HOUSTON—The Oakland Raiders are in Houston getting ready for kick off at Reliant Stadium with the Texans but overshadowed by the death of long time Raiders owner, Al Davis.
The Hall of Famer, who died at his home in Oakland, Calif., at the age of 82 on Saturday, Oct. 8, is described as a pioneer and legend of the NFL. However, Davis had been in poor health for some time, using a walker for several years now.
The cause of death was not immediately disclosed.
Raider nation is mourning his loss, along with those in attendance for The Battle of The Piney Woods between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State that took place at Reliant Stadium.
"Al Davis was your basic maverick," Bill Owens, a former Sam Houston State football standout, said. "He was one of the real establishments of the AFL [American Football League] in the early days, and, you know, [was instrumental in] keeping them going."
"I'm a Texans fan and I'm still sad about that," said Travis Whitehead, a Lubbock, Texas, resident. "It affects a lot of people throughout the whole NFL. I mean, it's not just Raiders [nation feeling the loss of Al Davis]. It would be nice to see them [Raiders] come back [and get a win] after that."
Former Houston Oilers running back, Ronnie Coleman, has fond memories of Davis.
"A lot of people have different opinions about him, but I respected him," said Coleman. "As a matter of fact, he tried to trade for me in 1979. I think he was a pioneer because he came up as a scout."
No question the Raiders, and others across the NFL, will be suiting up on Sunday, Oct. 9 with heavy hearts while keeping Davis' classic motto in mind: "Just win, baby!"