Instead, Cable should've been in New York at a particular building on Park Avenue sweating in the most magnificent office in the joint -- the NFL commissioner's suite. He should've been there explaining to NFL boss Roger Goodell exactly how his assistant Randy Hanson wound up with a broken jaw after a team meeting last August that a district attorney concluded was the result of "some type of physical contact that happened between Mr. Cable and Mr. Hanson when [Hanson] went down." And he should've been explaining how police wound up asking him about a woman who wound up being thrown out of his home last January.
It shouldn't matter that the Napa County District Attorney Gary Lieberstein refused late last month to charge Cable with battery against Hanson while explaining that "one could say in a textbook manner that a battery had occurred." (Huh?) It shouldn't matter that the police cleared him of any wrongdoing 11 months ago with a former girlfriend.
What should matter is that the league appears to have a coach in its ranks with a temper problem that has hurt others and put the league in a poor light.
And after Goodell reminded Cable of as much, he would be smart to give the Raiders' coach another week to cool off -- under suspension.
The National Organization for Women president Terry O'Neill on Wednesday told USA Today that Cable should be suspended while his employer investigates the findings of an ESPN report that Cable struck his first wife Sandy Cable 20 years ago and that a former girlfriend Marie Lutz accused Cable of assaulting her as recently as last January.
Twenty years ago Cable was a graduate assistant at San Diego State. He didn't make it to the NFL until three years ago. It would seem overly officious from this seat for the league to punish Cable for a despicable and cowardly act a generation ago when Cable could only dream of coaching on Sundays and the league hadn't even considered a personal conduct policy, let alone implemented one. Furthermore, he's owned up to that incident, although disputing Sandy Cable's claim that his hand was balled into a fist.
In January, however, Cable was the Raiders' interim head coach when Lutz accused Cable of grabbing her and causing her to fall to the ground while pushing her out of his house. It resulted in an investigation from the Alameda Police Department. Cable said he cooperated with the cops and that they cleared him of any wrongdoing. Lutz also claimed Cable hit her several times before that incident.
That needs to be looked into further. And I would understand and expect a suspension of Cable by his employer or the league while both investigate, as they've said they are doing, this latest allegation against Cable of violence against a woman, just 11 months ago. That would seem nothing short of appropriate. And if Cable didn't avail his employer of his most recent visit from the law, I would understand and expect his employer dismissing him post haste.
But it's the commissioner's super slow-mo reaction to Cable's apparent temper tantrums that trouble me the most. After all, we're talking about a man in Goodell who quickly earned the nickname Crackdown Commissioner upon taking over a few years ago from Paul Tagliabue. He didn't wait for the wheels of justice to finish turning. He busted Pacman Jones and Michael Vick and some others, as well he should have, before their judges' gavels came down.
It's been hypothesized that Goodell has been deliberate in dealing with -- or not dealing with -- Cable in the wake of the Hanson case because Cable was viewed as a first-time offender of the league's personal conduct policy. Jones and Vick and the others were recidivists and wound up accused of riotous and heinous acts.
But in the wake of the ESPN report, which came on the show Outside the Lines, it doesn't appear Cable was a one-trick pony. Cable looks to be a multiple offender too. In the past 11 months he's generated two police investigations into allegations of violence and in both instances another person was hurt, seriously in one case and slightly in another.
After all, in coaches we're talking about people entrusted to keep everyone else in control, which means being in control themselves. It is disingenuous to treat them less harshly. New Mexico coach Mike Locksley was suspended last month for 10 days, which covered one game, for an incident in which he allegedly punched and choked a now former assistant, J.B. Gerald.
Goodell has been quick to discipline coaches in the past. He sent Joe Cullen, a former Lions' assistant coach, home for two games in 2006 after Cullen was busted twice in a two week period, the first time for indecent exposure and the second time for drunk driving. Cullen sought counseling and now assists the Idaho State football staff and speaks on behalf of NFL substance abuse director Dr. Sara Hickman to current NFL coaches and staff members about the dangers of alcohol. Upon being hired by Idaho State last February, Cullen said he'd been sober for almost 2½ years.
Goodell's swift intervention in Cullen's life was, no doubt, a wake-up call Cullen badly needed. It probably helped him become the inspirational comeback story that he is.
Maybe a similar intervention in Cable's life right now could spur the same sort of recovery from a temper that erupted a generation ago and apparently seeped again last summer and not long after New Year's. Sending Cable home right now wouldn't just be justified, it could very well be therapeutic.