Sunday, January 27, 2008

Zero Sum Game

If the reports about Lane Kiffin being under fire are true, then we’ve entered a zero sum game.

Most fans are siding with Kiffin. Others are suggesting that if Kiffin doesn’t want to stay in Oakland, he deserves the boot.

Therefore, the Raiders are either bent on undermining a force of positive change, a coach who had finally steered our lost ship in the right direction. Or…the Raiders want to cut ties to a guy who is disloyal, and who wasn't really such hot stuff in the first place.

If it’s the former scenario, that's bad.

If it’s the latter scenario, it’s equally bad, because it would mean that the Raiders organization, after five years, 61 losses and four head coaching hires, has remained incapable of establishing any form of consistency, continuity or direction, which would amount to organizational incompetence of the highest order.

Zero sum game.

How many second chances do the Raiders get with their paying customers? At what point does loyalty yield to outrage? Where does the buck stop? These are questions that many fans are rightfully asking themselves, even if we might have different answers.

Immediately after learning about the original ESPN report and gauging initial reaction from the Raider Nation, I posted a take suggesting that, if the report wasn’t true, the Raiders should issue a formal statement repudiating the report, with a vote of confidence from Al Davis supporting his head coach.

Some questioned my assertion that Al Davis needs to say something. Well, no, he doesn't need to say anything. That wasn’t my point.

My point was that he “should” say something. Why? Because fans don't “need” to renew their season tickets. Because fans don't “need” to follow the team. Because fans don't “need” to care. Everyone has a choice, including Mr. Davis.

I am in no way agitating for fans to abandon ship. Also, if this story is a fabrication, then our wrath should be directed at ESPN like never before.

However, there is a reason why so many fans, so suddenly, reacted so forcefully to this report, and the reason is rooted in the unnerving ongoing uncertainty regarding the direction and identity of the team, and the vacuum of communication between the organization and its fans, which may be part of the "Raider Way," but which is also becoming increasingly bad business.

I have been taken to task by many for suggesting that the organization improve its communication and clarify its direction. None of my business, I was told. Okay. But the gap between “none of my business” and “bad business” is rapidly closing.

Even if the ESPN report is false, it unfortunately speaks to a larger truth, which is evident in the negative fan reaction over the weekend. You heard me right: even if the reports are false, a truth has nevertheless been revealed.

Some will argue with the negative reaction. Well, the reaction is what it is. It’s raining today. I can argue about it, but I’m still going to get wet. When the vast majority of your customers are outraged, saying they shouldn’t be outraged is tantamount to arguing with the weather.

Since December, my mood about the Raiders has darkened. Something just didn’t feel right to me. I felt that we could have done a lot better in 2007, and I wondered why we didn’t, and what we were doing to rectify the situation. Long regarded as an optimist, I was suddenly cast as a pessimist. Here’s why:

1) I argued that we should remain concerned about lingering organizational dysfunction that is likely beyond Lane Kiffin’s control.

2) To those who were putting all of their eggs in Kiffin’s basket, I preached caution. To those who suggested that Kiffin has true authority to make key decisions regarding staff and personnel, I asked for firm evidence of such.

3) I was unwilling to view the 2007 season as an acceptable measure of progress.

4) I pressed for an end to the growing excuses and wishful thinking that have resulted in lowered standards in some fans regarding what we should expect from the organization, specifically in regard to its executive operations, on-field performance and fan relations.

These positions were viewed by many as pessimistic as of Friday, but today look downright tame compared to the fan reaction I’m reading.

Since these reports broke, I have been measured in my comments, unwilling to jump to conclusions. But I must say that it doesn’t look good. We haven’t heard from Al Davis, which does make me wonder, as does Kiffin’s non-denial. With all of the actors (Kiffin, Trask, etc.) sounding so stiff and rehearsed, there’s no way that this is just all a big media-fueled misunderstanding, and that things are just peachy between Lane Kiffin and the Oakland Raiders.

Which means that we’ve either alienated a solid head coach, or that we’ve saddled ourselves with yet another bad one. In other words, depending on your perspective, we’ve wasted a great opportunity or yet again demonstrated remarkable organizational incompetence.

Such is the zero sum game that faces the Raider Nation today.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

incompetence seems to be the key word -- unfortunately.

I am so fed up, I'm sick. If all turns out the way it seems to be going (Lofton and Saunders are both set to interview apparently), then I am have one foot off the plank, voluntarily...

time to go buy a Lions beenie, at least their incompetence is less mind numbing.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

goodbye Nation... it was fun while it lasted. Osama bin Davis is blowing this house up!

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably the best Take I ever read, although I wish none of it were true.


12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an optimist... I'm trying hard to figure out what the best possible outcome could be here if indeed Kiffin is gone... and here goes.

How about SOB becomes head coach, Cable and Knapp stay on (and are given more authority) and we hire someone with some balls to be DC, and he turns the entire defense over to him? SOB is just a figure head to yell and clap hands on the sidelines (because the players like him so much).

Worst case scenario: Al hires a puppet scrap-heap coach, keeps SOB as DC, we lose both Cable and Knapp, and we bring back the M2M blocking scheme and the 7 step drop back. Al's only FA pickup is the speedster Berrian (because he watched him beat us last year) and a bunch of last-leg flunkies only interested in a final big payday.

Sadly I pretty much know which scenario is most likely.

This is a grease fire ahead folks... and you thought the previous comments section was depressing... Al has even lost people like ME!

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a massive disappointment and disregard for loyal fans, 'poise and pride,' what a joke, more like 'ego and greed,' i almost feel sorry for the 3 smucks that sunk $150 million for their lousy 20% last year; but mostly I feel a loss, and sympathy for fellow long-time raider fans. Davis' contempt for everyone, particularly the loyal fans that have enabled his lofty paychecks over the decades, reflects his sole obsession with his self-percieved genius and stubborn refusal to relinquish any control, despite the death spiral that has resulted from his bad-health, ego-induced incompetence and aniquidated philosophies.
THere is no longer a committement to Excellence, now it is all about Al, the motto should now read a 'committment to Al'. How ironic, the more he fights to assert his history greatness - the more his ineptitude is apparent to the world, and his greatness of the past denigrated -- he is, unwittingly, destroying his own legacy.

It would be pathetic if it didnt affect better-deserving players and fans; but it does, so in fact, it is just wrong. And it won't get any better, til he is gone.

12:51 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I understand the need to be objective, but let's not kid ourselves; it's the former; and if no word comes out of HQ on Monday, you can bank on it!

Regarding the latter, any fans (and I've read a negative comment or two and one blog) suggesting Lane Kiffin is a "bad coach" haven't watched the man work this year, or they simply are not inclined to give their head coach any leeway for minor rookie mistakes.

However, this issue is much larger than Lane Kiffin or Al Davis.

We are sick and tired of losing that stems from repeated coaching turnover and the inability to generate even a semblance of continuity within the team.

It may just be a matter of semantics, but the fans “need” to put the Raiders on notice: Based on what I’ve read (from fans), the Raiders should be prepared for the following if Lane Kiffin is out (and again, not just because it’s Lane Kiffin):


-Loss of active fan base;
-Loss of ticket sales (starting with season tickets);
-Loss of merchandise sales


-Loss of active fan base (obviously an intangible from the Raiders' perspective);
-Further discontinuity of the coaching staff and player personnel. (Yeah! Sets the team back at least one or two more years. Who of us is prepared for that?);
-Stunt the growth of a $60 mil rookie QB;
-Loss of player interest (both FA and draft)
-Loss of coaching interest

Those are just the short-term ramifications. Pretty much, we can all kiss goodbye any “commitment to excellence” which will then be replaced by “commitment to self-destruct.”

What’s really sad is that the players and assistant coaches probably don’t know any more than we know. That’s quite a way to run a multi-million dollar organization!

I have emailed the raiders twice, and I recommend we all take a pro-active stance.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I survived the Raider move to LA in the 80's(which to me is the ultimate disloyalty to fans), I'll survive this. Sounds stupid but being a raider fan is apart of my DNA. I don't have a choice. Sort like being a part of a dysfunctional family-- you hope for the best, brace for the worst.
There is one thing I know for certain-- Al Davis could care less about fans. He cares the most about his pocket book. I'll continue to be a fan, but he will not get any more of my $$ until some major changes are made (starting in Alameda).
One has to wonder if Kiffen originally took the Raider job simply to gain some notoriety for a college HC job. That is what the raiders have been reduced to-- a stepping stone, but not somewhere anyone would want to stay. I wonder how long the next HC (whatever desperate fool that may be) will stay?


1:00 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

IMHO, this is your finest work RT. Unfortunately this post isn't a celebration about Raider football.

The choices of Saunders, Lofton, and Ryan as the next head coach has some eerie recent parallels.

Saunders > Turner redux. Saunders is another cerebral, offensive "genius" who is not a leader of men.

Lofton > Shell redux. Lofton is another stoic, former player who is not equipped to be a Head Coach.

Ryan > Shell preredux. Similar to when Shanahan was fired and replaced by Shell.

Ryan might have the best chance to succeed because Davis and the players genuinely adore him. However, when you step back for a moment, this just goes to show you the level of dysfunction in Raiderville. Here's a guy who should have been fired for poor performance as DC getting promoted! Yippe.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Thanks, Calico Jack, I consider you a voice of reason and logic (not to mention loyalty and passion), so when I saw your immediate reaction to these reports, I knew we were in trouble.

The zero sum game of this situation has painted all of us into a corner, one in which there is really no upside, no matter how we slice it.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think refraining from buying Raider merchandise will have any impact on Al because I think it all gets divvied up equally amongst all owners (something Al has always bellyached about because the Raiders are always in the top five in merchandising).

The only people that have any clout at all with Al are the people that go to games. If he losses that, he'll prolly just move the team after 2010. I dunno... I feel pretty hopeless here except urging the season ticket holders to rattle Al's cage.

2:46 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Yeah, but aren't they already stuck with all those exra Philip Buchanan and Randy Moss jerseys? This can't be good for Raider Image sales, no matter where the profits end up.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


BLANDAROCKED will be back at his work desk early monday morning to tell us why this is a great move by the amazing AL DAVIS.

i can't wait to hear this one.

oh well, that road win in Kc and that win over the donks was sure nice while it lasted.

i guess al felt us fans were getting a little spoiled by it.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BLANDAROCKED will be back at his work desk early monday morning to tell us why this is a great move by the amazing AL DAVIS.

Is that worse than the IAAFers spending two weeks bashing Kiffin and the Raiders for only going 4-12, and then suddenly going apeshit because he is getting fired for going... 4-12???

4:45 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Those who operate under the "It's All Al's Fault (IAAF)" belief never wanted Kiffin fired in the first place, because, by their very definition as IAAFers, they never thought the team's underperformance in 2007 was Kiffin's fault.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets look at some facts. Kiffin carries 4 Wr's after cutting 2 a few games into the season. He blows a 3rd round pick. Signs a high priced FA RB that he will not play. Carries 4 QB's and puts Russell further behind by not starting him until the last game. Now Kiffin wants to dump 3 or 4 O coaches that he just brought in and fire Ryan. All the while flirting with the Arkansas job he thought Al would not find out about. When Al tells him no Ryan is staying he says fire me like a kid.

If I am Al I tell the kid to go f--- himself. The kid will be a good coach with some time and seems to pick things up fast. Once he lost the 4 or so games he knows he should have won if not for his overly conservative play calling he changed. Ended up winning a couple AFC games once he let the players play. The kid wants to check his ego and move on with the Raiders great, if not I say see ya.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly, RT. I have been very, very vocal about my feelings on Davis, but have never bashed Kiffin. Why would Gary even say that?
Al is the problem. You can call me the head of the IAAF if you want.. I don't mind. I'm not ashamed of it. Al Davis is what is wrong with Oakland. Game's passed him by. PERIOD. I don't revel in those thoughts... I find them very sad.
Only time will tell if Kiffin is a good or bad coach.. but one year was not nearly enough. He improved he run... brought in good offensive coaches.
Someone's probably in Al's ear, probably SOB, telling the old man everything he wants hear, saying that Jruss could start all over in Saunder's offense and be fine cuz he missed training camp last year.
And yes Raider00, I'm sure Blanda will break it all down for us this week... explaining the Davis genius in the latest situation, wether it's Al dumping Kiffin or just some Raider HQ cat and mouse game with all of us.
Lovely. I just hope Kiffin survives with power... and personnel input.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats true RT... but my point is this... You are piss your pants mad at being 4-12... same as Al is... when winning becomes more important than anything else, it leads to irrational decisions.

I read it for two weeks here about how pissed you all were... about how winning is more important than anything... a 3rd overall pick isn't worth losing 4 extra games... etc etc... how much I am a moron for wishing for patience.

You and Al simply have different solutions to the same problem... win at all costs.

You want Al gone, and Al wants Kiffin gone... poof, problem solved!! Neither the IAAFers or Al look at the problem very rationally, in my mind. As I've said over and over here... Al-haters and Al are too much alike for their own good. Tell me there is a IAAFer here that didn't want Callahan fired, or Turner fired, or Shell fired before you bitch about Kiffin being fired. I dare you! lol

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly, RT. I have been very, very vocal about my feelings on Davis, but have never bashed Kiffin. Why would Gary even say that?

As if you wouldn't want his head on a pike next year if he went 4-12 again.

Please... the only reason you haven't crucified him yet is because he hasn't been around long enough.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(From Psycho) - I suppose it is possible that as good a coach as Kiffin is, he might be a little too ambitious for his level of experience, and maybe a little disrespectful considering the man he works for.

We've all seen the public contradictions between he & Davis, and I'm not saying he was wrong. But maybe he was a little too forceful in trying to go about fixing things within the building.

What little we saw was probably the tip of the iceburg, and he did some pretty bold things that we're aware of. Directly contradicting Davis' comments, and even publically calling out the "Entire Building". One can only assume he was turning over every stone in the building trying to weed out what he considered "problems". Couple that with an obvious difference of opinion on fundamental issues with the prideful man who built that building from the ground up, signs the checks, and fires coaches for less, well you've got yourself a situation. It's easy to understand Davis' point of view and reaction even if wrong.

Oh well, overly ambitious or not, I'm glad at least one person on this earth had the balls to try and fix this thing by pointing out the flaws in the organization.

I guess I'm trying look for some type of positive outcome in all of this, like some of you. It seems like if the major issues are things such as hurt pride, lack of respect by either man, or one man not living up to his word, then these issues might be fixable if they can kiss & make up. is reporting that Kiffin hopes to remain with the Raiders, obviously based on his response of "I hope so" when asked if he will return. Somewhat comforting title but I wouldn't count on it happening. Still, I get the feeling that Kiffin genuinely wants to finish the job he started and has nothing but the best intentions for the Raiders.

My conclusion is this. The only possible "positive" thing that can come from all of this is if we as fans have a "negative" response. Not that I need to urge anyone to do so, since we're already cancelling our tickets, making threats to stop supported them, and expressing our outrage every chance we get. Probably on a global scale.

In a prefect world, Al listens to our cries, realizes his wrongs, and makes changes accordingly. I suggest one or more of the following:

1) Drop it, let the man coach no matter what he does that you don't like, and you let him have significant input in FA and the draft. An appology wouldn't hurt. Appreciation for his efforts to fix your mess should be shown. In return you might get a kinder gentler Lance Kiffin who doesn't butt heads with you so much.

2) Hire a good GM to fix your mess, let him decide what to do with Kiffin, fly to Hawaii for a year and return as simply an "owner", cheer for the Raiders until you die. You can fire as many GM's as you like, just don't do it yourself.

3) Retire, leaving the ownership responsibilities to your family. Take a bath in piles of gold coins. Cheer for the Raiders until you die.

4) Sell the Raiders.

5) Suicide.


6:09 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Gary, the more coaches we hire and fire, the more I'm inclined to think that our problem has less to do with the coaches. You find this unreasonable?

Even if Kiffin was a bum, and the three before him were bums, then the organization has a serial propensity for hiring and firing bums, which demonstrates a staggering incompetence that ultimately breaks the trust of the average fan.

I'm not the one making this complicated.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT... true or false... did you APPROVE of the firing of Callahan, Turner, and Shell when they were fired?

Be honest here... I'll be ready to wager good money that most Raider fans wanted at least two of them fired at the TIME they were fired, and many prolly wanted all three of them fired when they were fired.

My point is, if you weren't pissed about the problem before, why are you now? If Al had given Callahan three full years to prove himself, followed by Turner (or whomever) for three more years.. and we STILL sucked... a firing right now wouldn't be that big of a deal.

It would be understandable.

You can't be pissed about Al for firing 5 coaches in 7 years if you APPROVED of him firing three of them in five years... that just makes you just a little less knee-jerky as Al... especially considering I'd bet most of you would be HAPPY to see Kiffin fired if he doesn't get you your wins next year.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...


So me approving of the firing of Art Shell and Tom Walsh somehow makes it right that they were hired in the first place?

So my trusting the Raiders, as a fan, that they did their due professional diligence when hiring coaches, at the time of each coach's hiring, is more offensive to you than the fact that the Raiders didn't do their due diligence?

And now that it has become very clear here that our problem runs much deeper than this coach or that coach (a perspective none of us had two or three years ago, because 2008 was the future back then), you still want to hold me accountable for this mess?

Now you want to make me a scapegoat for this mess? Jeez.

P.S. This is the NFL. The whole idea is to win games.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


i will only speak for myself here.

i never wanted gruden traded/fired

therefore, i never wanted calahan HIRED.

i never wanted turner HIRED.

i never wanted shell REHIRED.

the fact that they were all fired after short terms, did not surprise me in the least.

also, i do not want kiffin pushed out.
i'm not so hung up on his 4-12 record.
the signs of improvement were there for all to see.
2 division wins, after how many losses in a row ?
2 road wins, after how many losses in a row ?
kiffin will get this thing turned around, but he can't if he's coaching Kc, or somewhere else.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't listen to Gary, RT. After all he is the crazy loon who would rather go 1-15 to get a better draft pick. Why even bother arguing with his insane ramblings?

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al gave kiff a shot. He even gave him the 3 year contract. Al feels Kiff didn't cut it or has philosophical differences for whatever reason. Al owns the team, it's his decision.

It's your right to not got to games or buy stuff, good for you, I hope it works. But don't give me the "i'll be a detroit fan", cause if it's like that, you're not a fan anyway, you 'follow the team' or whatever you sheep like to call it. Go buy a Brady jersey and enjoy the Superbowl.

Fairweather fans need to walk the plank. they polute the nations genepool.

The raiders were my favorite team from an early age (3yrs/1974), but by the time I really became a fan(atic) about the game, we were mediocre at best (90 on). The gannon/chucky years were good.
Now this.

It's a foreign concept to me, it's like saying "I want to be a different color/race". To late, you are what you are. I'm a Raider.

Hey, our economy is a little rocky right now, lets switch to communism!

Get the f--k off of my obstical private Pyle!!!!!

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when i first heard this report on friday night, i fell out of the bed laughing my butt off at my aunt/uncles house.
i came home tonight, and read some bay area sports, and some other media other than the loser network espn.
i can't believe what i'm reading. i'm in shock. i don't know what think anymore.
if kiffin leaves, i blame al davis. if we hire a new coach, not only will it be demoralizing, we will never break this cycle of losing nor return to glory. that is why i will blame al davis. dude, get a grip on yourself! it's time to let your head coach do what you hired him to do. give him the control he needs to run your team, and stay out of his playbook.
i'm pissed off, i'm confused, and as a fan, i'm hurt and tired of all of this crap that has happened to us the last 5 years (and counting). if kiffin is fired, let go, resigns, etc; i just may go as well, at least until davis goes.
i've said it before, and i will say it again. i am no al davis hater. i respect the guy and what he has done, not only with the raiders, but in the league. there is not another innovative owner in sports like al davis. but, with all the good things he's done, he's hurt this team a lot too. give credit where credit is due. when it's going good, he's done well. when it's not, like the last 5 years, he's getting in the way and needs to step aside.
if he fires kiffin, he will do more than he's ever done to destroy the hopes and dreams of not only the raiders, but the raider nation; and it's quest to return to glory. you have to be willing to give a coach more than a year to build. you have to give young players like we have the stability of leadership, or you will ruin their careers, you have to let the people you hire, do what you hired them to do.
as a leader of people, one of the biggest things i've learned is to trust the other leaders/people around you to do what you are leading them to do, and delegate to them responsibilities that will give you the results you desire.
this is where al davis fails, and continues to ruin this organization; if these rumors are true.
here is a poem of how i feel.

the autum wind is dying
giving away to winter storms
hurricane winds, crushing waves,
and a fierce current
has swept my dead body ashore

the autum wind is crying
for the glory of yester yore
under the fallen leaves,
crushed beneath our feet
is the grave of the team i adore

the autum wind is a raider
a pirate i've never seen before
beaten and down trodden
lying in the mud sobbing
hung in the gallows of the loser

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though RT warned against putting all of our eggs in the Kiffin basket I already did. But more importantly I think a lot of players did.

If Kiffin leaves I wouldn't expect to win more than 3 or 4 games in '08 no matter what moves we make. If I were a player, I'd play for the money, since whatever system we're running NOW will only go away next year an it'll be more of the same. If I'm one of the good ones who play to win, I'm extremely hurt by all this and considering a change of location in hopes of winning. How "Raider" is that?

We might manage to put together a respectable team here or there and win some games, but I honestly do not see another SB in our future until we see a major change up front. And I didn't feel that way 3 days ago so I don't think I've let that sink in yet personally.


8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


you are correct in everything you say.
but it's worse then even that.

it's not just about firing lane kiffin. kiffin may very well be back next season.

but kiffin, apparently, will be forced to keep a DC he does not want to keep.
maybe there are other defensive coaches kiffin would like replaced.
...not going to happen.

so while kiffin is trying to improve our defense, al davis is trying to keep his guys/spies, on the sidelines to be his eyes and ears.

it's a complete farce, and if i were lane kiffin, i would walk out the door, and dare al davis to win a super bowl with denny green/james loften, or al saunders as head coach.
i would then take a Hc job with Kc, and beat al's a** the next 19 out of 20 games played.

call me an al hater if you'd like, but this is the last straw.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will you faida fanatics show me the proper respect I have earned over the last 6 years of loyally leading you fellow faida fanatics through the years of debacle that big al (MR). davis has forced upon us? I have consistently explained what has been done wrong, who needed to be dumped, why the majority of the NFL fan base hates our beloved faidas, and what needs to happen to bring the faidas to true football greatness! I told you the faida propaganda machine has to be disbanded, you have to get rid of the LOSER hangers oners, "mushmouth atkinson", "jt the shizzle brick", "jimmy the plunk", "tommy boy MR. flowers flores", "artie the dwarf gigantinooooo", "greg papsmear papa", and the rest of those pathetic but kissn' al davis yes women! It truely is that simple, don't forget, you have to get rid of the thugsta' gangbanga, low lifers and con/excons, and stop dressing up like children and gay paraders! It's time to grow up! Last and most importantly tell big al to GET LOST. That is thev way to start over, no other way is possible. I have been right for years, and I am right now! Thank you for understanding that I want my favorite team to turn it around NOW.....Go faidas, keep defending the "nation", Just be in awe of my insight babies. 0-16, in "09" PLAYOFFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a question.... what's the point of even having a head coach? why doesn't al just let the OC, DC and ST each coach their end of the game and screw having a head coach to hire and fire every year! hell, this whole operation is mickey mouse anyway so somebody tell al to give it a try! he's an innovative maverick and it'll be a first in the NFL - unless there's a rule that states that there MUST be a head coach on the sidelines. if that's the case, why not let run run jones "pose" as the coach - oh wait, he's gone. hmmm, how about YEAH - MICKEY MOUSE!!!!! i crack myself up!!!!

11:50 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Before last Friday I would have thought she was just completely full of it, now I'm not so sure:

I've heard it said by others before, and now I find myself leaning towards this:

Just when we were going into an offseason with that most dangerous thing in our grasp, HOPE, now it looks like it will be snatched away all to salve someone's ego. It was just a year ago we were being introduced to Lane Kiffin as the new head coach of the Raiders. Now where the hell are we?

1:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary, please don't turn this into a "well, you were all gonna start bashing Kiffin anyway" debate. That's just plain ignorant. If you can't see that we have a delusional owner running our franchise in the ground, then you sir are blind.
Our only hope is that this will all get so embarrassing for Al, that Kiffin will somehow survive as our coah and have more power. The backlash on Al is going to be so huge it will threaten his legacy... so we have hope. Al has simply run out of options. I can't see how in the hell Al Saunders would even want to come coach for Al. It's either Ryan or Kiffin at this point. Or, I suppose Al could do what he really wants to do and that is be the coach himself. He might as well, he's trying to do everything else himself.
Someone please find links to polls on who is wrong and let's start blasting Al out of the water... so badly that he is finally, for once, put in his place. No more hiding so as no one knows what's happening or who did what. let's get it all out in the open and let the court of public opinion decide.

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, well, well.

The media is all over the map again. Oh well. I didn't open my internet connection the whole weekend.

Spent the weekend ingesting a few liquid consumables, listening to my Led Zeppelin Box Set and painting my kitchen (gotta keep the little woman happy).

I read two articles and stopped there since they began repeating themselves.

One article said the "source" adminted the didn't know what Al Davis did or didn't do on a day to day basis. And, another stated that NO NFL team comments on such matters.

So, here we are, more rumor, more conjecture. I still refuse to get my colon all kinked up on rumor. It's not worth it.

RT, this was a well though out, well stated take. I will have to read it again and digest some more before specifice comments.

For those ready to walk the plank while posting under "anonymous", be my guest. Go jump on the Patsies wagon. You won't be missed.


5:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just one little quote:

"The Raiders, through senior executive John Herrera, vehemently deny any of this is true."

I'll leave it to the individual to interpret.


5:33 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H-ingesting liquid consumables and listening to Led Zeppelin all weekend. I wish I could say that.

I spent the weekend with my stomach in a knot.

Bama-JMac cited a poll that was extremely lopsided in Kiffin's favor. I'll try and find it updated and post the link.

Gary- I think it's safe to say that few of us (including yourself, I'm guessing) endorsed the departure of Gruden, or the hirings of Turner or Shell Part II.

Callahan had many of us fooled, but his departure was his own doing. You can't call out your players as "the dumbest team in America" and expect to retain their respect.

My concern now is that Davis will remember Kiffin's first name when he holds a press conference to announce his resignation/firing and the hiring of his new coach "Jason" Lofton.

6:04 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Bama- Here's the poll:

The poll question is:

"As a Raiders fan who would you rather get rid of, Al Davis or Lane Kiffin?"

87% said Al Davis.

Very sad it has come to this, but there it is.

6:16 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Btw, only 3% said Kiffin. There were four reponse choices.

6:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just went and voted. While they did allow the choice "Neither", it did not ask me for proof of fanship. I was prepared to hold up my Raider coffee mug to the screen, but I wasn't asked.

Ole Anon Patsie cross dresser probably went to as many computers as he could get to and voted. Him and his one friend (well maybe he's got a friend, perhaps we should do a poll on that one.)


6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judging by the reaction I've seen over the weekend by genuine Raider fans, I think the poll results are legit.

Last thursday there is no way I'd vote Al Davis out of office. But the overwhelming "evidence" that you probably have not let sink in yet points to Al going completely insane and Kiffin no longer a Raider as of very soon. Unless by some miracle Al listens to out complete outrage and makes things right. I'm convinced.

I'm not walking the plank and I never will. But this is the worst of times. So bad that I voted for Davis in the poll like everybody else. I'm sick of losing. What a horrible, disgusting weekend, and I envy you that you "missed" it.


7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of it all. I'm sick of the rumors. I'm sick of the nameless sources and misinformation. I am sick of fans that think an owner can be fired. Most of all I'm sick of losing.

If Al Davis is a bad owner now, then the media is at least as bad. It is utterly despicable the number of BS stories these guys make up without a single quote. Don't get me wrong I want the team to get better too. But I wish we could create a constitutional amendment banning the "unnamed source".

All that is going on right now amounts to nothing more than gossip. And gossip is bad. I realize Al Davis hasn't come out and said anything, but did you really expect him to? I mean every single time he has some contact with the media it burns him. For every real question, you have some nit like Nancy Gay sticking her digs in, instead of asking intelligent football questions. On top of that the Bay Area media obviously hates Al because he won't give them the juicy little (read stupid) quote that they want. He disinvolves himself entirely from them. And still they dig their heels into him.

I am normally an optimist, and I tend to defend Al because I've met the guy and had a conversation with him, and he's an old guy, but he's pretty sharp. By no means is he the idiot the media so desperately tries to portray him as. I'm not saying I agree with all he does, but two wrongs don't make a right.

You say you're a Raider fan, well then, be a fan in the dark times as much as in the light times. It was only 5 years ago that some of you jumped aboard the bandwagon because we were winning all the time. Five years ago we were in the superbowl, how many teams can say that; in the AFC especially? Maybe 3 other than us?

Like it or not, Al owns the team, and just as you would, he is entitled to do with the team as he wishes. You're right we don't NEED to buy tickets. But I'm guessing when we start winning again, you will. You know you will, if you're really a Raider fan. Because even with all this crap going on (or not going on whatever the case may be) you're still just as hooked on the football as I am.

Again, don't get me wrong, I'm sick of all of this. But one winning season would cure all that ails me in this regard. That or a public flogging of Monte Poole and Nancy Gay. That would be almsot as fun.

8:56 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The contra costa times reported the following FACTS:

“Between (Raiders return to Oakland in 1995) and now, the Raiders are tied for 26th in the NFL (in winning percentage) (at .418), and tied for 100th among the 122 teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball.”

“If you refine your focus to the day after their Super Bowl XXXVII beat-down, the Raiders are the worst team in or out of the NFL. Since that day, they are 19-61 (.238) -- six games worse than the runner-up 49ers.”

There’s no need to sugarcoat it, that’s textbook, epic dysfunction. It’s one of those bad things that’s so bad, you couldn’t try and have it turn out that bad again.

Contra Costa added this comentary:

“Davis' supporters cite his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and his reputation as a football visionary and innovator. He was all those things. But his second reign in Oakland will absolutely impact how he is remembered. He'll always be the guy who built the empire. Now he'll also be recalled as the guy who burned it to the ground.”

Right now, evidence points to this being accurate.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

raider ray, unfortunately pal, you'll be the only one in the stands. Read today's article by monte poole. denial is a bad thing dude. al can't hide anymore. he has long passed buffoon status. get off that wagon man and see what's really going on here. outrage by almost every fan. those things that bama7 and i have been preaching are now coming into fruition. good times, bad times. unfortunately we've had nothing but bad times and its time to show the old man who is really the boss and thats the paying customers.

these past several years, i've always wanted to know how we (the public) can wrestle away this team from this owner - you know like how the packers are owned by the people. monte's article today doesn't quite give that solution but rather perhaps the league can step in somehow and rescue this franchise from its own living hell.

whether kiffin stays or not, this is a nightmare of a situation for this team and the fans to be in. what top free agent in their right mind would come to this chaos ray? and who's gonna pay their salary? you and blanda?

wake up man. as dan meredeth used to sing; the party's over.....sing with me ray.....everybody now.....

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks NY Raider, just voted... was one of the nearly 2,000. I bet if they could check IP addresses for the "get rid of Kiffin's" most would be coming from raider HQ. Al's proabbaly got a team up there firing them off as we speak, but at least he knows the truth. He can't contiue to be sorry and still be revered.

9:29 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I am losing it, because articles like these are really starting to make sense to me:


9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raider Ray,

Are you sure you're not BlandaRocked or H posting under a different pseudonym.


9:40 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Some people seem to be misunderstanding my analysis.

My point isn't that I've made up my mind about anything right now. My point isn't that Al Davis can't do anything he wants.

My point is that what is happening is bad business, as evident in the fan reaction, not to mention the on-field product. You can argue with the fan reaction, but that won't change the fan reaction. You can argue with the weather, too. Be my guest.

Any time your most dedicated customers rise up in such rebuke, you have a problem of your own making. Something like this doesn't happen overnight.

As for those who would paint frustrated fans as disloyal and somehow lesser than you, perhaps you should consider your own possible role as an enabler in what ails the Raiders.

The Raiders and the Raider Nation are a family. Sometimes true love requires tough love. I love and respect Al Davis. For that very reason, I am not going to give him a free pass. Some of you sound like you'd let us go 0-100 over the next seven years before you'd take the painful step of helping the organization face the music. What are your limits and standards?

Say Kiffin was, in fact, allowing his eye and dedication to wander, making him a poor, immature choice to lead the team? Well, then, somebody is responsible for making that poor choice, and it would be the same people who entrusted our team to Art Shell and Norv Turner and who have put us in a hole once again. The only way to win in the NFL is through quality and consistency. How are we doing on those fronts?

As someone else said, being a Raiders fan is part of my DNA. Being an enabler, however, is not.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scorpio/Bama (and others with similar views),

When these Kiffin rumors first started during the Arkansas thing, I said I'd join your "side" if Kiffin were to leave as our HC, this year or the next. I'm a man of my word. Without hard evidence I've always just played the fence and asked "what if?" rather than following anything blindly. When he's officially gone, I'm officially backing your cause. I'm just warming up right now.

Although I never agreed with taking it to the extent of simply blaming Al for everything, and I probably won't. The clouds of blind loyalty are parting and I can almost see the light.

Both "sides" of it have made many, many valid points for & against Al, I must say. It just sucks that it's come to a head this way.


10:05 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

My position has never changed: My fan relationship with Al Davis is one of Love & Hate. Unfortunately, I tend to be leaning to one side more than I'd like (or ever believed possible).

As one article said (more or less), Al Davis can swiftly end this nonsense with a public statement of support for his coach.

Short of that, there is, at a minimum, an apparent double-standard regarding the support of his coaching staff; or worse, a complete and deep-rooted organizational dysfunction.

I am eagerly awaiting the next move by Raider HQ to make my final determination.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's what i'm saying psych, any way you cut it, whether kiffin stays or not there will be uncertainty.

this is what you can expect as long as davis runs HIS team HIS way.

WINS? forget it man. no-one crosses al and gets away with it. this unfortunately is the standard in oakland and it won't get better anytime soon.

do what's right psycho. show your disgust by not showing up at the gate. we fans have to be united in this because there's just no other way to express our outrage.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one article said (more or less), Al Davis can swiftly end this nonsense with a public statement of support for his coach.

NY, let's say kiffin DOES stay. how does a lame duck coach stay with his decision making powers stripped? he can't draft, can't hire/fire his own coaches, can't attend meetings, his eventual replacement hired by davis looking over his shoulder? etc., etc.

know what? i've come to like kiffin for his enthusiasm. i say go young man with your dignity in tact. what is money when you can go somewhere else, double what you made here, where you will be appreciated and your career can take off? its just not worth the grief!

just watch him go to KC when herm gets canned. he'll bash al's head in 2x/year and davis'll claim that he discovered that he had a hand in discovering that brilliant coach!

wid taylor and trask and whoever is left as my yes peeps da greatness o'da raiduhs is in its futcha! we are da team o'da decades, no scratch dat ame's, make it da team o'da century. i will make da nfl pay and grovel at my feet.

what a shame this has become!

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take - your comments strike true. You are on your game Dude!
For the first time ever I got on the Raiders site and sent an e-mail and complained that as a Fan that we deserve a quality product . Even if it fell on deaf ears it was somewhat therapeutic. Kiffin brought hope, there was tangible evidence we were moving in the right direction. Maybe Kiffin naively thought that he was somewhere other than Raider headquarters and he got a little full of himself but come on! Stop the madness, stick with a coach , a plan and execute! So what if he gave some interest to Arkansas, we all want something better for us and our family. Keep him happy and he won't turn his head the wrong way. The offense improved greatly ( KIffin) and the defense( Ryan) let us down. So what if he wants to can Ryan, can anyone blame him ? Ryan failed plain and simple. We all know that that the Raider mystique is made of a " we do it our way screw you" blend of secrecy and a good deal of dysfunctionality and thats cool to an extent. BUT what is being reported ( if true) is beggining to border on down right Mental illness. I will never change loyalties, but it is becoming an embarassment to be a Raider fan, not sure how much more I can take. So here's hoping against all odds that Mr Davis throws Kiffin a bone and makes him happy. Kiffin has a plan and I want him to stay. I urge others to send e-mails through . We fans are the reason that the our Raiders exist but it seems like we are being shunned , and ignored. desperate times call for desperate measures , let your voice be heard ( I hope) through the Raiders web site.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To your point and RT's main point of "Zero Sum Game" things are different no matter what happens now. I guess the only thing I'm hung up with now is absolute confirmation that we're screwed to gauge my level of outrage.

It's clear we have major issues. If Al hears our cries now and does something to remedy the situation (something big) then I'll consider attending at least one game to throw him a bone.

Like another poster, I'm eagerly awaiting the "official" word from the man himself. But I've got my arms crossed and a pissed off look my eye for this one.


12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just in case you were talking about me. I never said frustrated fans were disloyal. My reference to "walking the plank" was in reference to the followin:

"I am so fed up, I'm sick. If all turns out the way it seems to be going (Lofton and Saunders are both set to interview apparently), then I am have one foot off the plank, voluntarily...

time to go buy a Lions beenie, at least their incompetence is less mind numbing."

posted at 11:55.


12:38 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

H, no, I wasn't referring to you!

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:51 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I'm going to make one post today, because it's damned annoying arguing with people when everyone is in the dark.

1. ESPN's reporting has raised an issue. Nobody seems to have any evidence that what they say is true - or false. Everybody seems to have some pretty immovable positions on that story, regardless.

2. I'm going to wait for either the Raiders or for Kiffin to make a definitive statement on this.

3. It seems that the ESPN story, and Herrera's statement are wholly incompatible. A statement that the story is a "non-issue" certainly will be made blatantly false in short order if the Raiders are actually interviewing replacement HC's today. That would be tantamount to the Raider organization standing up as a collective entity and proclaiming, "we're all liars!"

4. It is very possible that Lofton is being interviewed as a replacement WR coach, and that Saunders is interviewing for the OC position. I'd point out that Knapp said, when he took the job, that he didn't know how long he'd be here. Green has expressed complete ignorance to all of it.

5. There is an article linked through that claims to have spoken to a former Raiders Coach. I suspect it may have been Tom Flores. The FRC said that Kiffin had been doing some pretty heady things that looked like he was pursuing a power struggle against Davis (also embarrassing other Raider coaches in Alabama). Basically he was saying that Kiffin may have brought all of this on himself.

Ultimately the gist seemed to be that Kiffin is seeking to expand his power and authority over the players by doing things behind folks' backs, and Davis always views such actions as disloyal.

I'd only add that I've said before that this amount of information, if it has any merit, would have to come from either Kiffin or Davis (or someone extremely close to one or the other). Davis has never had a history of playing footsie with the media to suit his purposes. Kiffin doesn't have a history.

What is the truth? What is fiction? I don't know. I assume we'll find out. Probably before the end of today, but certainly by the end of the week.

I'll wait.

12:52 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I do want to add one thing. If all of this arises around Kiffin while he's saying, "WTF?" then it speaks very badly for how well the SOB (senile old bastard) is handling his young HC.

If other reports are true, that Kiffin WAS actually actively pursuing the openings at Arkansas and Michigan in the middle of his first season, then I'm surprised Davis let it go this long without firing the disloyal SOM. It likely would also be the reason he wasn't hired for those college positions. "This kid is looking for a new job when he's barely half way through his first season somewhere else? Find somebody with stability!"

1:06 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

I may be in the minority here, but I'm not phased at all by yet another display of journalistic irresponsibility.

It was actually a topic of debate at my birthday party this weekend, before I walked up on the conversion. My inebriated guests grew silent until one of my buddies slurred, "You tell 'em! I already know what you are going to say".

My answer then, and now.

"It's bullsh*t".

The story is unbelievable, poorly constructed, and frankly, quite silly. Is it beyond the realm of belief. No. But what is?

It sells papers. Whatever happens, the same journalist will find a way to spin the result to make them look wise.

If you received a letter of resignation from your boss, who would you tell? Would you tell someone that would leak it to others? If you wrote a letter for your employee, how many people would see it? If word got out, even in the office, wouldn't someone lose their job?

"It's all complete B.S.," Herrera said.

1:29 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Okay, okay... I know I only said one post, but my point was that I'm not arguing with anybody.

I wanted to offer a scenario that could make sense, given the jumble of info offered. All of the following have been reported, so suppose they happened in the following order.

1. Kiffin's agent calls Al Davis to tell him that Arkansas is interested (and later Michigan).

2. Davis is furious because he has the right to expect that someone under a 3 year contract will at least give it their all for one year.

3. Davis calls Kiffin on the carpet and hands him a letter of resignation, telling him that he can sign it whenever he likes.

4. The reason that Kiffin is slamming doors and cursing that he didn't get the Arkansas job is that he knows he's destroyed his position with the Raiders, and now he's stuck.

5. Davis tells Kiffin that because he can no longer trust Kiffin's longevity, he will not allow Kiffin to make any lasting changes with the Raiders staff or personnel without first getting them approved by Davis.

6. Kiffin asks that he be fired, hoping that at least he'll be able to salvage his pay check.

7. Davis refuses.

8. At season's end, Kiffin fires Ryan, knowing he doesn't have the authority to do so, believing that when Davis finds out, Davis will fire Kiffin. Kiffin continues to take such actions, hoping Davis will fire him. Davis takes the position that he will only fire Kiffin "for cause."

This leaves us at the present point. I don't offer this because I believe it, it's just the only thing that makes sense and takes all the information as "fact."

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Normally I'd agree with you, and I wish I could. What "did it" for me personally was Kiffin's reaction after the Senior Bowl. Not only did he go through the entire week without being spotted in Raider gear while refusing to comment on the "last 3 weeks", which I'll admit was not that big a deal.

When asked if he'll be coaching the Raiders next fall he said "I hope so" as he turned to quickly leave the scene.

My heart sank. I witnessed the moment our organization imploded. For a transcript, check the previous Take around Saturday evening. The optimism was already slowly draining away, and at that moment there was silence, followed by complete outrage on a huge scale once the situation registered within the Nation.

Hererra is the one feeding us B.S. otherwise Kiffin would've at least said "yes". From his own words, there is uncertainty.


1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kiffin is to blame here for his disloyalty so therefore deserves to be fired. its kiffin who is the bad guy here, NOT al.....i see.....

now go tell that to the thousands of outraged former season ticket holders.

2:15 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

BTW, as to how I spent my weekend. Very similar to H. We're old enough. We've been down this road before.

2:18 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Hey Blanda,

If you went sailing I bet the sea was calm compared to the tempest raging in the Raider Nation.

2:25 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

The A.P. article, carried on &, reads:

Kiffin was asked after coaching the North team at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Saturday whether he wanted to return for a second season as Oakland’s coach.

“I hope so,” he said.

Did anyone see him answer? For me, it's all in delivery. Not a great time for sarcasm, but...

They didn't ask him IF he's going to be the Coach. They asked him if he WANTS TO BE the coach.

2:30 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Pope, I saw Kiffin answer the question. It did not seem at all like a coded message. It was just off hand. Basically what he said was that the moment was for the college players as their day, and their day shouldn't be clouded by Raider issues.

It was the right thing to say no matter how it was portrayed as coming down on one side or the other as to the argument.

2:59 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

realist, I knew the weather around here would be much stormier than anything I might find on the bay. I'm basically choosing to sit this one out. There's really no point in heated arguments over guesses. It will all come out in the wash.

3:03 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

It looks like the posters on JMac's site are starting to be of the opinion that what this all amounts to his Kiffin overstepping his bounds by sending an already fired Rob Ryan to give his farewells to Davis. Even if such a move is supported by folks, I would think that it is obviously a very stupid political move.

As JMac says, you can argue that the Raiders don't have a GM, but that's clearly wrong. It's Al. Laying the official stamp on hiring and firing has never been the responsibility of the HC. It is the responsibility of the owner or the GM. Kiffin was not hired as an GM/HC.

But those reports are also suggesting that it's a done issue, and that Davis and Kiffin have already worked out the disagreement.

When Herrera speaks, he should not be dismissed. Herrera is a senior executive in the building. He's been there longer than anyone except Davis. Generally you can pretty much assume that when Herrera speaks, it has the same force as Davis. When the Raiders issued the release about Ryan, it was issued by Taylor who is only the Raider publicist.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't read the "I hope so" response in some article. I saw it clearly on the post-game show with my own eyes and I remember it vividly, as it was one of the points in time that my life changed. The reporter was misquoted in that article, if that's what they're reporting. Here is what I heard:

Reporter: "Will you be coaching the Raiders next fall?"

Kiffin: "I hope so."

Kiffin's manerism, to me anyways was that of a guy who didn't want to answer that question. He was already walking away as he ended his short response. I felt like I detected a real sense of diappointment in his voice too.


3:30 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Oh, and since there has been some reporting that Davis is displeased with Mark Jackson (for taking too long to get JRuss signed and for only getting a #4 pick for Moss), it might just be - and this is a slight reach - that Al Saunders is not coming to interview for a coaching position, but for Mark Jackson's position.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the "Kiff pissed off Al w/ the college hunt" scenario ends better with Al sent a letter to Kiff shoowing him the line in his contract that says Al can move him to waterboy if he wants.

So Al told him you can stay, but you won't be HC.

3:47 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


"Kiffin's mannerism, to me anyways was that of a guy who didn't want to answer that question. He was already walking away as he ended his short response. I felt like I detected a real sense of disappointment in his voice too."

I saw it a little different. There was the first question, and Kiffin said he didn't want to discuss Raider business because the day belonged to the college players. Then the reporter asked him whether he'd be back (I don't remember the exact wording). Then Kiffin gave him a slight look of "what did I just say?" Then Kiffin while walking away said, "I hope so." And I felt there was a touch of sarcasm in that answer.

4:01 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nobody knows anything. Everything is based on conjecture and innuendo. But look where that’s left us... dejected and despondent.

Won’t the Raiders please throw us a bone? I’ve been sticking it out for over 30 (mostly good) years, and this is by far the lowest I’ve ever felt about this organization.

To live in a complete shroud of secrecy, leaving your players, your coaches, your fans, your business associates, your peers, your affiliates, your sponsors, your would-be free agents and draftees, and the media (who can obviously be brutal when not fed regularly) without even a clue.

Is this supposed to be the ultimate Raiders power-play, or some clever way to scold the media for irresponsible reporting?

Most of us recognize Jerry McDonald as being a straight-shooting journalist with an ear to the Raiders' inner workings. He’s now resorted to analyzing the reports of other journalists while mildly disclaiming the integrity of those reports.

Congratulations to Al Davis and the Raider organization. Your plan is working like a charm. We are all clueless.

PS think G.W. will say something about the state-of-the-raiders in his addresss tonight? Somebody should.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a fair opinion. But either way, "I hope so" doesn't exactly give me confidence that he will in fact be here next fall. And it doesn't exactly agree with what Hererra is saying.

I think we can all agree that SOMETHING is going on, and it aint good.

And Al Davis approaches the podium with (TBD) at his side...(hopefully soon) The suspense is killing me.

Will it be Kiffin? Lofton? Saunders? Art Shell & Tom Walsh? Nothing would surprise me anymore... What a circus.


4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not read everyone's take, so if you have not read this article my brothers, check it out. It makes sense as well as it validates most of everyones opinion.

Mr. Duva

4:18 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Remember the good old days, way back on last Tuesday, when the word "outrage" was viewed as extreme, and Kiffin was the good guy, the fearless visionary who would take us to the promised land?

4:28 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Did someone just suggest we read an article by IRA? :)

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those were the days man. I'd take anything over this. My world was turned upside down this weekend. And you were totally right about expressing "outrage".

In a perfect world Kiffin is still the man to take us to that promised land. All we have to do is cut through the red tape of off-season matters, maybe put the young guy in check a little bit and "slow his roll" if necessary, and BLAM! We win.

The only problem is the red tape is wrapped so tight, is 78 years old, will not break, and is covering all of the assistant coaches, players, and the draft board. What a mess it makes. Ugly.


5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

draft? did someone say there is a draft? well, don't you worry.....that'll get screwed up too!

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wow. I knew that things were messed up in the Raider organization, but even I didn't know how bad things have become. I have never seen the fans revolt against your crypt keeper of an owner as much as they are now. Even my cousin who is a die hard Raider fan is ready to see Al retire. You organization is a joke and what fun is it going to be when my Patriots come into Oakland next season and destroy the Raiders, when they have already been destroyed by their senile owner? You are taking all the fun out of your future Patriots butt whipping. Thanks alot Al Davis!!

So I have a proposal for you Raider fans. I know you want to forget the destruction of your team and how you want to forget how you have a 78 year old senile bat of an owner who is driving his own team into the ground. So tune into the Super Bowl this Sunday to watch the Patriots finish their season undefeated and take home their fourth Lombardi in seven years. And PS. we will have more trophies than you guys! ;)


5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it looks like the raiders interviewed james lofton today, for an unknown position.

lofton was fired recently in SD by their HC, norv turner. remember him ??
think turner ever could have fired freddy b., or anyone else, when he hung his hat in oakland ?
fat chance.

anyway, good move mr. lofton. come to oakland where you can never be fired by the HC if the man upstairs likes you enough.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't the Jets, Bills, or Dolphins have any official websites?

Any Who.... Collapsing that....OK.

Yeah, so how about that press-conference Al?


5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adam Schefter reported today on NFL Total Access:

"I'm told that Lane Kiffin is not going to resign, and Al Davis is not going to fire him. And one of the reasons Al Davis liked Lane Kiffin to start with was his tenacity. And it's that same tenacity that is driving Al Davis a little bit crazy right now because Lane Kiffin is not going to budge from that job. So that same tenacity that helped get him that job is keeping him in the job. Much to everybodies, I think, displeasure (jokingly said)."
I've been rediculed for listening to this "Bronco" before, but so far he hasn't really let me down. It's funny that I ultimately find some form of hope, a comforting feeling, from a Bronco sympathyser. I sincerely hope he is right, and oddly a little bit grateful for a great job of getting to the bottom of things, not only in the past, but hopefully in the present.

If this is true, I'd never be happier to be "IN". Savior indeed. I have a strong feeling that Davis was "big" enough to listen to his legion of fans and make things right. If so, I will hold my end and attend those games.


6:08 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Interesting Psycho. Not much of a development, but interesting.

I believe it was Blanda who predicted that this situation, real or not, could bring Al and Kiff closer together.

I'm not saying that will happen, only that it is possible.

The one thing I think we've all learned about Lane Kiffin is that he is a communicative and somewhat diplomatic individual. Perhaps diplomacy will prevail.

I certainly hope so. I’m not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel just yet.

PS - Pres. Bush never mentioned a word about the state-of-the-raiders. I'm a little disappointed by that.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Interesting perspectives shared by all. Welcome back H and BR. I hope you "old" guys enjoyed a fine weekend of sipping your beverages of choice.

My mood over the weekend was one of outrage and despair. I wish I was the type of guy who could put my head in the sand and avoid reading the countless articles that poked fun (and a stick in the eye) at the Raiders.

I also wish I wasn't so quick to make assumptions or assign blame for the mess we are in. For that I apologize and attempt to clear my head.

Instead of picking and choosing the bits and pieces of articles that I believe and analyzing different "what if" scenarios, I'm going to shift gears and wait for the dust to settle over the next few weeks.

My sincere hope is that I'm wrong about my assumptions AND the Kiffin/Davis relationship isn't at the point of no return.

After reading a dozen articles from yesterday and today, my instinct tells me that there were mistakes made by both Kiffin & Davis through their words and actions. Both are tenacious,driven, singularly focused stubborn men who have a difficult time backing down.

There were probably a few times were Davis felt Kiffin overstepped his bounds. There were also more than likely a few incidents where Kiffin felt Davis wasn't properly supporting him.

Just conjecture on my part (and I hope I'm wrong) but I get the sinking feeling that Davis & Kififn are negotiating a settlement (ie. pay Kiffin $2M and send him on his way).

The most disappointing aspect to this entire mess is that it seem to me that it never had to get to the point where ultimatums were thrown and the dirty laundry aired in public. The way the "problems" were resolved lacked a sense of professionalism and confidentiality that would have resolved the differences amicably.

Another extremely disappointing aspect to the way the Raiders have conducted their business is that, IMO, there is a lack of focus on keeping their eye on the ball ... namely winning and doing things in the best interest of the team, fans, and organization. All of this negative press and bad marketing is detrimental and unnecessary.

7:45 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Here’s the latest from J-Mac:

The meat of that article:

“Having Kiffin and Knapp involved in the (potential) hiring of an offensive assistant (Lofton) means any differences the head coach has with owner Al Davis regarding makeup of the defensive staff appear well short of Kiffin either resigning or being fired in the near future.”

“While stories run rampant of what has gone on behind closed doors since the end of the season, the one I’m certain of is that Kiffin wanted to change defensive coordinators and Davis did not.

I was told today Kiffin’s problem with Ryan is not of a personal nature but one of philosophy.”

SOB is our DC, and there’s not a thing anyone in this world can do about it, including his boss, the HC. Assuming Kiffin is our HC in the fall, our only hope is that he can sway SOB’s philosophy into the 21st century (without the real boss' involvement - what are the chances?).

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

raider00 said...

i never wanted gruden traded/fired

therefore, i never wanted calahan HIRED.

i never wanted turner HIRED.

i never wanted shell REHIRED.

Irrelevant. Gruden didn't want to coach here anymore. I didn't want him traded either, but it happened, thus I wanted every coach after him to get three years to prove himself the same way that Gruden did. I think every NFL coach should get 3 years. I think Kiffin should get three years even if he goes 0-16 next year. I think the next coach should get three years REGARDLESS of his record.

The opposite is where the knee-jerkers and Al are two peas in a pod, and my point. Nothing more.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“While stories run rampant of what has gone on behind closed doors since the end of the season, the one I’m certain of is that Kiffin wanted to change defensive coordinators and Davis did not.”

If Al, SOB, and Kiffin are all mature enough and intelligent enough to stop these childish games and focus in on the same goal, building a playoff-quality football team, we might have something salvageable here.

I'm still holding out hope.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday it was pure negativity. You even saw it from Jason Jones and J.McDonald. I've never seen any sports situation painted so grim other than maybe the death of Dale Earnhardt.

Now it seems like everyone kind of calmed down a bit and is hopeful that something can be worked out.

Just cross your fingers, baby. It's obvious that SOMETHING isn't quite right, but hopefully we can work through it.

If it's true that Kiffin is THAT freakin' stubborn as well as dedicated to the Raiders, hell we're in good hands afterall. We just gotta' keep Al from choking him out like Homer Simpson does to Bart.


9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it's true that Kiffin is THAT freakin' stubborn as well as dedicated to the Raiders, hell we're in good hands afterall.

Ok, I know how everyone hates so much to hear positive spin here, but this is a point that can't be overlooked. There takes a different breed of cat to be a respected Raider coach, and one that bolts (or wanted to bolt half-way through the season) doesn't have what it took that Madden or Flores had. Al hasn't changed much over the years, and it shouldn't be a surprise to what Kiffin thought he was getting into (especially with his Dad working with Gruden). Maybe the old-man can gain respect for Kiffin by his plugging his way through this?

Or maybe Kiffin will be fired tomorrow. Ya just never know.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


i can agree with you about a HC getting at least 3 yrs to build something.
stability is something the raiders have lacked for awhile now.

i do not agree that the gruden situation is/was irrelevant to what is happening today.
since gruden, the raiders have been in a fast decline to the bottom of the Nfl

by losing gruden, the raiders lost a good, young , HC who could have lasted 10 yrs or more with us.

you say gruden did not want to be here anymore. really ? but why ??
couldn't get along with big boss man, al davis ?

we are on the verge of seeing the same thing unfold before our eyes right now with another, bright, young HC, lane kiffin.

far from irrelevant, i see a link.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well one thing we are sure of in Oakland, that Al Saunders will not be coming to Oakland. For those who have not read the article is attached here.

Saunders' agent is supposively working out a deal with the Rams to become O.C. So if the deal goes through, Saunders is out of the picture.

Well Al, who will it be Dennis Green or James Lofton? Neither is great. Green has stated before that he would love to coach the Raiders, only and if only he is allowed full control. That aint gonna happen!!!

Lofton, well this maybe a stretch here, but if he is a 'Yes Man' then maybe.

Wouldn't be wierd if Kiffin was told he will stay but as Interm. GM (as punishment) and Lofton got hired? LOL

Stranger things have happened here in Oakland.

Here's the real ticker on Gruden. RT, Blanda, H, Psycho....comments welcomed.

"You should know, Gruden's demise with the raiders had nothing to do with power or Al's meddling. Nothing. Former Raiders Exec, Mike Lombardi said Gruden's situation was all about money. Gruden wanted five million a year and Al didn't want to pay it, especially after the Raiders just lost three our of their last four games of that year and lost home field advantage."


9:48 PM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

I've been thinking along the lines of how these stories could be true, or least close enough to be interpreted the way the media is reporting them. I think the Ira story, which was written as a report rather than speculation, makes sense. I can see where Kiffin decided to make a change and told Ryan he wanted to go in another direction. Ryan, knowing he could get a gig with the Jets or his brother, says "cool", and goes to tell Al adios. At that point Davis is ticked, knee-jerk reaction, and even if he was open to a change tells Kiffin that he can't make staff changes without his consent. Kiffin, figuring he has the latitude due to all the changes he made on the offensive side of the ball, argues with Davis, tempers flare, etc. Davis, never one to back down, fires off the letter reminding Kiffin who has ultimate authority. And BTW, if you're gonna keep pursuing college jobs, you can resign right now. Kiffin, subsequently realizing he didn't have ultimate authority and that he could have handled the situation better, backs off, focuses on the Senior Bowl, and figures he can work it out with Davis later.

Something along those lines would explain the Ryan situation, the infamous letter, and the fact that Kiffin is still the coach. If Kiffin was truly stripped of any power, language in his contract would give him a legit grievance, which no one has reported he is pursuing yet. It would jive with the comments coming from the Raiders, and would explain the Kiffin "I hope so comment".

The one problem I have with Davis is that he likes to hold a grudge. The interview with Lofton, and potential interest in Saunders, is an example with that. At this point my primary concern is whether or not Davis can get past his current disagreement with Kiffin, whatever it is, and work out a plan for next year. On this point I can agree with RT - Davis' lack of concern with the media, and granting some level of transparency to the org, is not helping matters. When things are going well it's no big deal, but when things are careening downhill it makes resolving problems that much tougher.

One other point - does anyone else get the sense that the team is in financial trouble? I base it on the following

1) Davis selling 20% of the team for 150 mil.
2) Russell's delayed signing
3) Failure to cut ties and buy out guys like Jordan
4) Failure to immediately replace Cooper when he was injured
5) Reluctance to buy out coach's contracts
6) Give away of Moss

Taken separately they don't mean much, but Davis has never been one to not make moves to improve the team. The in season roster moves, or non-moves, were really odd this year. I believe the deal to sell a stake in the team had to have been started early in the year, when they likely figured they would take a franchise QB, which would cost them some $$$. Moving Moss would have helped things, considering they had to come up with the cash for the signing bonus for Russell, and the sale didn't go thru until October. Maybe I've caught media-disease, but I think it bears watching.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

duva, i want to thank you for having the presence of mind to chop that link into pieces so we can all see it.

folks, when you paste links can you please cut it up 'cause it doesn't all fit into this narrow column. thanks!


10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One other point - does anyone else get the sense that the team is in financial trouble?

IIRC, Al said he was 28th in revenue a few years back at one of his rare press conferences... and I don't think Al has any other outside income besides the Raiders... one of the few left... and it's not like a proud bastard like Al admitting he doesn't have enough money to compete with the fat cats.

Thats kinda interesting point, and could explain a lot of things... especially Gruden (paying 5 million a year as opposed to getting PAID 10 million?)

Ironically it could help Kiffin keep his job... Al just got done paying Shell for not coaching, he's prolly not in the mood to pay too many other people for not coaching (including SOB).

He'd prolly be on easy street if all teams could keep their own revenues from merchandising.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you say gruden did not want to be here anymore. really ? but why ??
couldn't get along with big boss man, al davis ?

This is the part that is irrelevant because none of us really know why.

Budget constraints make as much sense as anything I have seen... Gruden seems like an Al kinda guy to me... and Gruden has certainly never complained about Al from anything I have heard. In fact, I think he credited Al for giving him a chance.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off Scorpio,

I hate to point out the obvious, but Monte Poole is the last person whose word I would take on ANYTHING Raider. Aside from being a massive Raider Hater and rumor mongerer he is an arrogant moron.

You can imply (or flat out state) that I'm drinking the Kool Aid, but the fact of the matter is everyone here who's claiming the sky is falling is missing the FACT that all of this stuff that has been coming out lately has been completely unsubstantiated. Not a single named source. I don't agree with everything Al Davis does. But one thing I don't do is throw him under the bus for things he has no control over. What are these things you ask? Well let's see: False start penalites, interceptions, fumbles, missed field goals...I can go on and on.

What can he control? Well he can do his best to find good coaches. Let's evaluate the last few. Gruden - Good coach all of us would agree. He did a pretty good job, had no loyalty to the person who gave him his break, and started looking for college jobs with Notre Dame etc., before his contract was up.
Bill Callahan - The players cried out to promote him. So Al listened. Superbowl. Rich Gannon gets a broken neck. We fall.
Norv Tuner - Bad move, Al tried to fix it.
Art Shell - Well everyone thought he would toughen up the Raiders. No one (and don't any of you dare say you did) knew how bad that was going to turn out. Art Shell had a pretty good record his first go round as head coach. So horrible year, and Art is fired.

So Al goes looking for the next bright mind to give a chance to. Of coures the media spreads hundreds of rumors and finally Kiffin is hired and GIVEN A CHANCE. He goes 4-12 and although the team improved, if he would have been hired right after Gruden every single one of you would have been calling for his head. He again has no loyalty, goes looking for college jobs (hey if you believe the Al Davis rumors by the media, you have to believe these also) and tries to start firing defensive coaches without clearing it with the GM. By the way, the Raiders do have a GM, his name is Al Davis.

So you can imply that I'm a stupidly loyal, mindless follower all you want. What I can say is that perhaps I'm looking at the bigger picture. I don't start looking for meteors because a halfwit like Monte Poole claims the sky is falling. I'll figure that out on my own. I don't need the media to form my opinions for me. Check out the "news" from later in the day. I don't care what coach it is in the NFL, if he doesn't wear that hat of GM he doesn't get to fire anyone without running it by the GM. Guess what Kiffin tried to pull and is still pulling?

Hey I like Kiffin too, but I know if he had lived up to Al's expectations he wouldn't be having a hard time right now with him. Think about this guys, since none of you is a fly on Al's wall, perhaps there is more to these rumors than what the idiots at ESPN have been privvy to. Haven't you ever heard some of the cliches like: it takes two to tango; or there's two sides to every story? The unfortunate thing is you guys want to toss Al under the bus for doing what he belives is right. He's been to 5 superbowls. How many have you been in? So i'm going to listen to you and belive YOU'RE right and AL is wrong? Please!!!

Anyway forgive whatever typing errors I may have made, I'm not going back and proofread, I'm too tired. Just remember John Gruden had the Raiders at 8-8 with Jeff George. Kiffin was 4-12 and he had Daunte Culpepper. I know there is more to it than that, but if you can blame the owner who hasn't played a down, I can do the conventional thing and blame a combination of head coach and QB.

Lastly, for the short term memory impaired, it was about this time last year when you were all screaming that Rob Ryan should be promoted to head coach, and saying that if Al Davis let him go, he is a complete idiot blah blah blah. Wow how your tunes have changed. Now apparently Al is an idiot for continuing to do what most of you said he should have done last year...hang on to Caveman Ryan. So Rob Ryan went from genius to worthless in one year in your minds. WOW

It's apparently not popular, but that is my take.

11:49 PM  
Blogger RaiderVigen said...

This was the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as I am concerned. NO MORE BS served on a Silver & Black platter! I am going to wait until the man upstairs kicks the bucket so to speak. A new ADMIRAL is the only thing that will right the course of this ship. So until than I am abandoning ship. So long mates.

12:07 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Don’t get too comfortable fellas. This thing ain’t over yet, and your GM and head coach (whomever it is) still have to work together in harmony. That seems to be increasingly difficult.

Raider Ray- I’m prepared to go out on a limb and say I didn’t want Art Shell back as HC, and I certainly didn’t want him to bring B&B with him. I can also say I wasn’t thrilled about Turner, so I certainly wasn’t sorry to see him leave either.

Good coaches require good pay, and some freedom to do their job. The lack of these basic elements, IMO, is why we end up with bad coaching, time after time.

Obvious exceptions, Gruden and Kiffin, both showed charisma and vision for the Raiders. So, why were (and are) they being treated like third-class mail?

Is a modicum of public support for your coach too much to ask? Apparently so.

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was experimenting with different beverages. Saturday I had a couple of nice Porters and on Sunday some Irish Red Ale. In between painting I watch my second favorite Raider fan totally destory a field of golfers in San Diego. Tiger Woods is truly the best on the planet. My favorite fan is James Garner. But what can I say, I'm an old guy.


Hang in there buddy. This too shall pass.


Jumping ship are we. So, the rats are deserting.

Look, if the reports that Kiffin was indeed looking at the Arkansas and Michigan jobs while in the middle of his first year of a three year contract are true, then Al Davis has a right to be mad.

In addition, Kiffin should then have no right to expect the kind of control he seems to cherrish, according to the reports.

Now, I for one don't know which story is true. Much of this started with Adam Schefter who is a Mule sycophant, and spends most of his spare time with his nose up Mike Shannahan's butt. Add to that the fact that Mike Lombardi is working for the Mules for free, and you can come up with a conspiracy theory of epic proportions. BRING DOWN THE AL.

And, it's all true. I know, I called around.


5:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Obvious exceptions, Gruden and Kiffin, both showed charisma and vision for the Raiders. So, why were (and are) they being treated like third-class mail?"

You seem to be turning a blind eye to the fact that Gruden had a contract extension on the table, with a raise.

At the same time his agent was floating his name with college openings (Notre Dame, Florida), along with some vacillation by Gruden and his agent. This was during the season.

The offer was pulled to be revisited at the end of the season. Subsequently Gruden was traded to Tampa after Al Davis called him and asked him point blank did he want to stay or go.

So, under that just how was Gruden treated like third class mail. It sounds to me like he was treated professionally and he and his agent were trying to manipulate the Raiders.


5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vigin, go home and eat a salad. Don't want you here anyway. "Hay, everyone, the seas a little rough. BAIL!!".

The shit on the platter was from the press.

Would you rather fire Kiff today, and have him bail next year?

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

raider ray,
Totally agree.
One correction though.

Calahan - Gannon tears ?labrum? Team goes to hell. It might have been worth it for that one driver where we just ran Zack up their @ss every play and scored the TD.

Turner comes in looking forward to working with the 'gannon machine', and that's when he breaks his neck (week 3, TB, Derrik Brooks, 7th vertabrete) Or was it Simeon?

6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point is, it's now all conjecture, and everyone is siding based on what the think is happening.

If Al's just old an scenile, maybe he's got to go.

If Kiff was actively persuing the other jobs, he's got to go.

So now we wait. Don't jump off the ship just yet folks.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally a reasonably sane article on the whole mess.

And, it's from SI. The guy is Bucky Brooks. He had a cup of coffee with the Raiders in '98.

If it all comes down to loyalty, and this article is true, then who is at fault and who started the mess.

The one thing I have always pointed out about Al Davis is his loyalty. Think what you want, if you are loyal to him and the organization, he is loyal to you. Possibly to a fault. But, from my perspective loyalty is a rare commodity today. It should be practiced and celebrated.


7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry guys, here's the link:


7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I don't know why the link won't post, but just go to

The link is on the first page, author is Bucky Brooks.


7:50 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

If you double or triple click to highlight these links that run off to the right, then copy the link, the whole link will paste even though you can't see it.

When Bucky Brooks replaced Mike Silver as SI's roving NFL reporter, the IQ of the coverage was elevated from elementary school to normal.

8:11 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


I haven't got to all the posts this morning but I read yours. Interesting discussion you present.

One of the key things one must do when trying to analyse what is happening at Raider HQ, is to observe some basic human behavior.

As I've said before, with as much information being out there as there is, it must have come from one of the two parties - Kiffin or Davis. While Davis has never been a fan of airing his dirty linen in public, we don't know anything about Kiffin's approach in that regard. It could be that he discussed all of this with his father, and his father was the one who talked to ESPN.

That said, what is coming out is fairly one-sided (Kiffin's side). Nothing is one sided. I'd assume that the information out their comes indirectly from Kiffin.

That said, I believe that Kiffin is a very good diplomat (just watch him talk to the press). I don't think he'd publicly discuss any of this, and those close enough to Kiffin to receive this type of information from him would know not to discuss it publicly as a current and outstanding issue.

What I'm saying is, I think the disagreement has passed. This could be an extreme positive. Davis has repeatedly stated that he does not believe in team chemistry. He believes that people can function in their jobs whether they get along with their co-workers or not. What we may have witnessed here is a major disagreement between Kiffin and Davis that in prior instances would have left the Raider searching for a new HC. However Kiffin has come away from the disagreement with determination to stay, and Davis with determination to keep him. I do know that Davis appreciates, perhaps more than any other owner, someone who is passionate enough to attempt to take him to the mat on his ideas and his philosophies.

It is clear to me that Kiffin is staying. There is no negotiation to terminate his contract. If that were so, Davis would NOT be allowing Kiff to give solo interviews for replacement staff.

8:53 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H- Perhaps an oversight on my part, but I just don’t recall the level of detail in your post being made available; and I find it hard to believe it came from the Raiders, based on their obvious lack of transparency regarding current matters, or other historic matters.

Nevertheless, I’m sure whatever posturing Gruden took had nothing to do with a meddlesome owner/GM who wouldn’t afford him the freedom to do his job and protect his professional coaching identity and integrity (some interesting draft choices and “scholarships” come to mind).

8:54 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


"You should know, Gruden's demise with the raiders had nothing to do with power or Al's meddling. Nothing. Former Raiders Exec, Mike Lombardi said Gruden's situation was all about money. Gruden wanted five million a year and Al didn't want to pay it, especially after the Raiders just lost three our of their last four games of that year and lost home field advantage."

I absolutely believe that, but I don't know what you're quoting. That fits with all the facts, including that Davis and Gruden had a negotiated contract, but yet unsigned, when Gruden's agent started attempting to sweeten the pot with rumors of college hirings.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

For all we know, the Raider Nation may have played a role in helping smooth things out. As far as I could tell, the fans lit the organization up like a Christmas tree over the weekend. Kiffin, too, took some pretty hard hits. Maybe this helped both sides get a grip and comprehend the magnitude of what was at stake if this relationship was allowed to deteriorate to the breaking point. Just a thought.

9:02 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

“Davis has repeatedly stated that he does not believe in team chemistry.”

Wouldn’t that seem to contradict his past relationships with players, and making coaching decisions (changes) based on their input? I guess I always assumed those changes were to protect team chemistry. Or, was it just a “squeaky wheel gets the greese” thing?

I know that statement has been printed in the media, but how can that possibly make sense to anyone?

9:05 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Take- I really believe that voices like yours, Calico Jack and others have (or will) make a difference. There was a wide-spread panic across the Nation this weekend, and I'd like to think we had a collective voice in the matter.

Go Raiders!

9:09 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Thanks, I also believe it's the collective voice that can move mountains. My role is limited to simply providing one of several forums for that collective voice to be heard.

The team recently sent out a survey to season ticket holders, asking them for their feedback. You can bet if they are concerned about what fans think of the hot dog lines, they are definitely concerned when fans call with the threat of not renewing their tickets.

P.S. I want to clear something up about merchandise revenues. My understanding was that revenue was shared equally among the league when merchandise was sold through NFL-controlled venues (such as NFL Shop) and licensing agreements, but that revenues from team-controlled sales went directly to team. I looked it up, here's what I found...

According to an article in the Oakland Tribune: "Profits at the Raiders Image stores go directly to the team, while sales of team merchandise anywhere else go into a pool that is split by all NFL teams."

9:17 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


Consider... Either Raider Nation had influence, or things were never as they were presented.

9:18 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

There is one other point I'd like to make.

Either Davis and Kiffin have settled their differences, or the stories were either over-blown or untrue. Perhaps the reason we're seeing a serious back peddle from the press is that because of their story, they are now in the position of asking us to believe that Kiffin wants to be gone and Davis wants him gone - but Kiffin will remain.

Please. I have never seen Davis go back on any decision. He doesn't hold grudges (otherwise he would NOT refer to Ira Miller at a press conference - someone who has made a career of bashing Davis - as "the great Ira Miller"), he holds stubbornly steadfast to his decisions. If Davis wanted Kiffin gone, Kiffin would be gone. Kiffin would not be interviewing replacement coaches on his own. That, in my mind, is an irrefutable fact!

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Yeah trying to. Guess I got a little frustrated. But betwen Glen Dickey, Monte Poole, and Gwen Knapp, and all of ESPN I sometimes get a little worked up. I miss the days when newspaper employed fact checkers before letting something be published. Wait did that ever exist in sports media? :)


Yeah I remember the torn labrum but wasn't that against the Ravens in the AFC championship the year before? We did lose because of that. Well that and dreadful play at the safety position. I really don't miss Anthony Dorsett. haha.

Some good info coming out this morning. No way Al let's Kiffin conduct these interviews alone if Kiffin is on his way out. Apparently Al didn't even show up until the end of Lofton's interview. That has to be a good sign.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It would take a while to go back that many years, but I did read all of what I stated. By the way the call from Al Davis to Gruden came after midnight if I recall. And I also recall him discussing that in a press conference, possibly the one where he introduced Callahan.

I do believe Blandarocked can back me up on my 5:57 AM Post. How about it Blanda?

As far as the feud goes, every organization has dissagreements and feuds. Generally they get worked out. It appears this is the case.

Now, for the Raider Nation's affect on the whole conflagration, it's highly possible. Including such so called "appologist" like Blanda, Ray and Myself. After all, according to Bucky Brooks, Al admires loyalty.

It currently appears that the compromise is to replace the defensive line coach according to Jason Jones.

And, Kiffin wasn't happy with the receiver play, which is the reason for Loftin being interviewed.

Like I said previously, after the Senior Bowl, this will all shake out.


In the game against the Ravens Gannon was pancaked into the ground by Fat Tony Siragusa knocking him out of the game. It should have been roughing the passer but no flag was thrown.

The torn labrum was in Callahan's second season.



9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a delicious twist of fate, the mediots may unwittingly have saved the Raider nation from watching another uncomfortable press conference from Al introducing yet another HC, with all this feeding frenzy of rampant speculation.

Al might actually be motivated to keep Kiffin in order to collectively give them all the finger. Too funny!

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point Gary.


9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some will never be convinced that Al needs to change.
Al should pay the Patriots, Colts or Chargers a fee to have consultants from their organization come out and train Al on how to run an NFL team in the
21st century. It would be money well spent.
Anyone that can't see the problem that is Al, probably also believed that:
1. Alvis Whitted was a starting NFL reciever.
2. James Jett was a great NFL receiver to have as your starter for several years.
3. Tyler Brayton has proven enough value to keep around for 4+ years.
4. Tyler Brayton would make a good, agile, LB.
5. Warren Sapp would make a great DE.
6. Kerry Collins would make a great starting QB.
7. Tom Walsh would make for an excellent OC, because he's "smart, you'll see."
8. Art Shell would make a successful return as an NFL head coach.
9. Jeff George is a leader and even in 2006 was a good bet to bring in for another tryout.
10. There are some kickers worth using a round 1 draft choice on.
11. You have a coach take you into the 21st century and you win your 1st playoff game in nearly ten years (Gruden), yet you think it's okay to scrap the newly found success for some money and draft choices.
12. defnsive success is best attained by brining on a fleet of unphysical, extremely fast, DB's.
13. DE's don't matter.
14. If a guy has a good superbowl game, but has done very little in his whole career, he is a great FA to bring in.
15. Cover 2 is not a scheme worth trying
16. If a guy played for your franchise, he would make a great scout or coach.
17 Physical football players are not needed, just speed.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is funny!

10:12 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, you speak true in regard to your 5:57 post. Yep, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to get one by ol' H. At least sometime before 6am.

Just a little added detail... In the last third of the season that year, the Raiders began to take a late season dive, to the point where there was worry that the Raiders might not make the playoffs. All that going on while Gruden and his agent were playing the "find a college for Gru" game.

Then the Bucs called Al late at night, Al made a call to Gruden and said, "can I count on you, or are you planning on leaving anyway?" Then, aside from getting a big raise from the Bucs, Gruden always claimed that the reason he left was the opportunity to coach in his home town, surrounded by his extended family (both his father and his brother have worked on the Bucs' staff).

10:24 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Personally, I think Jason Jones got caught up, a little more than he would have liked, in the recent ESPN reporting.

I say that because he now finds himself making statements like this on the very day Kiffin was interviewing, on his own, a replacement coach:

"Published reports have Kiffin and Jackson being stripped of having any say in personnel decisions, which the Raiders deny."

10:55 AM  
Blogger Arleigh's Stuff said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:03 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H- I can back you up on the midnight call to Gruden(I too remember Al talking about that). It's the rest of the puzzle why Gruden left that's a little fuzzy for me. But that's ok, I hope we keep this coach for a while!

11:08 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


(Can you back me up here, H?) I seem to remember Pete Rozell stepping in to prevent Al Davis from contucting business that was not "in the best interests of the NFL." One was to prevent him from signing John Elway, and the other was to prevent him from signing Warren Moon.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have an idea, and this is just a little "out there" idea that i've always had since kiffin was hired. i was quick to point out the similarities between davis and kiffin upon his hire: both usc assistants and lead recruiter, first hc job was with the raiders, both are brilliant football minds, both love football.
i went on to claim that maybe kiffin was hired to replace al as "general managing partner."

what if that is what we are seeing transpire? think about it. some other kiffin/davis similarities. when al was hc of the raiders, and bought them, they were struggling for money in the afl. it seems the past few years, the raiders have been struggling financially, and davis is looking to dump out of his shares. don't think for a minute that there is no way kiffin has that much, he coached in college, which pays considerably more than coaching in the nfl. dude has bank.
the team was about to fall apart on all levels when al stepped in, and it appears the raiders are about to fall apart again, on all levels.
maybe what we are seeing is the beginning of kiffin taking over some of these duties from al davis, and they are arguing about "how much control" al is going to relenquish this year.
kiffin could be interviewing others to replace himself as hc if this is then true, unless a hc has already been picked. kiffin may have "prematurally" named knapp as hc, and that stemmed the "reported" beef between he and rob ryan; and that could be the reason knapp was in on the lofton interview.
dennis green's name has popped up again, but in his words, "when doesn't my name come up when discussing raiders hc positions?" but he has not denied talking to the raiders, maybe not about the hc, but maybe another position in the front office; like advisor, gm, or even as another "investor" of al davis' shares (he and al are close friends).
like i said, this is just a theory of mine that maybe we could be overlooking.
i guess i'm sick of all these stupid "rumors" that have us acting like the silver and black sky is coming down. i do believe that davis has done more to hurt the team of late, than help. the rumors of kiffin leaving really got to me, as i don't see his dismissal as a "improvement" to the raiders returning to glory; and that alone bugged me the most about any of it.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


There was a trade in place with Baltimore to acquire the rights to Elway. I believe it included Howie Long also a rookie that year. Rozell nullified the trade and Elway wound up with Denver. We wound up with Howie and the Lombardi Trophy that year.

Warren Moon was a free agent from the Canadian league, I don't recall exactly, but I believe the league restricted the number of teams that could bid on him excluding the Raiders from that group. He wound up with Houston. I'm real foggy on that one.


11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep Nate, that's a little out there, but no more than the crap we've been fed since the season ended.


11:45 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Regarding the financial woes of the Raiders. This has been reported on since before they returned from LA. It's one of the reasons that Davis went ballistic when the league interfered with his stadium deal (Scorpio, that's another instance) and what the NFL wanted to "add" to that deal. (Note: What the NFL did was step between Davis and his financial backers and state that if they were going to approve the deal, the Raiders would have to allow an expansion franchise to play there also, essentially at the Raiders' expense.)

The biggest drag on the Raiders income was the way the ticket sales were set up by the city. They got out from under that last year. Whether that has significantly helped or not hasn't been fully reported, but there are recent reports of the Raiders looking for a new site to build a stadium locally.

11:57 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Incidentally, the selling off of shares might have been to help fund a private stadium deal.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

This is for our Patriots friend, courtesy of Gregg Easterbrook's TMQ (Tuesday Morning Quarterback) at ESPN (note: Easterbrook is an independent journalist, not an ESPN lifer). Check out the full article right now on

"Most of the sports media have rolled over and played dead on the New England destroyed-tapes story; (TMQ reminds you of the specifics here). The NFL promised to get to the bottom of the Patriots' cheating and reveal the truth to the public; instead, the NFL destroyed the New England documents and refuses to say what they contained. If the documents vindicated New England or the NFL, it would have been strongly in the league's interest to say so. Instead, the NFL has stonewalled us, so what does that make you think? Until we know what was on the videotapes and in the documents the NFL destroyed, there will always be a cloud of suspicion over the Patriots. How much of an advantage did they gain by cheating? Did they really hand over everything to the league? Are they still cheating now? Most important by far, have they cheated in the Super Bowl?"

12:03 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Thanks, Take for bringing that up. I had thought that the reason the NFL never mentioned what was on the tapes was because they didn't want THREE of their Lombardis completely discredited. I thought that the NFL might look for a way to keep the Pats out of the SB, the way they used the Pats to keep the Raiders out of the SB. But obviously that didn't happen.

I could be that the NFL realized that the Pats back in it would be a big draw, but if the Pats win it, that might open up the cheating discussion again.

Perhaps the NFL is thinking, "You know what would make a really good 'NFL story'? The Manning brothers winning back-to-back Super Bowls."

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point Take.

In any investigation you do not destroy evidence. In fact, you make copies in case it becomes damaged or destroyed.

A Police department's evidence room is crammed with evidence decades old. In the case of biological evidence it is frozen for years.

Plus, there was never, I repeat, never a full explaination of what the investigation showed. If some enterprising young reporter at ESPN wanted to make a name for themselves they'd get to the bottom of this.

Oh, wait a minute, Gillette Stadium is just a drive up 95 from ESPN HQ in Bristol, Connecticut.


12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Glenn Dickey is an idiot.

Baseball tried this with the Expos. The league ran it for two or three years. It was a disaster. The team is now in Washington.


12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to an article in the Oakland Tribune: "Profits at the Raiders Image stores go directly to the team, while sales of team merchandise anywhere else go into a pool that is split by all NFL teams."

I learn something every day. Thanx RT.

1:00 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

A very dark storm cloud hangs over New Engalnd.

Not much can be made of Brady's injury, but I like that the Giants are #1 pass rush in the NFL, with over 50 sacks on the season (and 44 from their lineman - which lends credibility to SOB's theory of not blitzing... if you have the right personnel). I stray.

Go Giants!

Disclaimer note: the previous endorsement of the Giants is in no way a reflection of the opinions, positions, or otherwise undying loyalty to another NFL team, which shall remain unnamed, considered by many to be the most dysfunctional team in all of pro sports. I really don't know why.

1:16 PM  
Blogger frkyraider said...

their big story is losing steam with kiffin conducting interveiws today. turn on the spin machine!!! "well, really happened, so now they all hate each other but refuse to leave"

media, who needs em.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, Al has everyone going "WTF is going on around here!?"

I love it!

Not good on my ulcer though.

Sure would like to see SOB as HC, Kiff moved to OC or player developement?.

That's the thing when you are young, you sign contracts without thinking of certain situations (can he demote me but still have me under contract comes to mind).

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously Kiffin wanted to change our defensive strategy and couldn't. Don't act like there was nothing to the stories. The only question is HOW volatile things got and how dysfunctional things are now.
It's really no different than no one being able to stop the Art Shell & Tom Walsh thing before it started before the '06 season.
Othe rteams have real scouting depts and GM's... we have Al & Al.
The only good thing is Kiffin is still here, hopefully getting stronger every day. He changed the offense to something modern... now hopefully he can sidestep coach Davis and try to upgrade our defense.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to see that this thing may be blowing over after all. however, there does seem to be some real disfunction going on in Alameda, like it or not. personally, I don't like the disfunction, but have always been a supporter of Al anyway.... Hopefully both Kif and Al have learned a little something about each other, and themselves. Looking forward to Kif coaching this team in 2008 and beyond... I have restored myself to my usual position of balancing precariously on the ships railing.... by the way, the crack about the Lions beenie was sarcasm. I thought quite apparent. I don't think there are too many "fair weather" raiders fans left after the last 5 years... however, I might be wearing some NYFBG apparel on Sunday...

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Kiffin still the coach.
Media frenzy over.
until the next one.

3:28 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Or you could have gone with Moniker Lewinsky. ;-)

Don't worry, I'm sure the next feeding frenzy is right around the bend. Just as soon as they are done with the Super Bowl. This last was designed to keep us entertained until Super Sunday.

3:32 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


The Redskins seem to be hiring and firing assistant coaches without the input of a Head Coach which they haven't hired yet.

The only source that's paid any attention to that is PFT. No "the sky is falling" reports from ESPN? No "Snyder doesn't respect his coaching hires" article? Huh. Why do you suppose...?

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The cheating scandal? I figured this is how fan's of the other teams would try to bring down what the Patriots have accomplished this season. Everyone is so insanely jealous of the fact that we are about to win our fourth Lombardi in seven years and that we are actually going to go undefeated while accomplishing this, that they are using the so called cheating scandal to try to taint our amazing accomplishment. The "spygate" scandal is NOTHING. Every team does it. Why don't you go google what your very own Howie Long said about the "cheating" scandal to see what a sane man has to say about it. The whole thing was blown out of proportion by the New York media, and since it was against their beloved Jets, a mountian was made out of a mole hill. You don't think the Raiders tape their opponents? Oh wait a minute, you guys are owned by Al Davis who might not have discovered a video camera yet since he is stuck in 1968, so maybe you are the one team out of the 32 teams that does not partake in video taping. Please. And I find it funny how Blandarocked is praying for the NFL to try to tip the game in the Giants favor so they can have the story of the Manning brothers winning back to back super bowls. I know Blanda is praying for the Pats to go down, but guess what? Its not gonna happen. The fourth Lombardi will be ours very very soon. And the party in Boston ain't gonna stop for weeks! ;)


5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


And the Redskins are retarded just like the Raiders are for not letting their head coach pick his own staff. Watch the Redskins suck next year, just like the Raiders will. Dan Snyder is Al Davis Jr. except for the fact that he is just a superfan of the Redskins and not a former head coach.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary, & Blandarocked,

so we lost gruden because of money ??

if, and when, kiffin turns the raiders around, we will lose him because we cannot pay the going rate ??

we will then hire his replacement based on how little money it would take to sign them ??

and how exactly do we find money to sign bust players like jordan, sands, collins, brooks, and others ???

and just how can we win a super bowl on the cheap like this ??

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

an undefeated season isn't worth a crap if you don't win it all gaytriot fan. remember they gave you a handful in week 17.


5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


A negotiated contract offer was on the table with a nice raise. I believe it included over a million dollar a year raise.

Offer that to me and see if I bitch. Gruden and his agent wanted a salary equivilent to the top coaches in the NFL after only one division championship with two 8-8 seasons prior. I say that because the offer was made before the end of the season.

Gruden still had another year to go on his contract so Davis didn't have to offer the extension in the first place. In my opinion, it came down to that old word again, loyalty. Gruden's name was all over the place for other positions during the original negotiations. So, the offer was pulled.

Al Davis prefers to negotiate in good faith and doesn't like to be jerked around. After all, it's his money.


5:26 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

No, H. I can't back you up here. Let's just admit that Gruden worked for nothing but the love of the Raiders, refusing a paycheck - only a lump of coal to keep him warm on long winter nights. Finally, after four Super Bowls, Gruden said, "I need at least a 100 dollars a month to get by." Davis just laughed and traded him to the Bucs for a bad CB.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT said: "For all we know, the Raider Nation may have played a role in helping smooth things out. As far as I could tell, the fans lit the organization up like a Christmas tree over the weekend. Kiffin, too, took some pretty hard hits. Maybe this helped both sides get a grip and comprehend the magnitude of what was at stake if this relationship was allowed to deteriorate to the breaking point. Just a thought."

I think you're dead on RT and I had a similar thought stuck somewhere in my small brain.

The response by the Nation was epic. I'll bet Alameda felt unbelievable pressure with all the e-mails and calls.

I thought it was funny how as soon as it had a chance to really sink in the local media softened their stances. I was reminded of the time J.McDonald posted something innacurate an just a few short hours later admitted that someone at Raider HQ contacted him to reconsider. That incident was minor, and this one was freakin' huge. I think maybe Kiffin's "side came out, and the Raiders brass countered in a way to lighten the blow and buy time to at least debunk some major accusations (Kiffin losing control, yet he's hiring coaches).

Looking back I doubt our internal issues were really as bad as some of the media outlets made out to be, but I still get the feeling that something definately was not right and it almost went to shit.

We very well may have helped save our organization with our voices. Not to mention the amplification of our voices by the very media that we've grown to "hate".

We're not out of the woods yet, but man I'm feeling a lot better. Once again, if Kiffin is still here and able to get along with Al, I've never been more "IN". The guy must have huge balls, even if immature.


5:52 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Well, at least this business clears up the question of who our GM is!

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of us who find articles from the past. Here's an interesting read.

Al Davis says, his never going to retire until he can collect 2 more Superbowls.

Also note how the writer of this article calls it the Lombardi/Belichick Trophy, WTF?

Al probably knock the guy upside the head with his walker LOL.

Mr. Duva

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mr. duva, al is NOT winning 2 more superbowls let alone ONE.

did anyone catch jerry mac's afternoon article about randy moss?

its all about al man! basically what he's saying is correct in that winning isn't a priority anymore. its all true. read on. OUCH!

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mr. duva - i meant that he's not winning anything as long as he's around to cause chaos like this.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Crazy is all I can say.

Mr. Duva

7:07 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I wish PantyRaider was here to make sense of all this.

I'm putting out an APB for PantyRaider.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


There is no way in hell that Al will ever be winning another Belichik Trophy in this lifetime!

7:21 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Dude, there is nothing more pathetic than a guy trolling a fan site of a 4-12 team on the eve of his team going to the Super Bowl. This would be akin to me prowling Arizona Cardinals blogs in January of 2003.

I think it all comes back to the bland, cheating fan experience of the Patriots. You've won three trophies this decade, still feel empty.

You need Dr. Phil, not Raider Take. Now get on with your life, such as it is, and let the adults continue their discussion.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you hate it when someone asks themselves a question then answers it... themselves.
Example: Did I overreact to the AD/Kiffin reports this past weekend - maybe somewhat
Do I think everything is hunky dory in Alameda - probably not.
Do I have anything more insightful to add than has already been added here at RT - no.
Am I glad Kiffin is still here - you better believe it.

Can't say it better than Psycho just did. Maybe SOB is on notice and things will be exciting on D this year. The North D looked pretty good at times.

Maybe AD sees this kid is committed to turning this thing around by fighting him every step of the way.

Talk about being out of a job for two minutes. Any AFC West team would have hired Kiffin, had he walked, for no other reason than to stick to the old man.

What I am most pleased with is the fact that the Nation rising up seems to have had some impact.

Now if we can just do the same for the giants...

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


it's al davis' team, and his money.
i can't argue with you there.
but al davis and his money and team, have done nothing but lose since gruden left.

i believe gruden got his money in tampa. i think he won a SB too.
who did he beat that year ? H, maybe you can help me remember ?


i'm not sure i understand your post. are you saying gruden was wrong to ask for so much money, and davis right to draw the line ?

yep Blanda, your right again. why pay gruden all that money, when al could get callahan, turner, and shell for half as much !!!
what a great bargain al got.

Hey H, turns out that Blandarocked is just as concerned about al's money as al is.

i'm joining in with you guys.
too hell with winning, just give me the coach that comes the cheapest.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mr. duva,
i'm crazy eh? you what bro, randy moss in his own twisted way is right. when he talks about THAT ORGANIZATION who do you think he's referring to? it's old man winter that's who!

OK let's say alla dis stuff that happened over the weekend up until now wasn't true. al steps up to the mic and says to everyone "heyyyy - i was upset at the kid for looking for a job is all. take a chill pill y'all".

do you honestly think you can rest easy knowing that it's AL who is still in charge? do you think that things will go back to normal just because this dies down that's IF it dies down? for all we know, a settlement could be coming so this is far from over. anyway when i say normal, i mean we put the distractions and dysfunction behind us and start winning games?

we're talking about al davis here. and as long as he's around things will NEVER be normal. ohhhh nosireee. i'm NOT the crazy one believe me!

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sorry, my bad. I was just commenting on the article that you posted and what Randy 'Mouse' said. Nothing against you bud.


Mr. Duva

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

raider00 said...
so we lost gruden because of money ??

More than likely. If you want to root for a team that has more money, there's prolly lots of them out there.

BTW... St. Gruden has won the same number of playoff games as the Raiders since his SB... and most of his wins are because of their stellar defense... Gruden's offenses have been just slightly better than the Raiders since then.

He's a good coach, and I loved him as a Raider... but this is just another post hoc ergo propter hoc episode here. The Raiders were destined for a huge decline the second after Gannon's neck snapped.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Duva:

OH. heh-heh. :o)

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we're talking about al davis here. and as long as he's around things will NEVER be normal.

You say that like its a bad thing.

I kinda like roller coasters... the ferris wheels are around the corner.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Where's PantyRaider in this moment of crisis? Probably enjoying an ice cold Singha in the company of numerous gorgeous Thai women. Hey Panty. If you read this post, I'm going to Thailand in either May or June of this year. Drop me a line so we can hook up in Thailand! Your unique perspective is dearly missed amigo. :>

In regards to Al Davis being cheap when it comes to Head Coaches ...

Put yourself in Al's shoes for a spare minute. You are 78 years old and a multi millionaire. Your franchise is worth close to $1B. Now take it 1 step further. Suppose Kiffin takes the Raiders to greater heights (ie. 4-12, 8-8, 10-6) in the 3 years of his contract that is guaranteed. If I'm in Al's shoes, I double Kiffin's contract (from $1.7M to $3.4M) and thank my lucky stars that I have a Head Coach that will bring glory upon the franchise.

It is odd how the Raiders organization can waste $$ on guys like Larry Brown, Alvis Whitted, Jordan, Rhodes, KFC, Brooks yet fail to pay fair market value to probably the most important person in the organization ... the head coach.

I'm not suggesting that Al overpays for HCs. What I am suggesting is to pay fair market value for talent to include the HC. Nothing more, nothing less.

I guess if we get to the point where a coach actually last 3+ years and is looking for an extenision, I should be grateful that we are in that position. Really I should be concerning myself with Kiffin being around in 2008 before I jump to the conclusion of 2009 but I had to jump in on the discussion.

Pardon the interruption & carry on, gents.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Calico Jack is right on with regard to investment in coaches v. investment in scholarships.

I'm still working out the math on Jerry Porter v. the Porta Potties.

What's a better business decision, paying Jerry Porter more than $1 million to ride the pine for the duration of 2006, creating disillusion and confusion among the fans, or using that same money to rent 500 more Porta Potties in the Coliseum parking lots, drastically shortening the lines and earning that much more loyalty from your "relieved" fans?

Honestly, I know it sounds silly, but I don't think it's unreasonable to ask such a question.

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gary, i like roller coasters too. sometimes you can't avoid roller coasters (some years you win, some you lose) but for some reason, i guess we got stuck with the rickety old car (al) that just can't go up the hill any more!

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

something that's TOTALLY UNRELATED to raider football....

Calico - you're right man. we have some thai women here at my school and dy-amm, dey's cute!

pantyraider is definitely in the right place!

sorry ladies - if any.

11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great takes, MEMDF, RT, Scorpio, Psycho and others. Scorpio, thanks for the jmac link. I think the thing in that article that I find the most sickening, if I understand it, is that we have somehow resigned Sam Williams for $700,000 for '08? Is that right? He was slated to be a FA and now we have him signed? Is that right?
If so, need we any further proof of how bad we need help with personnel? I mean seriously, what has Sam Williams done to merit ANY further interest from us? How long is this guy's scholarship? I mean, dang, take the 700K and find a new face... please.
If we did resign Williams then SOB & Al are definitely still running our incredibly unintimidating defense.

3:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Since that infamous Super Bowl Gruden's record has been mediocre at best. This year he won his division with a 9-7 record in what is the weakest division in the NFC.

Here's his record since the SB:


Total 36-44

His overall record with Tampa is 48-48 over six regular seasons.

Not exactly HOF credentials.

What has saved his bacon is mostly the defenses put together by Monty Kiffin.

If you want to say he is amongst the top tier coaches in the NFL go ahead. But his best regular season stretch was working for that doddering old fool in Oakland. He didn't have a loosing season.

44% of his career win total of 86 came with the Raiders compared to only 35% of his losses. He told Al Davis he wanted to leave, Al Davis didn't tell him to leave.

I can't blame a guy for wanting to work closer to his family, nor can I blame a guy for wanting more money. But, they should be reasonable.

I actually like the guy. Wish he would have stayed. But, he didn't and we've been searching for that elusive combination of coach/personality that would turn things around since.

Is Kiffin that guy, I hope so. But I would like to see a little more fire in his belly on the sidelines on Sundays.


Just because Sam Williams is re-signed for basically the league minimum doesn't mean he will be on the final roster come September. If they are able to land someone better and more durable you will probably get your wish.


5:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why are we still talking about gruden? he won a super bowl against the raiders because of the incompetence of callahan, but what the hell has he done since? (crickets)
gruden was offered a lot of money to stay $1.5 million to be exact, but he wanted $4 million. he is not worth that much, not even when he beat us in the super bowl.
the bucs have not done a thing since. okay, they were in the wildcard this year; big freakin' deal. they were 4-12 in '06, 11-5 in '05, 5-11 in '04, and 7-9 in '03. if it wasn't for the 11-5 record in '05, and the 9-7 record this year they would be in a similar boat to us, and that is in one of the weakest divisions in football (next to the nfc west). and he wanted what? $4 million? okay, he proved he was worth it. the only reason that team made it to the playoffs this year was because of monte kiffin (who should be the head coach). so let's all get our heads about us because gruden is nothing compared to what kiffin is going to do.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry h, you beat me to it. 2 great minds thinking alike.

5:56 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Some may argue that not paying Gruden his money was “penny-wise and pound-foolish.”

But why should Davis have to pay a coach that can think for himself? Let’s be honest, free-thinking is implicitly prohibited for a Raiders’ HC. For Al, it would be akin to paying for an iPhone but not wanting the Internet service. Besides, those dollars are far better spent on players with bad attitudes, “one-hit wonder” Super Bowl MVPs, and those with fading talents.

Others may argue that Gruden’s true motivation to pursue other employ stems from a basic misunderstanding that free-thinking would be allowed, i.e., in the vein of some other teams' HCs. After all, isn’t self-actualization supposed to override pure greed?

I’m not saying I know the answer, but I do believe that people can be motivated by more than money. My guess is Al Davis would gladly pay Gruden's contract with the Bucs to have that Super Bowl victory. Of course, I could be wrong....

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is getting lame.
Just a buch of whining about "oh, we could save the world if we bitch and moan enough".

Anyone know how much $$ Sam got? Hopefully cheap.
PLEASE don't bitch about it for the next 12 months?
It's a sunk cost, it's over, he's signed. You have to sign some second tier talent to fill out your depth.

6:28 AM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

The $700K Williams signed for would not be guaranteed, unless he made the final cut. Best scenario - the switch flips and he starts making plays, or worst case he is training camp fodder, we find someone better, and he is cut before the season starts. At this point truly no big deal.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want an answer to this question.

If Raider head coaches aren't allowed to think for themselves, then just how in the hell did the Raiders make it to five Super Bowls, including this decade, win all those division championships, play in multiple AFL/AFC championship games in every decade of their existance.

This is a franchise, that with a few breaks or proper calls here and there, could have been in the Super Bowl 8 times with six wins.

This is truly a mentality of "Well, what have you done for me lately?" A product of the TV generation where all problems are solved in 30 minutes to an hour.

What team has won more Western Division Championships this decade than the Raiders? - No team. The Chargers have three, the same as us.

Yes, the last five years have been the worst in Raider history. But, I see signs of things turning around and all I hear is "Not enough, not fast enough."

The media hasn't helped with all the rumor mongering which people gobble up as absolute truth.

We're still arguing about John Gruden for crying out loud. Hell, he wouldn't have a career winning record without his association with Al Davis.

Sam Williams has been re-signed and people have their panties all in a wad. They are putting together a roster for training camp. Williams might not even make the camp roster, he could be released in March, his contract is NOT guaranteed.

And, if you are going to run someone off the reservation, please at least provide a better, realistic replacement.


6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I never expected to see Sam Williams as the 1st FA signing. That's a hell of a "Big Move" lol.

At least it's for backup money, which I'm perfectly OK with.


6:57 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Gruden discussion is relevant if you think he is perhaps a case study of the internal workings surrounding the Kiffin situation.

On the other hand, you may believe everything is fine right now, and that there is absolutely no credence to anything that has been recently reported by the media. I certainly can’t say definitively.

And no, H, I don't believe coaches who aren't permitted to hire and fire their own defensive coaching staff and implement their own defensive philosophy are being allowed to “think for themselves.”

Look, I believe we’re splitting hairs here. One of the most basic premises to a successful program, IMHO, is that the coach, GM, and other relevant personnel be on the same page. In the Raiders’ early successes, i.e., with Madden & Flores, I believe it is evident that was the case.

More contemporarily, it has obviously become increasingly difficult for GM Davis to find a coach that he is truly compatible with, or one that is compatible with him.

And, after four years of absolute bottom-feeding at the hands of incompetent coaching (for whatever the reasons), our fifth year brings a spark of competitive football and a sign that things may be shaping up for our beloved Raiders, only to be told by the media that our GM wants to get rid of the spark plug.

Again, you may believe all is well, and that Kiffin didn’t want to fire SOB; that Davis didn’t stop that from happening; that Davis didn’t send Kiffin a letter of resignation to sign; that Davis didn’t actively pursue Saunders and/or Green for head coach; that Kiffin didn’t make overtures for any college openings, etc.

I don’t know what I believe, except that there appears to be instability... for whatever the reason(s). That has me concerned.

If you believe that instability exists and you want it corrected quickly, then maybe you believe Kiffin should be fired.

That too is where the Gruden case comes to mind. We can hire SOB to be head coach and keep Knapp, Cable and others to run the offense, and GM Davis can hire a new DC. That group should be able to take another step forward with the foundation that Kiffin has provided; however, does anyone really believe that we wouldn't have sacrificed our long-term success by letting Kiffin go, ala Gruden?

8:15 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Folks keep griping about Williams. What - he played in like four games this year? Almost every year before he was either out for the season with an injury in camp, or by game two of the regular season. Now the team signs him for camp fodder money (not guaranteed) and the IAAF crowd is screaming, "Another Davis scholarship! Kiffin isn't allowed to pick his own players!"

Well, first clue, Kiffin has said publicly that HE likes Sam Williams and wants to see if he can have an injury free season. Others have said that Williams is almost perfectly suited to the 3-4. Now, I personally don't care about Williams one way or the other. What astounds me is that many in the Nation get absolutely hysterical about a player that has appeared in less than a season's worth of games in over five years.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nyraider said...

Gruden discussion is relevant if you think he is perhaps a case study of the internal workings surrounding the Kiffin situation.

Actually this is true... the Gruden situation didn't start spiraling out of control until Gruden's agent started floating the ND rumors... uhhh Al doesn't take kindly to disloyalty.

The Kiffin situation didn't start spiraling until he Al learned about his interest in Ark... AND HE'D ONLY BEEN WITH AL FOR 6 MONTHS?

Kiffin/Gruden's hands aren't clean here IAAFers... if a coach isn't smart enough to figure out that the thing that Al values the most is loyalty, they shouldn't take the frigging job (that nobody else offered them) in the first place.

I like how on one hand we see people complain about Al's "scholarship" program to loyal players and coaches, and then ignore the disloyalty of people they LIKE that gets them in trouble.

You can't complain about one, while ignoring the other.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My problem with Williams is:
what is it you might learn by having him "try out" again? That he is not an impact player and gets hurt a lot? You know that already.
His presence takes up a spot where you could be looking at a new body.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


And, if the new body is worse?


9:39 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Bama, explain to me why this is an Al Davis scholarship when it's Kiffin who wants him back. Or is Kiffin just lying to us to cozy up to Al?

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


One more thing. Every camp should be a tryout. Bringing Williams back is insurance if the new body isn't as good. Then, you don't wind up having to dump on someone else.

As I said before, you don't cut someone if you don't have a better replacement. That's why I believe Jordan is gone. I might be wrong, but hey, won't be the first time for any of us.


9:51 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Sometimes there is no method to the madness. Sometimes it's just madness.

Think of all mental gymnastics we went through to convince ourselves in 2006 that things couldn't really be as bad as they looked (before we finally had to admit that they were)? The coaches and coaching, the personnel decisions, the game mismanagement...As fans, we wanted to believe that there was more to the story, that it couldn't really be as crazy as it looked, that surely the people in charge knew what they're doing...

At the end of the day, however, it WAS crazy, and much of what we witnessed had no reasonable explanation, and the coaches got run out of town for disgracing the standards of intelligent, competitive football, and the organization was embarrassed for having allowed it.

2006 was 99 percent madness in my mind. 2007 was about 50 percent madness and 50 percent method. Hopefully we'll turn the tide to 75-25 in 2008 and then, finally, purge the organizational dysfunction that has been a root cause of our failures over the past five years.

I'm not going to say that progress hasn't been made, but I'm not going to pretend that we don't still have some weird sh*** to get out of our system. The faster we purge it, the quicker we turn things around.

A few weeks ago, I was hearing about how Kiffin has all this authority, and how Mark Jackson is steering the personnel ship. I asked for evidence of such. I still do.

People say that it's unreasonable to expect any firm positive signs of change in January. Tell that to Dolphins fans, who already have a new VP of Operations, a new GM and a new head coach. The Dolphins are giving people defined authorities while the Raiders still seem to be denying people authority. Whether it ultimately works for the Dolphins remains to be seen, but don't tell me they haven't sent firm signals of positive change.

What if this recent scandal had never happened because whatever issues existed were kept and solved in house? What if, rather than being offended by Kiffin's balls and youthful ambitions, Al Davis saw enough of himself in the young man to actually reward him for it? What if the Raiders had then telegraphed that they were expanding Kiffin's authority, to include bringing in his own choice at defensive coordinator? What if we'd learned that the Raiders were conducting an aggressive search for a talented, experienced GM to lead our scouting and evaluation?

All of this could have easily happened in JANUARY. For whatever reason, it didn't. But if it had, would you feel worse or better about our ability to turn things around sooner rather than later?

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've never said everything was fine. I've always contended we have a ways to go, but are on the right track.

Also, "after four years of absolute bottom-feeding". Well, when we won our last SB there were 28 teams in the league. 14 of those have not won a SB since then. Since our last SB appearance, 22 teams have yet to get there.

Yet if someone came to this site they would think we haven't made the playoffs in 30 plus years.

I'd like to win the Super Bowl next year. Realistically it ain't going to happen.

I'd prefer to talk about where we are going from here. For better or worse, we have stability right now. There will probably be a few changes with the assistance on both sides of the ball, but that's normal.

Heck, last time I checked the Skins have hired a bunch of their staff and don't have a head coach.

When Kiffin was brought in the whole offensive staff was shown the door.


11:10 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Take, while I hear what you're saying, I tend to take a more relaxed attitude. This comes after forty years experience with "the sky is falling" from the media. I've grown accustomed to the way Al runs his enterprise, and I've acquired the knowledge that very little of what the sports media produces has any relationship to reality.

I know that Al plays everything very close to the vest. This has always been true, and is also true with several other franchises. Al, also, only appears at scheduled events, never says anything off the cuff, and never offers rebuttals to what is said about him. The people who do battle with him are often just the opposite. This means you hear the story essentially from the Davis adversary, and not from Davis. Often the media gets its information from someone who knows one of the parties, but isn't actually involved in the issue.

That is, as has been said, "life in the big city."

I don't ever expect any of that to change until Al is long gone. It might not even change then, because Al insists his son will run the team, and one must consider that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

What that comes down to is that if you are waiting for things to be "revealed to you," as a fan, its not going to happen.

There is no excusing the last five years, but lack of excuses never means a lack of reasons. I think the reasons are obvious. Too many coaching turn overs. Yes. Al Davis did the hiring and the firing. But with all of this flack over the last week, none of it coming from Raiders HQ and all of it coming from the media, it appears Al's realization of the issue is represented by the continued presence of one Lane Kiffin. However Al and Lane got to where they are, they worked it out themselves.

Stability alone will likely get us back to 8-8. Creativity, drive, and the will to win on the part of the ownership, staff, and personnel will take us the rest of the way.

In the mean time, don't expect this to be the last of the "sky is falling" predictions and controversies. I've been watching, reading, and listening since the 1960s and I don't expect the Davis/Media relationship to change.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

H, I hear what you're saying.

I would just say that this site invites daily commentary, and that commentary is naturally going to revolve around the news or context of the day.

When you're coming off of a fifth straight season of 10 or more losses and trying to make sense of wild rumor fest that revealed a division (however deep) between coach and organization, then the commentary is naturally going to be filled with some level of angst and doubt.

The more good news we receive, the sunnier the mood will be.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Blanda, I hear you, and as the purveyor of News You Can't Use, I'm no stranger to the problem.

However, the alternate reality that I described (the one in which Kiffin's authority is expanded, a GM is sought, etc.) has nothing to do with the media or even "revealing" anything.

You wouldn't need to "reveal" that Ryan was fired and a favorite of Kiffin's was hired to replace him, or that a GM candidate was flown in for an interview. If these types of things were happening, we'd just naturally learn about them. This is where you keep painting me as someone who is demanding signals, when the fact is I'm just looking for signs.

You would have thought that James Lofton was the freakin' Queen of England, the way his arrival for an interview was being reported. If Kiffin's authority was expanded, or if we were hunting for a GM, we'd probably hear about it. We certainly heard from Amy Trask that Kiffin's authority WASN'T being expanded.

11:49 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Gary said: ... the Gruden situation didn't start spiraling out of control until Gruden's agent started floating the ND rumors... uhhh Al doesn't take kindly to disloyalty."

See, in a way, this is my point. Gruden, Kiffin, or anyone else, has to first be placed in an environment that is desirable to them, and suitable enough to breed their success. In this regard, there are many coaches in the NFL who have no desire to go anywhere else.

Conversely, there are HC jobs, like with Saban in Miami last year and Petrino in Atlanta this year, where the surroundings became so undesirable they fled.

Remember, there are only 32 NFL head coaching jobs in the world. I wouldn’t take too lightly that many would sell their entire family to get such a dream-of-a-lifetime position; so to leave it by choice would probably be equally as difficult, and/or emotional.

I’m curious as to where the Raiders' organization stands as far as providing an environment where young, innovative coaches (currently) desire to work, and where they will be provided the authority and tools they need to be successful (in today's NFL).

12:02 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I've read the Moss articles, and I really don't see any back handed slaps at Al Davis. Seems more to be directed toward Shell and his teammates. I suspect being roughed up by Tyler Brayton weighs on his mind.

All anyone needs to know about Randy Moss is in this one quote. "It's a team sport, so it's up to other guys to make things happen."

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks take. The storm clouds appear to be getting lighter.

I keep invoking history because I'm an amature student of history. Love the subject.

Speaking of which. Al Davis' first head coaching job was not with the Raiders. He was head coach of the Army team at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Sounds trivial but back then each post had their own teams. Sometimes they would play and defeat local colleges.

Speaking of news you can't use.


12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quick comment on Moss/Davis since the article is out there.

I don't for a minute believe Al Davis is angry Moss is gone. He may be angry that we only got a fourth round draft choice for the jerk. But, he wants loyalty and committment, neither of which Moss possess.


12:42 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, I agree with your Moss/Davis take completely. I'm an armature historian also. I'm a Civil War nut which serves me well around here. Whenever I'm on the East side of the country, I usually make it a point to visit a nearby CW battle field. Still haven't made it to Gettysburg.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m curious as to where the Raiders' organization stands as far as providing an environment where young, innovative coaches (currently) desire to work, and where they will be provided the authority and tools they need to be successful (in today's NFL).

The "Just win baby" atmosphere is just as alive today as it ever was... just that we kinda suck at it. Do you think Gruden had any regrets taking the Raider job? I certainly don't think so... like I said, I think I remember him giving Al credit for taking a chance on him.

If Kiffin is just looking at this as a wedge to get his foot in the door elsewhere (which from all indications is true thus far) he prolly isn't the right person for this job in the first place. OTOH, all he has to do is produce and he can name his ticket. Hopefully it won't be until he brings us a ring in 2-3 years. His job now, is to get us to 8-8 or 9-7 so Al will WANT to retain him for a third season. Right now, he hasn't "just won baby" which is really all anyone here has said they care about anyway... same as Al.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All anyone needs to know about Randy Moss is in this one quote. "It's a team sport, so it's up to other guys to make things happen."

And he was our team captain... it's amazing we won two games that year.

1:41 PM  

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