Great news, Lane Kiffin: when God closes a door, he opens a window. Or something. The second-year Raiders head coach is out of a job, and owner Al Davis has the freakiest press conference in NFL history to show for it. Ah, to be a Raiders fan.
To the madness: some choice bits from Davis' surprisingly coherent but still extraordinarily bizarre presser (click that handsome mug above for the moving-pictures proof).
"Maybe I didn't want to admit that I made a mistake ... to be quite frank with you, I'm firing him for cause now, I'm not firing him for anything else other than cause. ...Um, obviously? Of course, Davis then proceeded to ignore himself and try to win in the press. Or, at the very least, malign Kiffin in such a way that he comes off looking like a guy who's fresh off running a bed and breakfast. Davis read from a letter he had given Kiffin prior to the Week 3 Chiefs game that included this nugget of awesomeness:
I reached a point where I felt the whole staff, we were fractionalized ... that the best thing to do ... was to make a change. It hurts because I picked the guy. I picked the wrong guy. This is regretful, but I thought it was best for the Raiders. And I wanted to make it work, because I want the Raiders to do great. Someone said to me the other day, a newspaper man, 'Why don't you tell us your side of the story? Why don't you tell us what's happening?' And I said to him, look, I don't want to win in the press, I want to win on the field"
"Over the past months you have made a number of public statements that were highly critical and designed to embarrass and discredit the organization its players and coaches. I left you alone during training camp, the implication when you were doing these things, in the hopes you would cease your immature and destructive campaign. I wanted to make this work. ...Davis also encouraged Kiffin to "get over" the drafting of JaMarcus Russell, a player the Raiders owner alleges Kiffin didn't want, and referred to Kiffin as a "flat-out liar" multiple liar.
Your actions are those of a coach looking to make excuses for not winning, rather than of a coach focused on winning. "
It was all great fun for those of us who aren't Raiders supporters, but for an organization mired in futility since Bill Callahan took Jon Gruden's team to the Super Bowl in 2002, things don't look to improve anytime soon.
So, Tom Cable, best of luck, dude. (Keep that CV updated!)