Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Is Kiffin employed by a Madman?

I’m a Chargers fan, so I’ll admit the personal despise for anything silver and black. But at the same time, I’m also aware that Al Davis made significant contributions and played a major role in the NFL/AFL merger, giving us the league we have today. I’ll also credit the man for his genius, with his ability to market an entire state (especially one hosting 3 NFL franchises). The benefits far exceed any penalties for infringement, and no one has ever been able to tell Al what he can or can’t do. But even with that said, this is where I end my praise, because my hypocrisy can only go so far.

That was the old Al Davis, which is apparently very different from the newer version that’s leading today’s Oakland Raiders. This Al Davis went on an off season spending spree, leaving everyone to question each move. And of course, if you talked to any Raiders fans, with their heads implanted firmly in Davis' rectum, they defended each cut, acquisition, and draft selection. Now, Davis is speculating, and questioning his own decisions and power to lead. And with his own second guessing, he’s telling everyone that wore his a$$ cheeks as earmuffs that they blindly followed with pride. Ahh...pride. It's one of the seven deadly sins, so be careful with that.

It’s not uncommon for coaches, GMs or owners to second guess decisions made. But it’s a bit on the crazy side to start having second thoughts in June about moves made in February, before your product even plays a single game in pads. Isn’t it? It’s like falling asleep, dreaming of roster spots, filling them, and then waking up to tell someone you just had the worst nightmare.

The Vegas mugging of Javon Walker seemed to wake Davis. Suddenly he sees a potential nightmare, but it’s still for the wrong reasons. The Vegas incident didn't give evidence of any physical disabilities, unless surveillance cameras showed Walker unable to outrun his assailants. What surfaced was another hint of a character flaw. Al Davis questioning character? Say it aint so! Using the word “character” anywhere near the black hole, is like discussing sexual positions in the middle of bible study. Some things don’t belong in certain conversations, just as character isn’t a descriptive word for the Raiders. No, Al. If that was the trigger for speculation, you still don't get it. The controversy swirling around the Javon Walker signing has nothing to do with his character, and everything to do with the "handicap" placard hanging from his rear view mirror.

And where does Lane Kiffin fit in all this? I’m sure he’s missing his days of sitting in the coliseum coaching box and calling plays for Pete Carroll. Now he’s a very well paid “yes man”, working for an NFL madman. But I'm sure Kiffin has learned a few things as the Raiders head coach, such as:

1) It’s “your team”, but you can’t fire anyone on staff without permission.
2) You can watch the NFL draft, but you can’t choose anyone.
3) You have no input on the hiring of James Lofton, because your successor can be chosen without you.
4) McFadden will look great in practice, against a defense that couldn’t stop the run.
5) DeAngelo Hall is easier to spell than Nnamdi Asomugha, so his name goes on the check.
6) Bobby Petrino is weak and ungrateful, for running away from Arthur Blank.
7) Pete Carroll and Steve Sarkisian turned down Al Davis, which means, of the members of the USC coaching staff, you drew the shortest straw.

The best thing that can happen for Kiffin, is for Al Davis to step down from his position. The best thing that can happen for Chargers fans, is for Al to rule for another 10 years. And choosing my allegiance between a former USC coach or Davis decisions that direct an AFC Western foe into a state of NFL irrelevance, all I can say is....Go Bolts!

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