Al Davis is one of those most influential football minds of all-time. He acted as a coach, general manager and owner for the Oakland Raiders.He was also extremely tough-minded and pissed a lot of people off.
Mike Shanahan was one of those people. And it resulted in an unlikely demand – to have his quarterback throw a football at Davis’ head.
The Washington Post’s Rick Maese recently linked to a 1998 New York Times story rehashing a bizarre scene between Shanahan, the 49ers offensive coordinator at the time, and his quarterback, Elvis Grbac.
Shanahan coached the Raiders for one year before leaving due to a dispute with Davis. Five years later, and the feelings hadn’t gone away.
From the article:
Shanahan pulled Grbac aside, Grbac recalled, and gave an unusual order: “See Al Davis over there? I want you to throw the ball right at him.”
A shocked Grbac replied: “I can’t do that. If I hit him, do you know what he could do to me?”
Shanahan looked at Grbac with his intense glare and said, “Throw the ball.”
So Grbac did.
From 30 yards away, Grbac’s tight spiral came within inches of Davis’ head. But he was just able to sidestep the throw. Davis then immediately made an obscene gesture at Shanahan.
That’s the Davis many came to love, and many came to hate.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.