Another great one, another great RAIDER (real RAIDER) has left us for good. I have been a RAIDER guy since 1963. Casper, Davidson, Lamonica, Blanda, Stabler, Allen, Brown, Bilentikoff, Otto, Upshaw, Shell , Hendricks, Long, Lott, Lofton, Woodson and of course Jerry Rice. I seriously dislike the broncos and chargers but did enjoy Tim Tebow while he was at Denver.
Ben Davidson may not have been the best football player to play his position but he was damn good.
Davidson harkens back to the days of REAL football, minimal padding, no headsets in the helmets, and when guys took hit after hit and kept on playing. Of course, how many of these Sunday warriors paid a price that was too high? Too many concussions that were glossed over and head injuries, head trauma was not understood like it is today.
I played football for three years in high school. I also wrestled and ran track. I was a scrawny 155 lbs with all my pads, helmet etc. on. I was thankfully gifted with great speed and soft hands that would catch any ball thrown my way. Very few could catch me from behind, I could cut and juke like greased lightning. After three years of taking hits by guys who weighed 250 lbs plus, taking dirty hit after dirty hit, I quit football after my senior year. We were one of two mostly white high schools in our league and that was enough to make us hated by the other schools. I suffered four severe concussions that were diagnosed and played through at least four more when I was bleeding from my ears and nose. We were told to just suck it and play through all the haze, sweat and blood. I am very lucky to not be totally loopy. Like I said, I was very FAST and SLIPPERY. Saved my rear end many a time.
Many of the rules that are now in place are a really necessary change but there is a a sinister side to all of these rules and protection. What the heck are you talking about, you might be asking?
To borrow a phrase from BC over at I'm 41, the PUSSIFICATION of AMERICAN sports is what I am talking about. Football is a violent game and the players know this. There are risks no matter what we do in life and I believe the NFL is doing many things correctly.
Football is under a sometimes not so subtle attack from what I see as the progressive statist agenda. Football, not futbol', not soccer is an AMERICAN sport and is what I call a true American heritage sport. Baseball, Basketball, Football, not soccer are our true sports here and are thus hated, loathed by those who love political correctness, diversity and multiculturalism. These idiots, who are good for nothing, would like to just outlaw such sports as football and replace them with the really boring, globally accepted soccer. As our country is flooded with immigrants, many of them ILLEGAL, they bring their stinking futbol with them. I do not like like soccer one bit. Take it away, please!
Thank you Ben Davidson and to all those who played the game back when it was truly great. You will be missed by me and many, many others.
|Ben Davidson 1968|
Former Oakland Raider Ben Davidson Dies at 72
ALAMEDA, Calif. — Ben Davidson, the hulking defensive end who starred for the Oakland Raiders in the 1960s before becoming a famous television pitch man, has died. He was 72.
Davidson died Monday night. He was being treated for prostate cancer. Former Raiders coach John Madden first reported Davidson’s death Tuesday on KCBS radio in San Francisco.
Davidson spent 11 years in pro football, starting with the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins in the NFL before joining the Raiders in the AFL in 1964.
That’s where the 6-foot-8 Davidson became famous. With his distinctive handlebar mustache, raspy voice and physical play, Davidson helped personify Al Davis’ renegade Raiders on the 1960s.
“He was a tough, gutsy ballplayer, team oriented with enough meanness in him to be feared and enough talent to be effective,” former Raiders teammate Tom Flores said. Flores, who recently played golf with Davidson, got the news while in Las Vegas for a celebration of Davis, who would have turned 83 today.
Davidson played in the second Super Bowl for Oakland after the 1967 season and then was on the team that lost the conference title game the next three seasons.
One of Davidson’s most memorable plays came on Nov. 1, 1970, against Kansas City. The Raiders trailed 17-14 late in the fourth quarter when Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson ran for a first down to seemingly seal the win.
As Dawson was on the ground, Davidson dived into him with his helmet. In a rage, Chiefs wide receiver Otis Taylor jumped on Davidson and a brawl ensued.
“Their attitude was, if you’ve got a shot at the quarterback, take it,” Dawson recalled in 2010.
The play was negated by offsetting penalties and the Chiefs eventually had to punt. Oakland tied the game on a field goal by George Blanda with eight seconds remaining, and that proved to be the difference in the AFC West race. The Raiders won the division with a record of 8-4-2, while the Chiefs missed the playoffs at 7-5-2.
Davidson didn’t play football until going to East Los Angeles Community College. He went from there to the University of Washington, where he helped the Huskies win Rose Bowls in 1960 and ’61.
He was then a fourth-round pick by the New York Giants in 1961. He played his rookie season with Green Bay, winning the NFL championship with the Packers in 1961.
He then spent two years in Washington before joining the Raiders in Davis’ second season as coach in Oakland. He spent eight seasons with the Raiders. He was a second-team Associated Press All-AFL selection in 1965 and first-teamer in 1967.
After his playing career, Davidson became a successful actor with roles in films like “M-A-S-H,” “Conan the Barbarian” and “Necessary Roughness,” and he played himself in Miller Lite ads.
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