniewski, Greg Biekert, Ricky Hundley and Rod Woodson were named, though game duties precluded them from being on the field.