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Birthday of NFL maverick celebrated

Al Davis (Al Messerschmidt/Getty)

Al Davis would have turned 83 on July 4. While it once seemed like the former Raiders owner would live forever, nine months after his passing it's fitting to recall his impact on the NFL and an influence on the league's culture that could remain in perpetuity.

That a memorial in Las Vegas convened on what would have been Al Davis' 83rd birthday is appropriate. Even the Vegas setting – perhaps incongruous to many, but arguably apt to those who knew Darth Raider well – seemed likewise fitting. After all, bedecked in his ubiquitous white or silver jumpsuit, Davis was essentially a strolling-down-the-Vegas-strip caricature. And the man was a gambler...

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