Al Davis

Al Davis on TV! Al Davis on TV! Al Davis on TV!

We’re here live at the BASG Epicenter, watching the Raiders’ press conference announcing the permanent hiring of Tom Cable. Man, I can’t wait.

1:25 Al Davis is heading up today’s press conference (yes!), wearing a black leather jacket with some sort of black shirt underneath. No overhead projector in sight. Davis starts by rambling about how only three teams other than the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl since 2002, while seven NFC teams have played in the Super Bowl since 2002, and only the Giants played well the year after playing in the Super Bowl. Not sure what his point is, I think he’s whining about how the Raiders get such a bad rap.

Um, maybe because they have the worst record in the NFL since 2002?

1:26 “I only hope that the accountability of some of you to the truth will be printed without any equivocation and firm belief that what we tell you is exactly what happened,” Davis said. Well, when you put it that way…

1:27 Al Davis introduces Tom Cable, who looks about as comfortable in a suit as John Goodman. That collar is hanging on for dear life.

1:28 First “Raider Nation” reference by Cable.

1:29 Cable about his coaching staff: “The opportunity to pick every one of them myself was a great thing.” Uh, sure buddy.

1:31 Al Davis says there was one other individual he considered besides Cable, but he won’t tell us. Oh, you sly fox, you!

1:32 Davis mentions there was a week hiatus in picking a coach because Cable’s dad passed away. Yeah, I’m sure Cable appreciated the opportunity to twist in the wind a little while longer while making funeral arrangements.

1:33 “Phil, he hired every assistant coach,” Davis said. “I want the few doubters in here to think I hired the assistant coaches, that’s not true. I never hired Lane Kiffin’s. I never hired Art Shell’s.”

1:34 Outstanding dialogue between Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle and Davis:

Ostler: I’m a little bit confused, Al. Could you just explain — you had Tom and another guy, and you basically made it a contest.

Davis: No, you’re making it a contest.

Ostler: You said you had each of them go out and see what kind of staff they could hire.

Davis: Yes.

Ostler: How can they hire a staff when they don’t have a job?

Davis: Well they do it. That’s all that goes on in pro football. If you think Todd Haley didn’t hire his staff last week, if you think 90% of ’em don’t, you don’t know a thing about football.

Ostler: Maybe it’s my misunderstanding, but when you have two coaching candidates…

Davis: Yes.

Ostler: And you authorize them both to go out and see what kind of staff, how can they sign people, how can they hire people?

Davis: Well, they can’t hire people, but they can tell us who they want, bring them in and make sure we can get them.

Oh, NOW I get it…wait, what?

1:45 Three straight softball questions for Cable asked by Fred Inglis, Mike Schumann and Vern “Mr. Involvement” Glenn, asking stuff like, “Tom, do you feel like you have an advantage being an interim coach as opposed to coming in as a new coach?” Wow, great question. I’m shocked that Cable said yes, there was an advantage in already being there. Really, really shocked. Got to love our second tier Bay Area sports anchors.

1:49 Over 20 minutes have gone by, and still nobody has asked the name of the other guy Davis was considering. Are we all just assuming it was Jim Fossil, who just took a job with the Las Vegas (unnamed) franchise in the new UFL?

1:51 Another waste-of-time question, this time asked by Kim Coyle of KPIX. I am starting to wonder if all these media members are either afraid of Al Davis or afraid of killing the old man with a tough question.

1:52 David White of the Chronicle asked about Kevin Gilbride, and from Davis’ response Gilbride may have been the other candidate, not Fossil.

1:54 Cable just said, “I am who I am. It is what it is.” I had 2:02 in the Cable “It is what it is” pool, so I was close.

1:55 Tim Kawakami hasn’t asked one question. Was he even allowed in the building?

1:55 White asked if Davis is going to bring in somebody to help with the personnel side. Davis said, “I’m just not ready.” That sound you heard was the Raider Nation planning a coup.

1:57 Classic Davis, who still thinks the way to win is via the long bomb: “The point I’m making is, that’s a phase of football that we may not have had until late in the season last year, and that’s throwing the ball down the field if we threw the ball at all,” Davis said, in yet another dig at Kiffin. “We have guys who can run and who go get ’em. It’s our point of belief, sometimes, but uh, they can run, they can go get ’em, and we can throw the ball up on top. And that’s exciting to think about. And you gotta have people willing to pull the trigger (motions over to Cable), and he pulled it.”

Does anybody else think Cable has spent every day since the end of the season promising Al he would throw deep as head coach next year? Me, too.

2:01 If you want to know how Cable got the job, listen to the Hoovering going on when he speaks of Master Al: “I need his leadership, I need his wisdom, I need his experience, and that’s something I told him right from the very beginning. There are some things that I will ask him to teach me…but the partnership in it, to me, has been exactly what I wanted it be was being able to be taught by a guy who knows more football than just about anybody in the National Football League.”

2:04 “I don’t believe in consistency,” said Al Davis regarding changing his approach to free agency after wasting so much money last season, in what will probably be the quote of the day.

2:04 “We had players here who could play,” Davis said in explaining his absolutely horrendous foray into free agency last Spring. “And for some reason or other, some of them refused to play them.”

C’mon Al, more Kiffin talk! That and the possibility of more overhead projector is why I’m watching this!!!

2:07 Ostler asked Davis about the possibility of the Raiders sharing a stadium with the 49ers.

“The misconception that there’s some unhappiness between the Raiders and the 49ers is a misconception.”

Only through years of experience and looking like Gollum can one understand that a misconception is a misconception. After all, it is what it is.

“If you can remember I got Debartolo Sr. to buy the 49ers…Our problems with the 49ers came in 1995 when we decided to come back to Oakland. Carmen was determined, and I can understand that because he represented the 49ers and we were a threat to the Bay Area. Carmen was determined to see to it that if we did come back, it wouldn’t be a good journey and rallied some of the writers on his side to attack us…(rambles about Jed York and Amy Trask)…We have to do something. We have to have a new stadium.”

2:13 Al, on JaMarcus Russell’s development: “I thought the whole process was too slow the year before.” Davis might not have much of a grip on how to run a football team in 2009, but he sure knows how to throw not-so-subtle digs at former head coaches.

And there you have it. Al Davis’ idea of searching for a head coach is to make them compete against each other for his affections. Sort of like a non-televised combination of “Senior Citizen Bachelor” and “Desperate Coach Apprentice.”

Everything is still Lane Kiffin’s fault, from not being able to throw the ball deep to signing terrible free agents like Javon Walker, DeAngelo Hall and Kwame Harris to the development of their overweight quarterback. We all learned Cable’s an incredible ass-kisser, and I’m setting the over/under for Raider wins at four next season.

Hey, it is what it is.

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