Raiders Vault: Al Davis vs Marcus Allen

The late Al Davis was notorious for viewing himself as the primary and sole star of the Raiders. The waters became murky once he felt another player, coach or staff member out staged him.

One player that quickly rose to stardom within the ranks of the Raiders was Marcus Allen. Davis selected the running back 10th overall in the 1982 NFL Draft back when they played in Los Angeles. With two Super Bowl victories already under their belts, Allen was Davis’ safe path to securing a third.

Allen’s Rise and Fall off Stardom

Allen became the NFL MVP in his second season. Moreover, he indeed secured a third Super Bowl win for Davis in the 1984 SB XVIII victory over the Redskins. He ended the outing with 191 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Allen was an NFL MVP and a Super Bowl MVP destined for stardom. But Davis had already begun to believe Allen was coming for his place at the table.

With all the hype Allen generated, many would believe he had solidified the running back position. Nevertheless, Bo Jackson suddenly came in and became the Raiders featured back and star player. Back then, Jackson was a phenom with his huge build, aggressiveness, and athleticism, all traits Al Davis valued. At the same time, Allen found himself falling down the depth chart with no noticeable losses in ability, sans one knee injury. Allen believed Davis was purposefully going after him due to differences in contract negotiations. Others felt Allen believed he was the face of the Raiders and the owner was unwilling to share that title.

Allen was underutilized and felt unwanted by his football club. Eventually, he went where he felt desired: The Kansas City Chiefs. Allen of course led the Chiefs in rushing for many seasons to the disdain of his former Raiders fans. After retiring, Allen talked about the potential source of discourse in LA. “I think he [Davis] tried to ruin the latter part of my career, tried to devalue me. He’s trying to stop me from going to the Hall of Fame. They don’t want me to play.”

The legendary feud leaves many fans wondering if Davis’ ego ruined other chances for glory as the ’84 Super Bowl was the Raiders last big win. Then again, maybe the most polarizing figure in Raiders history had it right.

Top Photo: Marianna Massey/Getty Images

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