Who Would Play Al Davis In A Motion Picture? by Barry Barnes

With the recent passing of NFL icon Al Davis, writer Barry Barnes  speculates on who would play the legendary man on the big screen
Al Davis was a man who walked to the tune of his own beat, the ultimate trailblazer.  When word hit about the death of Davis on Saturday, it was a sad day for the NFL and its fans, especially for Raider Nation. 

The cause of Davis’ death is unknown.  However, what is known, no matter what caused Davis to transition, the circumstances were not strong enough to stop the legendary Raider from accomplishing the foundation and standards he laid for the NFL today.  Whether it was father time or a fatal disease that sent Davis home, it was too late.   

Therefore, let’s not be too late to honor the man who changed the Raiders’ team color from gold and black to silver and black and added the famous Raider logo helmet that the world loves. 

Hollywood style, on the big screen.

It is inevitable that all individuals will die, whether by force or naturally, as flesh will not stand forever. 

Davis’ legacy will live forever and his death was not a tragedy.  The deaths of such legendary public figures, Michael Jackson, John Lennon, and Donny Hathaway, to name a few, were tragic due unexpected, unnecessary causes.

For an individual such as Davis, who was 82, his death should be more of a celebration.  Yes, Davis’ family should mourn and cry for days.  Nevertheless, as distant fans and close friends or acquaintances should, the Davis family should be shouting to the mountain tops as Big Al lived the life that millions would dream of and the impact he had on countless individuals and associations.

And Hollywood can help with that.

JFK, Gandhi, The Babe (Babe Ruth), Truman (Harry), and a host of others— including Facebook (the Social Network)—were movies made about individuals who influenced our society.  Well, the NFL is strongly a part of America’s society, and despite being against the merger of the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League in 1966, along with the constant fuels against the league and others, Davis’ story should be told to the masses.

”Al Davis’ passion for football and his influence on the game were extraordinary. He defined the Raiders and contributed to pro football at every level,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell Saturday. “The respect he commanded was evident in the way that people listened carefully every time he spoke. He is a true legend of the game whose impact and legacy will forever be part of the NFL.”

Davis was Hollywood with his aggressive look, while having swag by just wearing sweatsuits.  Not one actor can play the role of Davis, so four actors should be cast to portray this legendary icon.

The young Al Davis (20 to 33)—Ashton Kutcher

Kutcher (the new star of Two and Half Men) could use a solid role to highlight his talents on a serious set.  With stops at The Citadel and the University of Southern California, Davis entered the professional football ranks at the age of 33 when he was hired to be the Raiders’ head coach and general manager, the youngest to have held those positions in NFL history.

Having energy and youthfulness, Kutcher would be a great selection for this role.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon are a little older and have made their marks.

The mid-age Al Davis (34-45)—Hugh Jackman

Wolverine!  Yes, Jackman—an Australian actor—who played the Marvel Comics legendary character in the X-Men series and sole role for the Wolverine movie.  Jackman had a taste of performing in a serious role when he played in The Prestige in 2006.  Jackman is energetic and Davis needs his mid-age actor to be strong, filled with energy as he tackled the NFL and pissed off many people along the way.

The later-age Al Davis (46-66)—Kevin Costner

Costner is no stranger to sports movies.  Bull Durham and The Field of Dreams were baseball movies Costner starred in and he is a spokesperson for NASCAR.  Costner is a huge sports fan and he has Davis’ look during his later-age as he monitored the team from the sideline and from his suite.

Costner has not been on the big screen for a while now.  A role such as this would be great for Costner and his fans.

The recently known years of Al Davis (67-82)—Christopher Walken

Walken would be icing on the cake.  A legendary actor would be fitting for a legendary man, such as Davis.  Walken starred in numerous movies with countless types of roles as a tough (Pulp Fiction) and funny guy (Wedding Crashers), a gangster (King of New York), dark and sinister (Sleepy Hollow), and a kind-hearted individual (Click), along with many others.

Walken currently has an older age, but is superbly skilled and youthful enough to solidly perform the role of the older Davis. 

Davis gave his best as he won three Super Bowls, 16 Divisional Titles, 25 playoff wins, 411 regular season wins, and made 21 playoff appearances.  Davis produced nine Hall of Famers (Lance Alworth, George Blanda, Jim Otto, Willie Brown, Art Shell, Fred Biletnikoff, Gene Upshaw, John Madden, and Ted Hendricks), more than anyone one else. 

Davis was one of the few men with power to give African-American players the opportunity to play in the NFL, hired the first black and Latino coach—Shell during the modern-era (Fritz Pollard was first among African-Americans) and Tom Flores —and, along with the first female CEO for a NFL franchise (Amy Trask).         

He also held roles of a personnel assistant, a scout, assistant coach, head coach, CEO, general manager, and an owner.

It would take Kutcher, Jackman, Costner, and Walken to perform Davis’ role as heavyweights in the industry should portray a heavyweight, and besides, they have the ‘hair’ for the part.


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