Brown observes anniversary of Shell hiring

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Brown observes anniversary of Shell hiring

ALAMEDA -- Twenty-three years ago Wednesday, the Raiders and the late Al Davis made history when Art Shell became the first African-American head coach in modern NFL history.Shell was replacing the fired Mike Shanahan, let go after a 1-3 start to the 1989 season and a 7-9 record in 1988, and was officially promoted from offensive line coach on Oct. 3, 1989. Six days later, Shell and the then-Los Angeles Raiders beat the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.Willie Brown, a longtime Raiders staffer and current team ambassador, took a special pride in his former teammate getting the job."It was a very big moment for the organization and Mr. Davis for having the guts, I should say, and the desire to be the first to hire (an African-American), particularly a person who played for him -- Art Shell," Brown told CSNCalifornia.com on Wednesday.Ten years before hiring Shell, Davis tapped Tom Flores, who became the first minority to win a Super Bowl as a head coach. Flores, who won two Lombardi Trophies, retired after the 1987 season and Shanahan was hired after a search in which Brown's name was floated as a potential candidate.Nearly a quarter of a century later, though, Brown was still elated with the choice of Shell in 1989."Art was prepared, he was ready to be a head coach and Mr. Davis knew that," Brown said. "And his choice was him, regardless of color. I don't think Mr. Davis went after Art in terms of being the first (African-American) coach in the National Football League. I think his idea was trying to find the right person to fit this organization."He didn't think about the color of his skin. He didn't care what color you were. He was concerned about getting the right person as a head coach, the right people as football players."Shell would finish the '89 season with a 7-5 record before going 12-4 and taking the Raiders to the 1990 AFC title game and being named NFL coach of the year. He would coach through the 1994 season and compile a record of 54-38 and a playoff record of 2-3. He only had one non-losing season -- 7-9 in 1992 -- but Davis fired him after a 9-7 mark in 1994, the team's last year in Los Angeles.A disastrous second-run in 2006 ended with a 2-14 record and Shell being shown the door again.Still, were it not for Shell being hired in 1989, perhaps the roads for the likes of Dennis Green, Tony Dungy, Lovie Smith, Mike Tomlin and even former Raiders coach Hue Jackson would have encountered many more detours and taken a much longer time.And since Shell's 1989 hiring, 13 other African-Americans have been hired as an NFL head coach, with six others being interim head coaches."To me it's big because it's another black man getting a job and he's contributing to the National Football League, in terms of trying to set some structures, some ideas and value in terms of his players," Brown said."I think in the community, all over the world, when you see a black coach getting another position, it means a lot to the black community."

Derek Carr approves of Tiger Woods' new pool table

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AP

Derek Carr approves of Tiger Woods' new pool table

Tiger Woods' re-felted pool table is for all of Raider Nation.

To no surprise, quarterback Derek Carr approves of the new look. 

The golf legend tweeted a picture of his new table where he went with silver felt and a Raiders logo right in the middle. Woods' table also has silver and black balls with the Raiders logo on them. 

Woods grew up in Southern California and attended Stanford in 1994, the Raiders' last year in Los Angeles. That same year, Woods helped the Cardinal become the NCAA Division I golf champions before turning pro.

After eating her food as kid, Lynch purchasing restaurant from 79-year-old

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USATSI

After eating her food as kid, Lynch purchasing restaurant from 79-year-old

Marshawn Lynch first tasted Cassie Nickelson's food when he was nine years old while she catered out of her Oakland apartment.

"When he was 9-years-old, he came across the street to get a hamburger and French fries. 25-cent French fries and a 75-cent hamburger," Nickelson said to KTVU.

Lynch, 31, is now set to take over Nickelson's popular soul-food restaurant, Scend's Restaurant and Bar, in Emeryville. Nickelson, 79, will be retiring in August. 

"I'm comfortable with him and I like him," Nickelson said.

Lynch will not become the official owner until the liquor license changes hands. Scend's, an acronym for Nickelson's children and grandchildren, is known for its seafood, fried chicken and red beans.