SBD/7/Franchises

AL DAVIS MEETS THE PRESS IN HIS NEW (OLD) HOME

     Wearing a white Raiders sweat suit over a white shirt and
black tie, Raiders Owner Al Davis yesterday offered a "first
look" inside his decision to return to Oakland, "thanking and
saluting" East Bay fans for their devotion, Davis reassured them
"he'll defeat any effort to stop the move," according to this
morning's OAKLAND TRIBUNE.  Davis:  "We have the right to move.
The very fact that there's another team in the area gives us even
more right to move, because we're moving and we're going to
compete and that's the essence of the American way of life" (Li &
Bailey, OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 7/7).  More Davis:  "In this country,
you can put a Wendy's within two blocks of a McDonald's and
you're allowed to do it.  What's different about this?"  On
potential NFL opposition and the threat that they might demand
"millions of dollars" as an approval fee, Davis said, "I've been
through this before and I don't remember paying any money."
Davis said he would consent to a vote of NFL owners "if it was
carried out in good faith" (Carl Steward, OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 7/7).
Davis seemed to avoid the issue of why he is moving back to the
place he left thirteen years ago, saying, "There's no one phrase
that can be taken out and simplified.  You want to make it
simple, and it's not that simple" (Ann Killion, SAN JOSE MERCURY
NEWS, 7/7).
     WHAT THEY'RE SAYING:  In the latest issue of THE SPORTING
NEWS, Bob Glauber writes that history will show the Rams' and
Raiders' moves from the L.A. to be "one of the most constructive
events the league could have imagined. ... Fans and politicians
in cities facing similar situations will do what it takes to make
sure it doesn't happen to them" (THE SPORTING NEWS, 7/10 issue).
ESPN's Mike Tirico noted Davis' speech was "right off the NFL
films archives" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 7/6).
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