Trip to Oakland brings back memories for Joe Vitt - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Trip to Oakland brings back memories for Joe Vitt

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The Associated Press

Saints interim coach Joe Vitt said a trip to Oakland this week brought back memories of longtime Raiders owner Al Davis.

Vitt and suspended Saints coach Sean Payton made a point last year of visiting Davis in his suite before an exhibition game about two months before Davis died. But it was Vitt's first meeting with Davis 30 years earlier that still resonates.

Vitt had just been fired as Colts strength and quality control coach in 1981 and went to the NFL combine looking for work. He ran into Davis in the locker room during player weigh-ins and introduced himself.

"I go up to him, I say, 'Hey, coach, my name is Joe Vitt. I'm only 26 years old, but I've been in the league three years. I was the strength coach, I was the quality control coach, I gave out the tickets on the plane. I told him all the wonderful accomplishments I had over my three-year-period with the Baltimore Colts,'" Vitt recalled.

"He looked me in the eye and said, 'Son, when I was 26 years old I was the commissioner of the AFL.' I crawled out of the locker room. And he never forgot that, and I never forgot that."

Davis actually didn't become commissioner until he was 34 and was a college assistant at The Citadel when he was 26.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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