Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Al Davis Embarrasses Himself Yet Again

I have been a KCBS Sportscaster for more than 18 years, and worked at KNBR for seven years before that. And I lost track long ago of the number of bitter, childish and vindictive press releases I have received over the years from the Raiders. More specifically, from Al Davis, because he's the only person who could have possibly written these horribly embarrassing missives, in which he invariably feels the need to strike back, on a very personal nature, at someone he feels wronged him or his precious football team. It is beyond absurd. It is beyond embarrassing. And it has happened yet again.

This time, the target is Lane Kiffin. You remember Lane Kiffin. He's the guy Davis hired away from the USC staff to coach the Raiders. Kiffin won 5 of 20 games with the Silver&Black, a record not unlike all the other coaches Davis has hired since he let Jon Gruden get away. In the process, of course, Kiffin had the temerity to speak out publicly when he felt Davis was stipping away whatever independence Kiffin thought he deserved to have as head coach. It was hardly a match made in heaven. And, not surprisingly, when Davis fired him, he announced in a bizarre (even by Davis's standards) press conference that went on seemingly forever that he would not pay Kiffin the balance of his contract because of alleged insubordination. To which Kiffin sued Davis.

Segue to this week: Kiffin's new employer, the University of Tennessee, revealed that it was looking into a possible recruiting violation by Kiffin, for allowing ESPN to be present during a meeting he had with a pair of recruits. "The Raiders" (a euphomysm for Al Davis) immediately released a statement, saying, "Lane Kiffin is a flat-out liar. He lied to the team, he lied to the fans, and he lied to the media. He will try to destroy that university like he tried to destroy the Raiders, and he will eventually clash with Summit and Pearl," the latter a reference to the school's two basketball coaches, Pat Summit and Bruce Pearl.

Nasty? Yes. Vindictive? Yes. Totally unnecessary? Yes. Helpful, in any remote fashion? No, not at all. Typical of Al Davis? Absolutely.

For the record, Lane Kiffin never lied to KCBS Radio. I wish I could say the same for Al Davis.