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Papa: Let me be one of the first to wish you a happy birthday, sir.
But as he approaches a very special Fourth of July, he instead showed his softer side and divulged childhood memories. He rarely grants one on ones, though I had a wide ranging, in depth one in 2006, and he also offered up some Brooklyn memories in that one, as well.
Papa: You mentioned you played for the great Al Bedane (sp?) and played all the sports. But football was the one. You stated when you were 18 you had a deep understanding of football. Why do you feel, Al, that you saw football better than the other sports.
This seven minute stroll down memory lane was just Armani Belts For Men a snippet of a two hour sitdown interview conducted in Davis' office two weeks ago by Greg Papa, the Raiders long time broadcaster and host of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's "Chronicle Live."
Before getting to the full transcript of Thursday night's segment, here's a brief analysis: Al loves to tell stories, especially if they involve football and himself. No bombshells to report. No derogatory remarks. No firing of Little League coaches. Just happy to talk Al, sharing a glimpse of his mysterious early years.
Papa: Tell me about Brooklyn and those days. You've mentioned some of the names to me, the great Don McMahon who went on to pitch in the major leagues with the Braves was a childhood friend of yours. The Torre family, and I think you were closer to Frank than Joe. Some of the people, before you got to Erasmus Hall even, that you knew just growing up in Brooklyn.
in that park, you had to be a survivor. I can only tell you this story, I did the eulogy for Sugar Ray Robinson when he died in Hermes Belt Offer
Al Davis speaks of childhood
I'll offer extra analysis on Davis in Saturday's newspaper. For now, here's the transcript from Thursday's segment:
Los Angeles. One of the other eulogists who spoke was Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson and Don King were there. We had to march when we were in school to our classes. We had to wear a white shirt and a red tie. Anyone who went to Winthrop will remember that. And then we were being recruited to go to high schools. I went to Erasmus Hall High School with the idea of playing basketball. That was Gucci Belt Aaa Quality
Al: We came to Brooklyn, New York when I was 5 years old. My dad was a manufacturer. He was an entrepreneur. He manufactured rain coats and he was in real estate. He was moving the raincoat business in those days to the south, because of the cost of labor and things like that. Some of the factories stopped in Baltimore, some stopped in North Carolina. The memories are great. I lived there until I was about 16. My dad had a home in Long Beach, Long Island. We were moving from Brooklyn to Long Beach to Brooklyn to Long Beach. At the time I was ready to go to college, which was about 17 years old, they had already committed to moving to Long Beach, so I went on to college.
We've all known he has Brooklyn roots, and now we know the names of his schools, his famous classmates and his neighborhood park, which produced the best tale in Thursday night's chat. He described Lincoln Terrace Park as a place where only the tough survive, and he's so proud he did just that, he told Mike Tyson about it at Sugar Ray Robinson's funeral. He cherishes that title. He continually tries to prove he deserves it.
Al: Well, it'll be happy when we win. But it's a milestone obviously, 80. Usually at this time of the year, or every fifth, from 75, 80, I've held a nice party in Las Vegas. But I felt this year, predicated on the economy and all, we would just whittle it down to a few friends for dinner and hold off, because we didn't want to flaunt it whenever everyone else is having trouble financially. I thought it was best to do it that way. In any event, thank you very much.
Papa: Al Davis got a chance to prove that on Sid Gilman's staff in the early 60's and he joined the Raiders in '63 and took a one win team to 10 wins.
Papa: My wife and I were thrilled to be at your 75th. It was a tremendous function. You showed a lot of generosity to us and the people close to you. Let's start at the beginning. We're going to tell the story of one of the most fascinating lives in the history of not just pro football, but all of American sports. July 4, 1929, Brockton, Mass., the home of Rocky Marciano, the great champion, and you sir. How old were you when you left Brockton to move to Brooklyn.
the dream, to play for Al Verdane (sp?) at Erasmus Hall High School. The memories are great. I made a lot of friends. Yes, as you mentioned, Don McMahon was on the baseball team. I wish he were alive today. We'd laugh like all heck. The Torre brothers were big. They played for Madison. Joe played for, I think, Brooklyn Prep. There are so many great ones that went to Erasmus. Let me start with Bob Tisch, who owned the Giants; Jerry Reinsdorf, who owns the White Sox and Chicago Bulls; Sam Rutigliano, who coached the Cleveland Browns; Sid Luckman, a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Chicago Bears; Barbara Streisand, you have to throw Barbara in because she probably is the No. 1 celebrity from that school; Lainie Kazan. We just had a littney of great performers, great people.
Al: Let me make the point to you: Brooklyn was a very diverse place. We had all the ethnic groups you could possibly think of. It was great street learning. Right next to my house was a park called Lincoln Terrace park. It was a tough park. It really was. Whoever played Gucci Belt Black And Red
More from Comcast's interview with Al will run in the near future during a one hour special on Davis, and it will include interviews with his closest confidants.
TWO DAYS before Al Davis' 80th birthday, the embattled but iconic Raiders patriarch appeared on Comcast SportsNet and reminisced about his childhood days in Brooklyn.
Al: Well, I don't know that I saw it better, but it interested me more. When I was 18, I was already in college. I went to college when I was 17 years old. At Erasmus, we ran a single wing. At Syracuse, we ran a single wing, and then Ben Schwartzwalder came, and we ran the wing T, an unbalanced line. I just understood there was more to it than just running the football. There was a passing game. I saw it. I believed it. A lot of people (laughs), a lot of people, Luke Lapport (sp?) was one of our teammates, we were taking a class in football in the summer, Luke came over to me after the class and looked at some passes I had put on the blackboard for coach Schwartzwalder's assistant coaches who were teaching the classes to see. He said to me, 'Can you run that in high school?' I said, 'High school? You can run this in pro football.' "
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