I am fortunate in that there are many former AFL players that live
in the San Diego area, and I get the opportunity to meet with
several of them on occasion. One such meeting occurred this past
week, when I went to the home of Oakland Raiders legend, Ben
Davidson. Ben and I initially discussed the New Orleans Saints
bounty situation, but then the conversation bounced around in other
One item that we talked about was his old game helmet from Ben's
Raiders days. Ben said that players rarely had a chance to keep any
of their equipment, but that after he cracked the helmet near the
earhole, the Raiders allowed him to take it home.
Looking at this helmet, one can only cringe thinking of the
countless collisions that Ben went through while strapped into this
particular piece of headgear. by looking closely at the hundreds of
scuffs and marks, one can clearly identify the red of a Kansas City
Chiefs helmet, the blue of a Denver Broncos helmet, and white that
could be attributed to a number of his AFL opponents.
Seeing Ben Davidson holding that helmet in his hands, you would
think that he wanted to put it on and get back out to a battle with
one of the AFL's great linemen, perhaps throw a headslap or two, and
maybe, just for fun, knock over a referee while making a tackle.