Much is said of his haircut, his choice of vehicle, phone, and cuisine. Moreover, by all accounts, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis has taken the ribbing in stride and laughed along with it.
Nevertheless, that is where the laughter ends. Whether you love him or hate him, Davis has defied the odds.
In short: What the Bowl Cut Kid wants, he gets.
A new stadium?
Done, albeit in Las Vegas, much to the chagrin of many in Raider Nation.
In addition, many believed this to be a pipedream, something the “broke” Davis could never achieve. Many were under the impression Davis would sell his majority stake of the team to someone who could get the team new digs.
Not only did Davis get 31 of the 32 NFL owners to sign off on the move, he netted $750 million in public funds from the state of Nevada.
Landing Jon Gruden?
Done, albeit with a sizeable contract — in terms of length and monetary value.
It is hard to gauge which item was more of a pipedream — getting a new stadium or having Chucky return to Oakland.
Davis’ triumph was clear when he kicked off the Jon Gruden introductory press conference with: “This is a big effin deal.”
For someone who mocked and labeled “Tommy Boy”, a state of the art home and the return of a revered coach are big effin deals.
When many said Davis’ wants and wishes were nothing more than infantile fantasy, he made them a reality. It is easy for someone to succumb to the peer pressure and give up when everyone says things seem impossible. Life is far more difficult to persevere and push on in the face of insurmountable odds.
“Somebody asked me what was harder: to get the 31 votes to move to Las Vegas, or to get Jon Gruden?” Davis said after Gruden’s presser. “And by far to get Jon Gruden was the toughest.”
Want to know what else is tough? Admitting a mistake and cutting bait.
Davis did just that with former head coach Jack Del Rio, a man he handed a four-year contract extension to lead the Raiders after a 12-4 renaissance season. Then came a 6-10 utter faceplant of a disaster and, after the final game l, Davis cut ties.
Talk about how cold-blooded Davis’ decision to have Del Rio announce his own dismissal at the postgame press. Yet, it’s Davis’ prerogative to run the organization how he sees fit.
Sure, you can infer Davis made the move to wax Del Rio because he had an inkling. — his dream pal Gruden would be coming back to don the Silver and Black once more. However, it took fortitude for Davis to admit he was wrong. He faced the situation and stomach the money he would still have to pay Del Rio to land Gruden.
For six years, Davis longed for Gruden to be his head coach and Reggie McKenzie as his general manager. Many vehemently pointed and laughed at Davis.
Who’s laughing now?