The second story involves Mike Shanahan and Steve Young throwing a football at Raiders owner Al Davis. You probably know that Davis famously fired Shanahan as Raiders coach and refused to pay him the remaining $250,000 of his contract.
Shanahan moved on to take the offensive coordinator job with San Francisco and found himself with an "opportunity" before a 49'ers - Raiders game when Al Davis walked over to the San Francisco side of the field in pre game warm ups.
Myers relays the story that Shanahan told him about how the San Francisco players didn't like the Raiders owner being there.
"Guys, we'll win the game, don't worry about it. Don't let him bother you," Shanahan said.
The end of the 49ers' pregame drill took them back to their own 5-yard line. Davis was standing 35 yards away. "Hey, get him out of there," the players said to Shanahan. Shanahan was pissed at Davis for disrupting his pregame routine. And surely he was still pissed at him for not paying him the $250,000. "Now I started thinking. Okay, so we got one more play left," Shanahan said.
Shanahan is telling this story seated behind his desk at Redskins Park. It's a quiet spring day, but suddenly he's animated. On the sideline, Shanahan's face gets red, and it looks like the veins are about to pop out of his neck when he gets mad. Off the field, you rarely see his emotional side. But he had no use for Davis. Davis had embarrassed him by firing him almost without giving him a chance, and during that pregame Shanahan wanted to put a scare into his nemesis. Shanahan came up with the idea of how to send Davis back to his side of the field and needed one of his quarterbacks to be his accomplice. Young said he was more than happy to oblige.
"Throw a go route," Shanahan told Young. "If you happen to hit that guy in the white outfit with the ball, you won't make me mad." The receiver was Jerry Rice. He ran the go route. Shanahan didn't really want to drill Davis. But if it happened, maybe he would never stand on the 49ers' side of the field again. Of course, if he hit Davis, Shanahan would never get his $250,000. Young dropped back to pass. He threw the ball in Davis' direction. Rice, whom Shanahan did not bring into the loop on this little bit of mischief, was running downfield, looking up for the ball. He was not looking at Davis. He didn't see Davis. Shanahan saw the ball. He saw the receiver. He saw Davis. All three were about to occupy the same spot. Shanahan thought Davis saw the ball coming. He did not.
"Oh, my God," Shanahan said. "I wanted to scare him. I didn't want to kill him." The ball and the receiver were closing in on Davis. "Al realizes that the ball and everybody is coming at him about five yards before there is going to be contact," Shanahan said. "I think he's going to be run over. And he dives; he actually dives out of the way. Well, half of our players see what happens, and they are all laughing." Young drilled Davis in the leg.
It was not surprising that he found his target. Young completed 64.3 percent of his passes in his career. "Ten years after this happened, I was walking out of a stadium on a Monday night, and Al came up to me," Young said. "He told me that he knew it was me." Young told Davis that he was ashamed of himself, more so than with anything else he had ever done. He then sent him a letter of apology.
Shanahan is so fired up that he gets out of his seat to finish the story. He loves this story. It was revenge. He explains in great detail Davis diving on the grass at Candlestick Park, getting to his feet, his hair falling down in front of his face. Davis stared him down from 35 yards away and gave him the middle finger."
And to make this Panthers related, Joe Bryant also said something about Cam Newton:
I, like everyone else, have been critical of Panthers QB Cam Newton for his post game remarks. But credit where credit is due. Sunday he seemed to have a better grasp of things. When asked about the physical pounding he's taking from defenders, he shrugged it off with "You're playing Football. It's not ballet." Good answer.
Joe Bryant from Footballguys.com always has some of the best football daily e-mails I've ever read. Hope you enjoyed them.
And for the "TL:DR" people, GTFO