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Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Dining with Al Davis

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

ESPN.com’s Page 2 has a great book review on Sean Payton’s new book.

Prior to becoming the head coach in New Orleans, the defending Super Bowl champion coach interviewed for an opening in Oakland.

He tells a great tale of his interview with Oakland owner Al Davis. Davis came to the interview wearing his signature black sweat suit. Payton was impressed by Davis’ football knowledge.

"Al is an extremely talented football guy. Few owners who interview can really talk about a defensive front, team travel and the salary cap," Payton said. "He can hit on all these topics, and this was my first interview as head coach. It was 2003, and I was going to meet Al Davis."

The interview did take a bit of a bizarre turn when it was dinner time. Instead of being wined and dined at a fancy Bay Area seafood house, Payton and Davis burned the midnight oil talking football and eating … fast food. Davis had a strange food combo request.

"So we're sitting there -- mind you, it's about 11 p.m. -- eating McDonald's cheeseburgers and cole slaw from KFC," Payton said.

You have to love Al. He was, is and always will be, his own guy.