Small but Faithful Crowd Pay Respect to Al Davis

Last minute memorial draws fans to view Raiders owner's memorial in Oakland.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A close-up of owner Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders as he smiles and looks on during his team's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh on Dec. 3, 2000. The Steelers defeated the Raiders 21-20.

    A small but steady stream of fans and friends of Al Davis continued to pay tribute to the late Oakland Raiders owner during a public viewing on Monday.

    Davis, who died Oct. 8, was entombed at the Chapel of the Chimes during a private family ceremony held before the public was invited in. The 102-year-old facility rests at the base of the east Oakland foothills and overlooks the city's downtown area.

    Three Super Bowl trophies won by Davis' Raiders teams were placed on top of the vault containing his body, which is marked by a replica of the NFL Hall of Famer's signature. A single Raiders helmet sat alongside the trophies while four bodyguards wearing white shirts stood watch.

    A large photo of Davis wearing his traditional white Raiders warmup jacket and sunglasses was placed on the front of the vault, though a spokesman said the picture would be replaced by a permanent plaque.

    A day after the Raiders held their own tribute throughout Sunday's home game against the Cleveland Browns, fans trickled in to see the place where Davis' body will now rest.

    Davis' vault sits right next to the site for blues legend John Lee Hooker. Fans of Hooker make an annual trek to the grounds to pay their respects, something Raider fans probably will do as well.

    "Now we have two legends here," said longtime Raiders fan Sean Haley, who lives near the Chapel of the Chimes. "You hear a lot about how the Raiders would be better off without (Davis) but as soon as he was gone people started doing a lot of self-examining and said the guy truly will be missed."

    Bouquets of white flowers began to pile up just outside the side entrance to the mausoleum. Fans were allowed in for four hours, though a facility spokesman said he expects much larger crowds this weekend.