But this time it’s not from us. Until he decides to compare Jason Campbell to another quarterback who brought Super Bowl rings to Oakland (Ken Stabler?) we’ve already used our best Al Davis material. And we’ve used it many, many times.
Nope, this time the salvo comes from Lane Kiffin, who has a bit of a history with Davis, an embarrassing debacle that ended three years ago when Davis fired Kiffin in late September after just his 20th game as the coach in Oakland, calling him a “flat-out liar.”
Much has happened with Kiffin since, so much that it seems like his Davis demise was a lot longer than just three years ago. He spent one year at the University of Tennessee before abruptly leaving, forever scaring an old lady in Knoxville who should never sing any song again, ever.
Kiffin’s now preparing for his second season at USC after he willingly inherited the burning rubble left behind by Pete Carroll. As part of an interview with ESPN 2, Kiffin was asked to reflect again on his Bay Area nightmare. More specifically, he was asked if in retrospect he walked into an unwinnable situation in Oakland.
His answer was pretty clear.
It is almost impossible. I don’t know why I didn’t listen, [because] so many people told me that. That’s why, if you ask [Steve Sarkisian], he didn’t go. He had a chance to go. You’re just so far behind other clubs. You’re waiting for [owner Al Davis] to wake up and come to work at 2 o’clock in the afternoon to make decisions that the rest of the league is making at 6 o’clock in the morning. You’re still running videotapes over to the hotel so he can watch practice at night.
But wait, there’s more.
It was sad, really, to see somebody who’s accomplished so much in his career and been such a powerful figure in the NFL … to see that was actually pretty sad to watch.
From the inexplicable fumbling of Nnamdi Asomugha’s contract to the odd dismissal of Tom Cable following last season after he led the Raiders to their first .500 record in seven years, Davis is seemingly bent on baffling behavior. His erratic and stubborn ways have led to little recent success. Oakland’s three-year upswing in the early part of the last decade highlighted by a Super Bowl appearance in 2002 now seems like an aberration, as they are the franchise’s only winning seasons over the past 16 years.
Some will still see Kiffin’s words as the stones thrown by a jilted past business partner, but that doesn’t seem like his intention. He was able to briefly witness and experience the decline of an NFL icon, and hindsight has allowed for clarity, as it often does.
Three years later, Davis still shouldn’t be trusted to operate a can opener, yet he remains firmly at the helm of the Rai-duhs.