cover image Slick: The Silver and Black Life of Al Davis

Slick: The Silver and Black Life of Al Davis

Mark Ribowsky / Author MacMillan Publishing Company $19.95 (35

After noting that no one has written a previous biography of the L.A. Raiders' outspoken and controversial owner/president, sports journalist Ribowsky demonstrates why. Born into a well-off Jewish family in Brooklyn, N.Y.,Davis, reputed to resort to questionable means in order to secure victory, has been a long-time political conservative whose hero is Adolf Hitler. Rejected in college for varsity basketball and football teams, he embarked on a coaching career that stamped him as either football genius or clever borrower of others' ideas. On his rise through the ranks, he coached in the military, college and the pros, sometimes to the subsequent regret of the head coaches who hired him. In Oakland, Calif., Davis developed the Raiders into the winningest team in the pro game and then, over league opposition, moved the team to L.A. Like his subject, Ribowsky pulls no punches, quoting Davis's foes as liberally as he does his friends. (Sept.)