Al Davis: The Only Human Being who Could Ever Make Lane Kiffin Seem Credible

by npiller88

After leading his team to an 8-8 season that most pundits billed as promising for the Raiders, Tom Cable has been rewarded with a firing. But that’s old news. The new news is that  yet AGAIN, a recently fired coach has filed a grievance against Mr. Davis for not paying the entirety of his salary. It’s funny how Al likes to stroke his ego by inviting these cumbersome, petty lawsuits. He’s been the paranoid dictator for a while, especially after being jerked around by the courts when he tried to move the team to Irwindale and build a stadium there. But in this case, senility seems to be the major factor, rather than paranoia.

It’s hard not to feel sorry for a guy like Cable (sure, he did punch an assistant coach a couple years ago, but was RETAINED after that! Instead of being fired for that serious offense, he got a vote of approval and THEN got canned after the Raiders’ first respectable season in quite some time). All he did was show enough enthusiasm to bring full contact into the OTAs. This is against the rules, and led to a penalty from the league. But it was a minor offense. And the team improved its record significantly. And Cable was JUST fired. In denying Cable his full contract, Davis may be acting out of some deep-seeded belief that everyone is out to get him (even though it is Cable who has just been got), but there’s no doubt that it’s just another cheap circus act. It’s really not an issue of “Does Al realize how petty and disfunctional he seems?” (Clearly, the answer is “no.”) Now, as this most recent instance has revealed, it’s becoming a question of how many coaches will Al irreparably piss off before he kicks the bucket? And how will the franchise ever attract a legitimate coach in light of this work environment? If I’m a hot shot coordinator, I’m taking the Raiders job as a LAST RESORT, after all 31 other NFL head coaching jobs have been eliminated as possibilities. Just whenthe Raiders were being praised for their last draft, and even some of the haze hanging over the Oakland coliseum from the sheer embarrassment of drafting Darius Heyward-Bey was gradually lifting, something like this happens. You fooled us again Mr. Davis.

Al’s relationships with coaches always seem to end with grade school squabbling over a few thousand dollars, and Al dragging as many people down into his cavernous pit of emotionless, penny-pinching squalor as possible. Few men have climbed out of the ashes with a smile. Just ask Lane Kiffin. One thing I will say is that as much as I despise Kiffin’s douchebag attitude, his lambasting of Al was priceless. And it was too funny that he took the SC job, which is famously Al’s favorite college program. Even though many started to say: “hey, maybe Al Davis was right about that guy” after Kiffin bolted from Tennessee to USC, there’s no question that this most recent episode with Cable makes it easier to sympathize with Kiffin.

Who does this? Who gets into protracted court battles over 5% of someone’s contract? Three times? Al Davis, that’s who. Oh, and not a single other NFL owner to speak of.

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