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AL TO WORLD: GET OUT OF OUR WAY
Paul Zimmerman
September 05, 1984
On the field and off, Al Davis and his L.A. Raiders keep rolling over the NFL establishment in their own inimitable way
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September 05, 1984

Al To World: Get Out Of Our Way

On the field and off, Al Davis and his L.A. Raiders keep rolling over the NFL establishment in their own inimitable way

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"Don't announce anything," Slusher says. "I want to tell the Generals myself."

"We never announce signings," Davis says.

Five minutes later Slusher places a call to New Jersey from the office of Al LoCasale, Davis's executive assistant. He talks to Jason Seltzer, the Generals' president.

"I know. He just signed with the Raiders," Seltzer says.

"How the hell do you know?" Slusher says.

"I have my sources," Seltzer says. "Look, we had a deal."

"No," Slusher says. "I wanted to fly him back and you refused."

The story breaks that night, Friday, Oct. 21. Trump says he never wanted Wilson. "I'm not interested in backup quarterbacks.... They [Slusher and Wilson] played Al Davis like a drum," he says.

"That was the alltimer," Slusher says now. " 'Played him like a drum.' Nobody plays Al Davis like a drum. Look what you've got. Al ended up with the guy he wanted. And in New Jersey you've got a man whose ego is so great he didn't want to let it look like he lost a player. He could've said, 'Look, we didn't get this guy, but we're gonna go after so-and-so,' and made a positive statement. Instead he lies."

That Sunday night, against the Cowboys, Wilson passed for 318 yards and three touchdowns in L.A.'s 40-38 win. He led the Raider drive that produced Chris Bahr's game-winning field goal with 20 seconds to play. That victory was particularly important to Davis because it tied the Raiders with Dallas for most NFL regular-season wins in the last 21 years, the period that Davis has been with the club. At the end of the season the Raiders led Dallas by one victory, 206 to 205. They'd already established themselves as No. 1 in won-lost percentage (.715 to Dallas's .693).

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