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The Return of Marcus Allen

Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Raiders running back Marcus Allen returned to Coliseum on Sept. 23 to light the torch in memory of late Raiders owner Al Davis.

Allen reportedly was the guest of Mark Davis, the Raiders owner since his father passed Oct. 8, 2011. The younger Davis told reporters Sept. 23 that Allen's return "meant a lot to my mother (Carole)." Davis also said that Allen was the "absolute true Raider."

When Allen appeared to light the flame that rests on the upper south corner of the Coliseum concourse level, the public address announcer said, “Welcome home ... Marcus Allen.”

The Coliseum crowd gave Allen a standing ovation, and the ex-Raider waved to the crowd. The Raiders have had a former coach or player or Mark Davis light the flame since Al Davis' passing.

Allen declined to speak with reporters through a team official. Mark Davis declined to talk about his father's feud with Allen.

To this day, there is no explanation to the Al Davis-Allen feud. Davis at one point referred to Allen as a "cancer on the team."

Allen's strained relationship with Davis reached an all-time low in December 1992. During halftime of the Raiders-Miami Dolphins game on Monday Night Football, a taped interview between Al Michaels and Allen was broadcast, with Allen saying that Davis "told me he was going to get me."

Allen also said in the ABC interview: "I think he's tried to ruin the latter part of my career, tried to devalue me. He's trying to stop me from going to the Hall of Fame. They don't want me to play."

Allen led the Raiders to their last Super Bowl title at the end of the 1983 season. The former USC star rushed for a then Super Bowl record 191 yards in the Raiders' 38-9 win over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII on Jan. 22, 1984 in Tampa, Fla. On this day, Allen joined an elite group of players to win both the Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl MVP (Roger Staubach, Jim Plunkett & Desmond Howard).

Over Allen's 11-season tenure with the Raiders, Davis brought in running backs Bo Jackson, Roger Craig and Eric Dickerson to compete with Allen. Allen never ran for more than 831 yards in his final seven seasons in Los Angeles.

Mark Davis told reporters Sept. 23:

“Throughout the annals of the Raiders history, the L.A. chapter was very unique. We had a lot of great players come through there. You think of the Howie Longs, the (Cliff) Branches, but Marcus was the leader of that whole group. He was the absolute true Raider. There are very few football players I’ve seen like him, that worked that hard.”

The Raiders selected Allen 10th overall in 1982 NFL draft after he won the Heisman Trophy at USC. Allen was the 1985 NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP in 1984, when he had a then record 191 yards rushing in the Raiders' 38-9 romp over the Washington Redskins.

Allen revived his career over five more seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and won Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year in 1993. In five seasons in Kansas City, Allen scored 44 touchdowns as the Chiefs became among the NFL's elite teams.

Allen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Allen finished his NFL career with 12,243 rushing yards and 123 touchdowns. In 1985, he had a career-best 1,759 rushing yards and averaged 109.9 yards per game.

Photo caption/credit:
Marcus Allen headshot

Contributing: Associated Press &
Pro Football-Reference
& Wikipedia

Updated: 09-24-2012


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