First off, let me state for the record that I am a San Francisco 49er fan, and have been since Joe Montana made me cry. Yes, Joe Montana made me cry, but that's not the point of the story. I'll get to Joe later. But for now, this story is about AL DAVIS. Owner of the Oakland Raiders, who were previously located in Los Angeles, and before that... located originally in Oakland, but then due to some dispute that I have no real knowledge of (nor do I care about), moved to Los Angeles and then back to Oakland, and are currently (or so I heard) contemplating moving back to Los Angeles. Or so I heard. Don't quote me on that.
I have no dislike toward the RAIDERS. I actually do watch them play, when there is no blackout, but since that doesn't happen very often...I can only rely on the newspaper or ESPN to follow their progress. I'm a bay area sports fan (other than the A's), and I do enjoy seeing teams other than my Niners and Giants (not the A's) do well in their respective fields of play.
But this story is about AL DAVIS, not the Raiders organization. Even though Al Davis is the owner, and his actions may reflect the team as a whole, this isn't about bashing the Oakland Raiders. And, if you stumbled across this blog, you're probably waiting impatiently for me to get to the point. To the meat of the matter. So that's what I'll do.
It was probably back in '95 or '96 when this particular event occurred. I can't remember for sure, but I was working for a small Italian restaurant chain as a delivery driver. The restaurant that I worked out of was located in San Jose, but had several chains scattered around the Bay Area, including the Milpitas location. And it was at this particular location where I had my minor confrontation with Mr. Al Davis. Ok, let me be clear about something. For legal reasons, I can say now that I am not, nor was I ever 100% certain, that the person I came into contact with, was in fact AL DAVIS. It could have been Mr. Davis, as some might call him, or it could have been somebody who looked like Mr. Davis, as some people might refer to him...as being. So, with that out of the way...
I was working at the San Jose location when they received a phone call from the Milpitas location, requesting a delivery driver for the evening shift. One of their regular drivers had called in sick, and they were a little understaffed. So, of course with me being one of the newer guys...I got volunteered. Which meant that I had to drive the 680 to Milpitas, which was a pain in the ass because it was just beginning to be rush hour and, well... traffic was going to be a bitch to deal with. The 680 is also, if I am not mistaken, the route of choice by most when heading to Oakland. I don't travel that way much these days, but I am pretty sure that the 680 is the one.
So, after a quick inspection of the vehicle ( safety checklist), I was on my way. It didn't take long before I realized just how bad the rush hour was going to be that day. But, it was a job and it went with the territory. After I fought my way through the 280, I merged into/onto the 680 and traffic seemed to lighten up. A slight flow began to develop and I, like the other drivers, began to jockey for position. This meant some lane-changing and weaving. Amateur maneuvering at best, but it was the norm. Pretty much second nature to anybody who happened to be more than just a 'Sunday' driver.
As I spotted my chance to grab the open spot to my left, I noticed a shiny, freshly washed/waxed Corvette in my rear-view mirror. The windows seemed to be tinted, but that's not what I noticed. Not at first. What I did notice was that the Corvette was indecisive in it's motion. It appeared to want to change lanes but then hesitated for some reason. Well, as a driver in the flow of rushing traffic, you have to be on the offense as well as defensive. You have to take action when you see an opening, and I did just that. In a split second, I changed lanes in an attempt to pass the car in front of me, which happened to not be moving fast enough. I had to get around it.
Unfortunately, for the 'person' behind me, I decided to change lanes just at the precise moment when he finally decided to make his move, and though I did not mean to do it...I CUT HIM OFF. I cut off the driver behind me. Just as he started to make his move, I forced him to make a second lane change to avoid my bumper from bumping the corner of the front of his shiny, freshly washed/waxed Corvette. And let me tell you something...he...WAS...PISSED!!
The Corvette whip around me, and into the lane to the left of me...which happened to be the fast lane. He then proceeded to speed up, to get even with my vehicle, yet didn't proceed ahead of me. He just maintained the same speed as I was doing. Neck and neck with my delivery truck, for a good two seconds or so. After realizing that this person wasn't going to let this go, I finally glanced over--out of curiosity. And in a brief moment, the passenger side window rolled down (via battery electric power), and I could swear I saw a shadowy figure, who resembled Al Davis, extending his middle finger toward my direction. He had the glasses...he had a simliar-looking windbreaker, and he looked like Al Davis. Al Davis flipped me off!!
And as fast as it happened, the window rolled back up...and the shiny, freshly washed/waxed Corvette was gone. And the last thing that I could remember seeing, other than that middle finger, was an Oakland Raider license plate...darting around and vanishing up ahead. That's when I put two and two together, and I got one. One finger telling me where to go, because I doubt it was telling me that the Raiders were #1. That was a different finger.
Now, I was not positive that it was, in fact, Al Davis...but he sure as hell looked like him!!
And, as far as Joe Montana goes... He made me cry when he beat my Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship game in order to get to their first Superbowl. Shame on you Joe Montana, and thank you!! Thank you for not flipping me off!!