By Hunter S. Thompson
Page 2 columnist

I called Al Davis last night to make what turned out to be an ill-advised request. We are not close friends, but since we share a keen interest in the fate of the Oakland Raiders, I thought he might find it in his heart to do us both a favor. I needed to borrow his private jet-plane for a quick trip out to American Samoa for a meeting with a spectacular young quarterback who will be up for grabs in next year's NFL draft -- and as far as I know, I am the only person the boy will talk to, or at least the only one he trusts.

Football is not a primary sport in American Samoa, but many Samoan athletes are blessed with incredible hand-eye coordination and can easily hurl a football 90 yards and hit a moving watermelon nine times out of 10. The NFL has never seen a quarterback with an arm of this magnitude, and whichever team gets him is sure to dominate the league for many years. This boy is a Monster Talent who will change the NFL as we know it.

Under normal circumstances I would send a kid like this to Bill Walsh, the wizard of San Francisco -- but, for reasons I am not at liberty to discuss at this time, Oakland is the only team he can play for. He has apparently worshiped the Raiders all his life, and nothing I say to him will change his mind.

For obvious security reasons, we will have to call this boy by a generic Samoan name: Louis Finai will do for now, and it might have to do permanently, lest he be seized by La Migra and deported back to Samoa when he gets off the plane in Oakland. Young Louie might or might not have a frightening criminal background, but that is none of my business. I am a Football person, not a morality cop, and I make no apologies for it.

Al Davis
Al Davis blew his chance at a throwin' Samoan who could have dominated the NFL for years to come.

Al feels the same way, I think, so we will have to keep Louie under wraps for a while, or at least until he learns to control himself under stress in a military culture like ours.

That would have been My job, if Al had been smarter about lending me his airplane -- but No, he flew off the handle right away, like some kind of Ape having a seizure. "I can't believe that you would approach me with a criminal fraud like this!" he blurted. "You must be sick!"

I was shocked. How old is Al this year? I wondered. He must be at least 90, maybe more. "You are making a big mistake," I told him. "Hell, I don't want to fly the plane to Samoa. I have my own pilot."

"You don't have jack," Davis replied. "I should have finished you off when I had the chance. You should be on death-row." I heard other voices jabbering, then cursing and sounds of a struggle. Finally, he came back on the line. "Who else knows about this boy?" he asked sharply.

"Only Bill Walsh," I said with a laugh. "But he doesn't have a plane anymore. The 49ers are broke."

"I know," he chuckled. "How do you think I got Jerry Rice?" He made a snide noise that was meant to be a laugh, then he babbled for a moment in Spanish. "We will win it all this year," he said with unnatural calmness.

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I knew Al Davis didn't speak Spanish. "Who the hell is this?" I demanded. "You're not Al Davis! What have you done with him?"

"I am he," said the voice. "I am the boss of the Raiders."

"Who cares?" I shrugged. "The Raiders are doomed. The 49ers will win the Super Bowl, and you will suck wind!" I screeched at him and slammed down the phone. Ugliness rolled over me like boiling smoke. Al Davis meant nothing to me now, and I no longer wanted his plane. It was bogus, and so was Louie Finai. All I had wanted to do, from the start, was run a nasty game down on this freak who called himself "the boss of the Oakland Raiders." It was Sunday, and Sunday is a good day for revenge. That was all I cared about, nothing more. Football was in my blood. I am a slave to it.

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's books include Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, The Proud Highway, Better Than Sex and The Rum Diary. His new book, Fear and Loathing in America, has just been released. A regular contributor to various national and international publications, Thompson now lives in a fortified compound near Aspen, Colo. His column, "Hey, Rube," appears each Monday on Page 2.