When Al Davis wants to fire someone, he really pulls out all the stops. Yesterday, Davis arrived at a press conference at the Raiders' Alameda headquarters, took out a clawhammer, and methodically beat coach Lane Kiffin's skull into a cobwebbed, pulpy mess. The he wrote, "and we won't honor the rest of your contract, either," in his blood.
When Al Davis wants to fire someone, he really pulls out all the stops. Yesterday, Davis arrived at a press conference at the Raiders' Alameda headquarters, took out a clawhammer, and methodically beat coach Lane Kiffin's skull into a cobwebbed, pulpy mess. Then he wrote, "and we won't honor the rest of your contract, either," in his blood.
Here's a snippet of Davis' post-mortem: "I didn't hire the person I thought I was hiring. And there are reason, which I could go into. But I thought what I would do is bring you up the period of time right now, when this morning I called Lane and told him that he no longer is the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. And dismissing him with cause, and that I just couldn't go on much longer with the the, what I would call the propaganda, the lying that had been going on for weeks. And months. And a year.
And he had a few questions, he asked, 'Does that mean I don't get paid?' I said, 'That's what I'm saying to you.' I said, 'I warned you.' And I will go over with you people how exactly I warned him. And he asked me, 'Is anyone else going to get fired or dismissed?' I said, 'Not at this particular time.' He wanted to know who the head coach would be. And I wouldn't tell him, because I hadn't finalized, this was about 9:30 in the morning, finalized with the gentleman that I was going to offer the opportunity to be the head coach, and I wouldn't tell him who the head coach was going to be."
Davis then had a staffer flip on an overhead projector, where he displayed a disciplinary letter Davis had written to Kiffin a few weeks earlier. The letter read, in part, "Over the past months, you have made a number of public statements that were highly critical of and designed to embarrass the organization, its players, and coaches. I left you alone during training camp, in the hopes that you would cease your immature and destructive campaign. I wanted to make this work."
The Oakland Tribune's Monte Poole was livid this morning, claiming that Al Davis set out to build a case to fire Kiffin for cause, so he could get out of paying him through the rest of his contract. In so doing, he adds, Davis let the team flail about in disarray and may have cost himself any chance of a season with dignity, let alone a few games in the win column. "Davis could have pulled the trigger and pulled out his checkbook," Poole wrote. "But no. He let this thing drag out and become a spectacle. As he compiled information to protect himself for any legal blow back in the wake of the firing, his team sacrificed the first month of the season."Chris Thompson