Friday, December 14, 2007

Inspiration From Sir Winston

As posted in Jerry McDonald's blog, hanging in every Raiders locker Friday was a copy of a quote by Winston Churchill:

"A competitor will find a way to win. Competitors take bad breaks and drive themselves just that much harder. Quitters take bad breaks and use them as excuses to give up. It’s all a matter of pride."
Jerry's blog doesn't indicate whether Head Coach Lane Kiffin was responsible for this motivational ploy. However as the Head Coach and leader of this 53 man team, I think it is fairly safe and logical to conclude it was Kiffin's deed.
Is there perhaps a deeper meaning to this inspirational quote? Besides preparing for Indy on Sunday, is it too much of a reach to suspect that Kiffin is using this quote to send a more powerful message to the entire team? With all of the wild and unfounded speculation (brilliantly covered by RaiderTake) swirling over the past 10 days that links Kiffin to various college head coaching vacancies (Nebraska, Arkansas, UCLA, Michigan), is this message about "not quitting" more profound? Am I crazy to think that Kiffin is declaring to his team that he has no intentions of quitting on them? Just ask yourself 1 simple question: Would a Head Coach with 1 foot out the door even bother to have this quote posted in each player's locker? In my opinion that would be the ultimate hypocrisy. I don't know what the future will bring but my gut instinct tells me that Kiffin is "IN" for the long haul.


Anonymous scorpio said...

it seems that way eh calico? but here's the catch as it is with me always.....

DAVIS has GOT to leave this cat alone. let him do his thing in rebuilding this team.

i read an article the other day - i think it was jmac where kiffin has to be frustrated with his limited power and the mysterious personnel decisions of al davis. he is not able to manipulate his roster because: keeping 4 qb's? signing rhodes to a big free agent contract and banishing him to the bench? keeping an out for the year cooper on the active roster? and bush on the pup list for the year? and this is just the beginning folks.

of course the al davis lovers are gonna come up with all sorts of reasons as to why but they fail to see that HE is the very reason why we suck!

and al wants to win 2 more superbowls? incredible!

gentlemen, i LOVE my raiders but i tell you this now. WE ARE NOT WINNING 2 SUPERBOWLS, LET ALONE 1 UNTIL AL DAVIS IS OUT OF THE WAY.

9:40 AM  
Blogger kigleigh said...

I agree with your assumption about the hidden message CJ,but i also think there is a message in there to the players that anyone showing quit over the last 3 games just because making the playoffs is out,will also be out,of the front door at the end of the season.
Coach Kiff is rebuilding this squad from the ground up,whether that means leaving a high priced free agent RB clicking his metaphorical heels on the bench,or cutting an underachieving WR who failed to show heart in the clutch.As for Al,long may he reign...I for one, love the guy.He has my undying respect.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Scorpio: For the most part, Davis has left Kiffin alone. Although Kiffin will never have 100% autonomy, he has been largely responsible for rebuilding this team. In reference to manipulating the roster;
* The 4 QBs is puzzling but it made some sense once we signed Pepper for 1 year IF Walter is in our plans to be the #2 or #3 QB next year.

* Banishing Rhodes to the bench if anything shows that Kiffin will go with the best player REGARDLESS of FA signings, contracts, status etc. For all we know, Rhodes hasn't earned additional reps based on his practice habits and attitude.

* I agree it is inexplicable why Cooper is on the active roster. If anything, we should have called up a practice squad player to play special teams.

* I would have loved to see Bush this year but giving him a full off season of getting 100% healthy plus a full training camp to get ready for 2008 is a safe, conservative approach for the long haul.

Besides the Cooper point, why is so difficult to realize that the other choices very well might have been Kiffin and Davis agreeing on this course of action?

Kigleigh: You must be a buddy of Martin... cheers mate! In my view the Sir Winston quote was a calculated move to send a clear message that "quitting" is unacceptable regardless of the current circumstances. The last 3 games are an extended tryout for the 2008 squad.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

One more point on the quote:

I find the timing of the quote with the rumors swirling about Kiffin to not be a mere coincidence. For the players to give 100% effort it certainly helps to know that your head coach will be right there in the trenches for the long haul.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

I just finished a book called The Finest Hour. It's the story of the early days of the Battle of Britain in WWII. It portrays how Winston Churchill alone turned the attitude of his government and his nation from pacifist appeasers into determined, stoic fighters. He was an amazing man. I hope our boys perform to that standard Sunday.

As for tenure, there's no such thing in the Raider coach position. Anyone who thinks otherwise is new to the team. If he lasts longer than 1 year, he beats his predecessor and Bugel. If he makes it 1 1/2 seasons, he beats Shanahan. If he makes it 2 seasons, he's tied for second highest since Shell's first reign. That's right, he'll join such legends as White, Callahan and Turner. Heck, Gruden only had 4 seasons, but that is an eternity for this team.

And I think the new coach at Arkansas can tell us all a lesson about longevity in this business. What a douche.

Scorp, you're right about the old dude. The team is a majorly distressed property right now. As long as the crazy old man still lives in the house with his cats and cobwebs and filth and overgrown yard, it will remain an eyesore. Some day he'll pass to the great Hall of Fame in the sky where he will sit at the head table. In the meantime, a new owner will bulldoze the piece of shit house and rebuild anew with the hopes of turning the neighborhood around and giving new life to the legend.

3:16 PM  

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