Returning Marcus Allen to Raiders meant a lot to Davis' mom

Returning Marcus Allen to Raiders meant a lot to Davis' mom
September 23, 2012, 9:05 pm
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OAKLAND -- The way new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie sees it, Marcus Allen's return to the Raiders today to light the ceremonial Al Davis torch is only a good thing.Even if the most diehard of Davis supporters are cringing at the thought."He was a great teammate of mine," said McKenzie, who was a Los Angeles Raider with Allen from 1985 through 1988."I didn't know he hadn't been back (to the Raiders). I knew there had been some beef, but I didn't know he hadn't been back. So I'm glad to see him back."The simmering feud between Allen and Al Davis never dissipated, and many fans had issues with Allen signing with Kansas City in 1993, even if he had been benched for the last few years of his Raiders tenure. This after being named Super Bowl XVIII MVP and the league MVP in 1985.But when Davis passed away last Oct. 8 and his son Mark took over as owner, there seemed to be a changing in the Autumn Wind, so to speak.It was at the younger Davis' behest that Allen is back in the Raiders' good graces, even if Allen never played a game as an Oakland Raiders running back. He went into the Hall of Fame in 2003."I always like to see things as positive so I look at it as a positive situation," McKenzie said. "It's a tribute to Mark as well as Marcus to try to bring the family closer, and that's what it seems like they're trying to do."Initially, the Raiders hoped to have Allen light the torch for the opener on Monday Night Football before a scheduling conflict necessitated the change."It's a good thing. He was a great teammate and a great player so I want him to be a part of my family while I'm here. Me and Marcus (have) always been close as far as playing together. He's a class guy right there, man, so I'm glad to see him."
Marcus Allen declined to speak to reporters prior to lighting the commemorative Al Davis torch but the man who reached out to the Super Bowl XVIII MVP talked briefly to, the San Francisco Chronicle and Associated Press.Bringing Allen back, "meant a lot to my mom.
"Throughout the annals of the Raiders history, the L.A. chapter was very unique," Mark Davis said. "We had a lot of great players come through there. You think of the Howie Longs, the (Cliff) Branches, but Marcus was the leader of that whole group. He was the absolute true Raider. There are very few football players I've seen like him, that worked that hard."

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