Angelos and Davis: Just wince, baby

November 08, 1994|By KEN ROSENTHAL

Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Lennon and McCartney.

Peter Angelos and Al Davis.

Some people were just meant to make music together.

Only an insolent twit would engage in character assassination when two of the leading sportsmen of the 20th century are plotting to become brothers in arms.

It will never happen, of course.

But imagine the possibilities:

Angelos, in dark glasses, reaffirming his mastery of the English language by revising Davis' most famous phrase to "Just vanquish, baby."

And Davis rr standing on home plate at Camden Yards, grinning maniacally as he places a Raiders eye patch on the Oriole Bird.

Both would sign Deion Sanders as a free agent, enabling him to commute between Camden Yards and Camden Yards II without so much as a helicopter ride.

"This is my house," Deion would proclaim, winter, spring, summer or fall. "I built it. It will always be my house."

Poor Governor Schaefer.

He'd faint.

The Orioles would change their colors to silver and black -- the better to increase merchandise revenue in the post-strike era.

And Davis, the man the NFL loves to hate, would become lord mayor of Baltimore, the city the NFL loves to hate.

Angelos and Davis.

Jack Kent Cooke would move to Laurel, Miss.

Davis and Angelos.

The other NFL owners would be so terrified, they'd bolt and form their own league.

Depending on your perspective, this could be the greatest pairing since Churchill and Roosevelt, or the most ridiculous since Roseanne and Tom Arnold.

Whom do you think Paul Tagliabue would choose?

The Sun King need not worry -- Angelos' offer to buy all or part of the Raiders is a classic case of grandstanding, and about as meaningful as an Orioles season ticket for 1995.

Angelos' chances of stealing the Los Angeles Rams appear to be fading, so he's trying to create the illusion that he has other options, a scare tactic intended for Rams president John Shaw.

Also, he might be trying to keep interest high in his pursuit of an NFL franchise, in the event Ellen Sauerbrey is elected governor today and leads the fight to revoke stadium funding.

And Davis' motives?

As usual, they're rather naked.

He'd never sell, or yield control, of the Raiders -- they're his life. But he's fed up with the Los Angeles Coliseum. And he wants to use Baltimore as leverage to get the Raiders a new stadium.

Use Baltimore as leverage.

Imagine that.

Why doesn't Angelos just give the Rams a take-it-or-leave-it deadline? That would prevent Shaw from dangling the threat of Baltimore to further improve the Rams' deal with St. Louis.

Then again, maybe Angelos thinks he's still got a shot at the Rams. St. Louis blew its chance for an expansion franchise in the 11th hour. Maybe Angelos just wants the scenario to play out.

That way, even if St. Louis gets the Rams, he'd face competition from one fewer city for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And, if somehow the Rams stay put, he could always go after the Raiders.

The Baltimore Raiders.

It has a certain ring, doesn't it?

Of course, Davis is so sinister, so manipulative, he makes Machiavelli look like Mother Teresa. Remember when he was going to move to Irwindale, Calif.? The city has since fallen off the face of the Earth. But Davis got to keep his $10 million, nonrefundable deposit.

He wound up leaving Oakland for L.A., where every game at the Coliseum resembles a Hell's Angels rally. But this is the way he likes it. He's on a year-to-year retainer at the Coliseum, so he's always a free agent.

Heaven forbid he sign a lease.

"He's the kind of guy who would pluck out your eyeballs and convince you that you're better off without them," former Cleveland Browns coach Sam Rutigliano said in 1980, only half in jest.

And the all-knowing Angelos is the kind of guy who would insist he had 20-20 vision, even without eyeballs.

Angelos and Davis.

Roland Hemond would run for cover.

Davis and Angelos.

Is it possible Angelos could misspell Art Shell's first name in a letter of apology?

Ah, some things are just meant to be.

Mickey and Minnie.

Barnum and Bailey.

Peter Angelos and Al Davis.

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