One of the greatest Raiders, and NFL, mysteries of my lifetime appears to be solved.
Perhaps the lone new development among the abundance of 2016 OJ nostalgia has been the notion of an affair between Marcus Allen and Nicole Brown going from tabloid fodder to an acknowledged fact quite possibly connected to her murder. Gawker told me it had been a big thing on Real Housewives of Somewhere a few months back, so do not dare question the veracity or import of this particular line of conversation.
Al Davis, who will be further addressed in this space by his proper first name, “Mr.” once gave an interview (it may have even been when he spoke to Ice Cube for Straight Outta LA) saying the underlying issues between him and Marcus were some wild shit that none of us could imagine and he would never see fit to speak on. Popular speculation was it was either lingering resentment from a contract dispute (meh, but you got anything better?), or Mr. Davis growing jealous of Marcus’ celebrity (come the fuck on).
Now, it looks like we really have something better. Or worse, depending on how you look at it, but we’ll get to that later.
Mr. Davis coached the offensive line at USC from 1957-1959. Far from the most conspicuous item on the resume of either him or the school, but enough to ensure both parties involved went on to always see him as a “USC guy.” Mr. Davis also had personal issues with infidelity. Well, “personal issues” was the wrong way to phrase that, as Mr. Davis is perfect and would never break Carol’s trust nor her loving heart, and every day of their marriage was perfect like an eternal stroll along the beach and makes every day of our lives feel like searching for our lost retainer at the dump in comparison. Mr. Davis had issues with the infidelity of mortals.
Whatever issues Mr. Davis had with Marcus began to manifest themselves in his workload decreasing in 1990, and by 1991 he was straight riding pine. It was one thing to be ceding carries to Bo Jackson. But when it became clear his exile was about a lot more than not having another football to share with one of the most amazing talents the league has ever seen, it was a real bad look for the franchise. And it had to be a bad look to more than just the general public. There is no way you send word down from the front office to bench somebody with the reputation and ability of Marcus Allen for no apparent reason without it affecting the team.
Mr. Davis must have known this. So, he must also have not given a fuck. I shudder to think at what Mr. Davis would do to you or I had we slightly inconvenienced his football team. Yet here he is, hanging one of his best assets out to dry, hurting the team in one of the more bizarre, inexplicable situations of its kind in NFL history. For it to be going down like this, it had to be something personal. Mr. Davis becoming aware of the affair between Marcus and Nicole Brown appears to tick enough boxes to officially become the Occam’s razor cutting this shit wide open.
Marcus’ banishment didn’t happen until after OJ’s piece-of-shitness became an unavoidable matter of public record. Long past the time an abuse victim would be wanting vengeance of some sort. Long past the time your buddy with an established taste for blondes is going to place a high value on his loyalty to your wife-beating ass. There is a fair amount out there suggesting Marcus and Nicole had real feelings for each other, and there is more than a fair amount out there suggesting OJ would not have taken that well.
The reenactment of the OJ trial on FX earlier this year didn’t touch this stuff. But the 30 For 30 on the subject that’s been airing on ABC and ESPN over the past week has (it is fucking incredible by the way. The second part is probably the most brutal two hours of network television I’ve ever seen). Marcus has always denied the affair, leaving only so much for anybody to work with. But what did it for me were the comments Nicole’s friend, and I believe a neighbor of her and OJ’s at Rockingham, made when asked about Nicole and Marcus. She talked about how Marcus was supposed to be the new, “bigger, better” OJ. And the way her fucking eyes lit up when she said that, holy shit. Some of you undoubtedly already know or will learn shortly exactly who and what I’m talking about- tell me she didn’t just basically say “O AN MAI GIRL BANGED MARCUS AND IT WAS ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL THAT!” Marcus Allen is known for having a big dick, by the way.
The Al Davis/Marcus Allen feud was over Marcus’ affair with Nicole Brown.
And that’s fucking LAME. What the fuck, Mr. Davis? Trade his ass. You hate the guy so much you want to keep signing his checks to sit on the bench? Admittedly, that is hella gangsta- “I hate you so much I’m going to continue to employ you and make sure you never have another athletic accomplishment.” But damn dude you don’t need to literally be taking one for the team over this one. He just slept with OJ’s wife- he’s not OJ! Bring him into the office, tell him you think he’s a piece of shit, trade his ass. This was back when RBs were at the top of the NFL value food chain. What, those would be dirty, dirty draft picks you’d get for him too?
So much crazy going on here. And craziest of all, it almost looks like Mr. Davis got something... wrong? No. That can’t be it. I made a joke about this on Gawker when they first broached the subject, and now it’s time to take that idea very seriously: Mr. Davis was not punishing Marcus for past deeds- he could see into the future and was trying to prevent the murder of Nicole Brown. He tried to do it via the long con at first, benching Marcus so that he would lose prestige in Nicole’s eye, forcing her into the arms of the next USC running back (I hear LenDale White was very mature for his age in elementary school). Nothing in his crystal ball changed. So then Mr. Davis had to go to the nuclear option. The last resort. The final solution, because there are lives at stake dammit- give Marcus to Kansas City. It’s not the kind of thing you want to do to your worst enemy. But sometimes you have to take advantage of the laws of nature, first and foremost of which is nobody with options wants to have sex with a Chief.
You tried Mr. Davis, you tried. Seriously though... you should have just traded his ass.