One of Davis's long-term goals is to reduce the importance of sports in the U.S. "We've narrowed to a point where almost all the glamour in some parts of society is with athletics," he said. "We need to know about more examples outside athletics, more business-people and technical and professional people, so that we can say, 'Aha, there's an African-American making a difference.' I try to emphasize to people that I am an exception. A lot of folks who are doing what I'm doing didn't play football."
With that perspective, it's little wonder that Davis has been in demand for jobs in both politics and sports. In 1989 he was on the final list of candidates for both the NFL and Big Ten commissioner positions. He has turned down offers from several colleges to become their athletic director, and he has declined a half dozen NFL assistant coaching positions. In 1977 he said no to three Los Angeles citizens' groups that urged him to run for mayor. "When I look back at some of those things, it's hard to believe that I said no," said Davis. Then, waving his hand across the WMCS office, he added, "But look at what I would have had to give up. My business is important to me."
Minutes later he was speeding back to WLUM to make sure the morning team and the station's general manager weren't locked in fisticuffs. Davis is always on the move. He and his wife, Andrea, live in Los Angeles, but their house is within shouting distance of the airport, and it seems as if Willie is forever on a plane.
"When I was growing up, I always thought if I was lucky enough, I would end up driving a truck," he said with a hint of wonder at it all. "But I've been places, done things, seen things. God knows, I never thought I'd end up here."