Raiders owner Mark Davis drives a 1997 Dodge Caravan
Mark Davis obviously has some massive shoes to fill in replacing his father, Al, as owner of the Oakland Raiders. Giving his lineage, the son of arguably the most controversial, loathed-by-many-loved-by-more owners in the history of American professional sports is a compelling profile subject … which is why ESPN’s Tim Keown wrote an extensive piece about the enigmatic owner.
Perhaps documenting what an interesting, odd and unique upbringing Davis had while learning the ropes from his cantankerous, rabble rouser of an old man, is the opening paragraph of Keown’s piece, which sets the stage for one fascinating read.
MOST DAYS START the same — behind the wheel of a white 1997 Dodge Caravan SE outfitted with a bubble-top Mark III conversion kit, a VHS player mounted to the roof inside and a r8hers personalized plate. Mark Davis pilots this machine from his East Bay home to the nearest P.F. Chang’s, where he sits at the left end of the bar, same spot every time, puts his white fanny pack on the counter, orders an iced tea and unfolds the day’s newspapers. Beside him on the bar, next to the papers, is his 2003 Nokia push-button phone with full texting capability. When someone calls and asks him where he is, he says, “I’m in my office,” and sends a knowing nod to the bartenders. It gets ’em every time.
Yep, Mark Davis, a multi-millionaire many times over, drives a mid-to-late ’90s Dodge Caravan with a VHS player inside. He also apparently can’t get enough P.F. Chang’s. Although perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising since the guy rocks a two-dollar haircut.
Either way, to call him eccentric may not do his apparent peculiarities justice.
It has to be said that the younger Davis must have made his dad, who passed away in 2011, cackle from beyond the grave with how he seemingly toyed with the NFL over the league’s demand that the Raiders paint the 50-yard markers gold at their stadium. Big Al would have done the same thing.
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