Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Most Dysfunctional Operation in Pro Sports

   Assuming ESPN and others are correct over the last 24 hours in reporting that Al Davis sent Lane Kiffin a letter of resignation to sign, one has to assume that Kiffin is more popular right now with the Rational Raider Nation than ever before.  That's because the rational Raiders fan knows that Big Al is the cancer that continues to eat away at this once-great franchise.  Since losing big to Jon Gruden's Tampa Bay Bucs in Super Bowl 37, the Raiders have lost 61 games in five years.   Every year Big Al fires his head coach, hires a new head coach, and promises the press and the fans that the new head coach will "bring back the greatness of the Ray-duhz." Gag me.  The Raiders were a mess before Gruden arrived, they've been a mess since he left, and we all know the reason he left was because Big Al was an impossible meddler to work for.  Now Big Al wants Kiffin to resign, so that he doesn't have to pay the balance of his contract. Kiffin won't oblige.  That's why Kiffin is immensely popular right now with the rational wing of the Raider Nation.
   On the other hand, what about the Irrational Raider Nation?  Which one is bigger?  I've already encountered two Raiders fans in my neighborhood, since late yesterday, who think that these latest media reports are all part of a vast conspiracy to bring down the Raiders.   Of course, this is exactly what Big Al wants, and that is exactly what he has tried to cultivate over the years--an us against the world mentality, which manifests itself in blaming the officials for always trying to screw the Raiders with bad calls, because the NFL Hates Al Davis.  
   Those who subscribe to this warped and jaded philosophy believe they have to stick together, and that means always standing behind the Leader of the Cult--Big Al.  That's what the Raiders have become--a cult.  It's beyond unreal.  It's like nothing we've ever seen. This is, without a doubt, the most dysfunctional operation in the history of professional sports.

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