Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Media coverage of death of Al Davis is selectively positive

Amazing how a man's death is like White Out when it comes to the media's portrayal of him, especially in sports.

For years, Raiders owner Al Davis was written and talked about repeatedly as the out-of-touch old man in Oakland who couldn't draft worth a lick and made crazy statements. Davis was a caricature of his former self. A wacky old grandfather who dressed in velvet jumpsuits and wore glasses with a chain and constantly barked incoherent nonsense at people. He took a kicker in the first round? He took Darius Heyward-Bay over Michael Crabtree? He did what? Just win baby! Commitment to excellence! Boo!

He was a rebel, a pioneer, a black hat in the NFL sea of heroes, but he certainly wasn't as saintly as CBS, Fox and ESPN would lead you to believe.

Then, tragically, Davis died over this past weekend and every story was a glowing tribute to a "legend" or a "visionary". Was Al Davis both of those things? Yes. Should we stomp on a man's grave after his passing? No.

But this total blackout that occurs when someone dies and we forget all that was said so recently about him by the media is irresponsible and a little offensive. We aren't that stupid as fans. We know what the perception of Al Davis was up until his unfortunate death.

Sometimes, the national talking heads need a refresher course in being fair and balanced, or at the every worst, just remember what they said a month ago.

- BTilton@News-Herald.com


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