It is always an event when NFL patriarch and Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis addresses the media. Hue Jackson’s welcome party soon turned into a brutal exit interview for ex-coach Tom Cable and one of the most entertaining press conferences you will ever see from an NFL owner.
I wonder how quickly into the press conference Hue Jackson was looking to get out of his new contract. If after listening to your new boss blast into the personal and off field character issues of his last head coach, admit to withholding pay from his last coach, and rip other ex-coaches doesn’t get you all warm and fuzzy about your new job than I don’t know what will. While most would celebrate someone being promoted to one of the most exclusive jobs in professional sports, you almost had a feeling that most people in the room were ready to offer Jackson their sympathies rather than congratulations.
[adinserter block=”2″]I am not an Oakland Raiders fan but I love Al Davis. Whether you like what he says or not, his honesty in a world of secrecy is welcome by most NFL fans and media. I live in Philadelphia and as someone that is used to being fed more bologna by Eagles ownership and upper management than a preschool lunch. I think Al Davis candidness should be celebrated. Then again I am also not the guy who got ripped by Davis in a press conference for being a wife beater, guilty of domestic violence, a bad team influence, a liar, and a lazy head coach.
The highlights to the Al Davis press conference are endless and one must watch the entire video to appreciate Mr. Davis. Davis spends more time talking about the firing of Tom Cable than anything else. Davis says he let Cable more or less because Cable lied to him. Davis says that he went to Cable last season when the allegations from ESPN came out about Cable’s domestic violence and accused physical assault on former assistant Randy Hanson and asked him if that was it. According to Davis he was told that there were no other issues or skeletons in Cable’s closet. Davis then reveals that a woman who says she was mistreated by Cable filed a lawsuit against the Raiders. It appears from the press conference that it was this lawsuit that finally got Cable his walking papers.
Davis goes on throughout the press conference to remind the media of all past indiscretions and accusations against Cable. One member of the media asked Al exactly what I (and probably everyone else) was thinking which was why he didn’t fire Cable in the middle of the season when he found out about the lawsuit and more of these accusations. Al responded that the team was .500, had a shot at the playoffs, and didn’t want to disrupt the chemistry of the team. In other words the Oakland Raiders wouldn’t put up with these continued accusations about their head coach being violent towards women…unless they were winning. A bit of hypocrisy wouldn’t you say?
[adinserter block=”1″]There are some other great tidbits sprinkled throughout the press conference. One thing that Davis says he had a big problem with was Cable flying his girlfriend to games. As part of the ESPN report on Cable, he was accused of abusing women, one who said that he flew her to a game. Davis says that this showed a lack of focus by Cable and really questioned his integrity as a head coach. I don’t know and I am hardly an NFL player but flying a wife, girlfriend, or family member to a game doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. The Super Bowl is the biggest NFL game of the year and probably lifetime for players and coaches yet they bring entire families to the game. I get where he is coming from, but at the same time I think he is stretching.
Davis readily admits to withholding paychecks from Cable. The Raiders reportedly owe Cable $120,000. Davis says he is holding that money because of the damage he is bringing upon the team due to the lawsuit mentioned earlier. I am certainly not a lawyer but I can’t imagine Al Davis has a leg stand on and will probably not only wind up paying Cable but have to pay him interest. This isn’t the first time Al Davis has pulled this kind of stunt. Lane Kiffin wound up filing a grievance in an attempt to recoup over $2 million in salary that Davis owed him when he was fired.
At the end of the day Al Davis can take shots at his ex-coaches but is there really anyone else to blame but Al Davis? Davis readily admits that the Raiders need to do a better job of background checks when asked that question by a reporter. He couldn’t be more right especially when only days after being hired Hue Jackson is already a part of a small controversy but a controversy nonetheless.
It isn’t clear what Jackson’s role exactly was but Jackson was ordered by the NFL this month to sever ties with a supplement company. Jackson reportedly pushed supplements from a company called S.W.A.T.S which stands for Sports With Alternatives To Steroids. The ruling came down due to the fact that some of the substances from S.W.A.T.S. contained banned substances in the NFL. Well it is better than being accused of beating up your wife and punching your assistant coach.
Stay classy Oakland Raiders!
Who knew this would go so wrong?