Friday, January 25, 2008

Crisis Management 101


This story by ESPN has caused hysteria amongst the Raider Nation. Loyal and dedicated customers (the fans) are debating how much time and money they want to invest in the Raiders.

The story by ESPN has caused a crisis for the Raider organization.

The story by ESPN has negatively impacted the Raiders ability to recruit potential free agents.

The story by ESPN has negatively impacted the Raiders as a business in terms of ticket sales, future fans, merchandise sales.

The story by ESPN has negatively impacted the mindset and outlook of all the Raiders active players.

The story by ESPN could negatively impact wins & losses for 2008.

The story by ESPN has not been adequately refuted by John Herrera (here) to my satisfaction. “It’s not an issue. Lane’s the coach.” Thanks John but I want to hear a more direct endorsement of our Head Coach by the guy who signs the checks.

Some might call this hyperbole but the crisis situation with the Raider organization is the equivalent of a home owner's house being on fire and not calling 911 for the fire department.

Assuming that Al Davis wants the Raiders to be profitable AND a winning franchise, this situation should be addressed by Al Davis in an official, on the record capacity within the next 24 hours or he is being EXTREMELY negligent. Anything less is a slap in the face of the Raider Nation.

Direct communication, accountability, and a sense of urgency ... how bout' it Al?

I'm not pushing the panic button quite yet but I believe that each minute that ticks by without an official response from Al Davis, will be time and fans lost.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

CJ, do you, I, or any Raider fan need more proof that Uncle Al should be set out to pasture? I didn't think it possible to outdo the damage he's wrought in the last several years: 19-61 in the last five years, four coaches in those five years, who knows how many QB's during that time. The dude has turned the place into a poison pit.

Without this alleged Kiffin move it's clear Davis has to be removed. WITH the Kiffin move it should be obvious to even the drunkest, most illiterate, blind deaf and dumb amongst the Nation.

I've had it with his pathetic, impotent theatrics. He's delusional and destructive. It's particularly sad because he once was so vital, so renegade, such a life force, and such a reflection of the true Raider spirit.

I grew up with the Raiders of the 70's and 80's. I know greatness. We don't have it now. In order to get it back, the senile man with the self-destructo button has to go.

It is possible to be a diehard fan and not like Al Davis. I say you can't be a diehard fine and like him. You have to want what is good for the franchise.

Enough. Can't wait to see the details of this stupidity play out in the next few days.

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Pete The Raider said...

We will find out more tonight during the senior bowl. Lane and/or Rob will be grilled with questions before, during half time and after the game.

Any rumors about The Raiders, must be smeared across the national media. The team has always been known to be ultra secretive about every move its made and meeting it has. Mortenson of espn has been wrong before as of late (see false report on Eli's arm). Most of these "insider" reporters are blood thursty for breaking news, so they state obvious things like "Davis set to fire Shell." DUH! Of course! It was the biggest mistake in his life.

Mr.Davis even admitted he made a (if not the) blunder, with the re-hire of Shell. His body is broken, but his mind is always on football. I fear that since the end is near, Al wants to take a last minute effort to hold that 4th trophy. The trophy that should of been number 7 or more by now. He probably is sharp, just desperate.

It's sad, if I'm wrong. If he is not Mr.Davis anymore and simply crazy Al. His family and the partners should agree to make a deal with Al. Control is given to another person and all the future trophies are placed in a life size Silver and Black Statue of himself. The spirit of The Nation still lives through his words.

"The Greatness of The Raiders is in it's future."

Say it isn't so Al. Let this all be a bunch of hype.

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Ironraider said...

Sigh...this is getting out of control, with everything anti-Raider coming from the media. I would be delighted to hear from Al Davis debunking this crap personally. If these statements/accusations are false, let it be known. Season ticket holders deserve to have some peace of mind heading into 2008. We all know that we are part of a secret society, but it would help to have something from the top.

Kiffin's statement of not commenting on anything over the last three weeks is rather curious. Al Davis saying nothing, is unfortunate.

I have shelled out enough time, money, blood, sweat, and tears over the last 30 years on the team I love. I am getting to the point of not reading anything regarding the Raiders until the draft, because I am just getting fed up with the crap that is being reported.

The frustration comes from not really trusting reports from either side. Who are the "sources"? Why doesn't Kiffin simply say it is all bullshit, and you reporters need to find something else to chase after?

It would be great to have an off season without all this BS. I can only imagine what is going through the minds of the current player roster, if there is a inkling of truth to any of these stories.

I'm just tired of the soap opera that spins out of control after week 17 in the NFL.

6:04 AM  
Blogger x said...

I've always said this type of thing is what makes the Raiders more interesting to follow than any other NFL team by far....but....

this time it has gone too far, if true.

Al is a snake oil salesman in that he seemed to promise Kiffin control when he was hired and now he has no control.

What happened to "Just Win, Baby" and "Commitment to Excellence"? They ring hollow today.

The owner won't let the coach fire a Defensive Coordinator that has been a failure for four years...and doesn't care (see "that's life in the big city") or is clueless on what needs to be done to improve ("we have great players"). That's not about wanting to "just win".

I've always respected Al, but it's not a stretch to say he is affected by senility. He's 78!

His legacy is being tarnished severely by his actions. He needs to pass the reigns to someone else and just live out the rest of his years as a fan like the rest of us.

Al wants a Smithers as HC to his Mr. Burns. What player would want to come into this dysfunction? Forget Shaun Rogers, forget Bernard Berrian, forget any free agent worth his salt. And I'm sure Howie is praying to God that his son doesn't get drafted by Oakland.

I hate Randy Moss, but there appears to be much truth to his "something's fishy around here" statement.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CJ,

Why are all the comments above down on Al? Let's look at it from his perspective. Lane makes some positive progress this past year but 4-12 is not exactly lighting the world on fire. Then he makes eyes at the Razorbacks and tries to fire Ryan. Compound that with the terrible Moss trade, do you blame Al for putting the young fool in his place.

I love Al Davis but I am a critical of him at times too. On this issue I think he stands on solid ground. Kiffin has not proven himself enough to demand full authority on personnel and coaches. Let's not forget Gruden had to prove himself first then Al gave him some latitude. Kiff if you want to run the show prove yourself you are 32 years old and have not doen crap yet in the NFL.

If you ask me Kiffin is acting like a baby and if he is not willing to toe the line, show some loyalty and be patient good riddance to him.

The only critiscim I will give Al is that instability does not breed progress. If they bring in Denny Green (who I wanted for awhile) lets truly give him a few years to turn this thing around

Regards

Florida Raider

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’ve Been a Raider fan in cowboy country from the first day I saw the silver and black. Age 4, year 1983. Every one in my family considered me defective because I did not cheer for the cowboys. I guess you can call me the black sheep and I love to be portrayed that way. But talking about Al , I think the Raider Nation should protest . Not against the Raiders but against him(Al). Try to force him to step down. He is hurting the organization. He wants the Raiders to win a super bowl again before he steps down, but at this rate he’s going hit 110years because he keeps hurting the team.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe some of the unusual team's 2007 strategy will be explained [from the old man himself in his annual post-season press conference, or by the departing coaches/players]... Why keep Walter on the payroll/roster while not playing him? Why hold back Rhodes' playing time for so long even after Jordan played poorly? Why not release Jordan and activate Bush? Why not start their new glamorous QB sooner in the season? Who was responsible for negotiating contract with the #1 drafted QB? And who was truly responsible for many other strange/uncommon team makeup and performance....

All this reminds me of Raiders' post-season performance in 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003....Deja vu!!!

Long live Al Davis!! The other teams, particularly those in its division, wishes Al a long and healthy life to continue his magic in the NFL!! LMAO, LMAO....

10:12 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Florida Raider: First and foremost in many fans minds including my own is that the hiring of Kiffin was a breath of fresh air. Kiffin has done a wonderful job changing the outlook, accountability, and competitive spirit of the 53 man roster.

The last thing we need right now in this rebuiding phase is instability and turmoil. The reason that many fans are down on Al is that he is largely responsible for creating this unhealthy work environment of uncertainty and doubt.

My biggest disappointment in Al is how these rumors have been handled over the past 3 weeks. The Raiders are owned and run by Al Davis. It is his responsibility to his players, coaches, and fans to facilitate a healthy, productive, and stable work environment that leads to a winning product on the field and a more profitable business. This chaos has a good chance of effecting how well the Raiders do in 2008. The very least Al can do is publicly endorse his Head Coach and set the record straight. Hiding behind a curtain and sending out Herrera to make cryptic remarks is unsatisfactory.

In simple terms:

If the rumor about Al forcing Kiffin to resign is true ... we've got a problem.

If the rumor about Al forcing Kiffin to resign isn't true ... why isn't the guy who hired Kiffin (Davis) and signs his checks (Davis) publicly scorning ESPN AND standing behind his Head Coach? That is a problem and a lack of leadership.

11:50 AM  
Blogger x said...

Yes, this whole situation is lose-lose...whether this thing is true or not.

Sad.

Florida Raider:
-do you really think Moss would have performed for the Raiders had he stayed?
-do you really think Kiffin should not have fired, or in this case tried to fire, Ryan?
-and didn't Al give Kiffin authority to make any changes necessary when he hired him?

Maybe I need to see that press conference again.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CJ,
Another great post. Here is what Jason Jones is saying. It's looking very bleak...

Nothing personal against J.Lofton as a person/coach, but this is the last thing I want to see right now.

http://www.sacbee.com/static/
weblogs/raiders/

Psycho

12:40 PM  
Anonymous ND John Raiderman said...

It doesn't have to be this way! I will refuse to watch football next year!!. Even if Kiffin was the wrong man you have to give the guy 3 years! if no improvement get rid of him. I'm sure letting Randy Moss go probably makes Mr. Davis squirm. But Randy wouldn't of done anything for us he would of pulled a porter if he didn't get traded. I need psychological help!

1:24 PM  
OpenID mike88p said...

I am repeating my comment from a couple of weeks ago (before all of this even became this ugly) - two blogs ago (Dard did ya catch it?):
" mike88p said...
Yeah..... i have been an adamant raider fan for 25 years, grew up in bay area, unfortunately, this season (and this off-season already looking) like another massive disappointment; how long can us fans be expected to suffer tumult and mediocracy - to win you need consistency at coaching level, that's just plain fact, and the only consistency we have in recent years is Al's inability to allow consistency with our head coaches (and undercutting them at every turn) - i just don't know how long us fans can hold on, with blind faith, despite mediocracy and endless losing seasons, blithely following the follies of this egotistical, ill, old man."

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's separate the issues.

Yes Davis has been the source for instability no news flash there.

However, whatever his reasons valid or not Kiffin does not want to stay in Oakland, screw him

I am sad we need a new coach once again. I am not going to loose sleep over a guy who does not want to be a Raider

Bring back Madden to help Al he is the only logical successor. Green would be a good coach

Florida Raider

5:36 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Florida Raider: I normally respect your opinion however your comment: "However, whatever his reasons valid or not Kiffin does not want to stay in Oakland, screw him" is complete rubbish.

Kiffin has been bustin' his ass since day 1 to rebuild this team. A couple questions for you:

1. What makes you think Kiffin doesn't want to be a Raider?

If you think that just because he name got mentioned with various college openings, you are making a false and unfounded assumption.

2. What makes you think Kiffin was eyeing college jobs?

Besides unfounded rumors, there is no evidence that Kiffin had any contact whatsoever with any colleges.

3. If Kiffin doesn't want to be here, did it ever cross your mind that Davis (a) reneged on Kiffin's authority on coaching hires/fires and personnel matters? or (b) made his job so difficult and unpleasant that Kiffin is concerned about his career?

I stand behind Kiffin 100%. I have ever reason to believe that he has been giving his heart and soul to make the Raiders a winning team. Across the board, Kiffin has the respect of his colleagues, players, fans, and newspaper scribes. Universally the feedback on the job he did in 2007 was positive.

You say you don't want "to lose any sleep over a guy who doesn't want to be a Raider". I guess it is fair to say that you won't lose any sleep over an owner who is the sole reason for creating a losing, unproductive, and unhealthy work environment.

Instead of supporting and endorsing Kiffin each step of the way, Davis is too preoccupied with mind games and power trips. That my friend is a shame. No matter where you fall on this issue as a Raider fan, in the end, it is the fan that loses out because all of us realize THE ONLY FN way for the Raiders to be successful is to have stability within the organization and certainly at the Head Coaching slot.

9:58 PM  
Blogger iknwftbl said...

This is merely an example of the lunacy that my beloved Raiders have become. All these destructive things have stemmed from the ego of Senile Davis. You could bring in a team of the hoodie from New England, Bill Parcells and Ron Wolf and it would take them two or three years to right the ship but Senile Davis wanted Lane to do it one year.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CJ,

Normally I do not disagree with you either. My answer to your questions in no particular order:

Kiffin does not want to be a Raider based on the fact that he has pursued various college jobs suh as the Bruins , Rzorbacks etc. Numerous press outlets have reported this and Kiffin has not exactly issues a strong denial of such. Even if he does want to be a Raider he needs to show some patience and learn to work with Davis

You and everyone hailing Kiffin as a saviour is a little msiguided. He might have worked hard and began to make some positive locker room/culture changes but let's be honest 4-12 does not lie. He mismanaged the quarterback situation and his personnell decisions have been poor. An example of this would be the Randy Moss trade, the Mike Williams trade and though he is not soley responsible for it a poor draft. Besides Zack Miller and JaMarcus every other draft pick seems crap with the exception of a fullback whose name escapes me at the moment.

Maybe you are right that Kiffin wants to leave because Davis is not giving him as much freedom as he expected. But come on the guy is 32 has done nothing in The NFL why should he get Mike Holmgren or Shanhan type privelages. Think back to Gruden he put in his dues first, he was patient and once he earned Davis's respect he got significant latitude.

Kiffin in case you are forgetting did get to entirely retool the offensive staff and put some people in the front office he wanted as well as make a few personell decisions.

Al Davis I am pissed off with for not just firing him and paying him his money rather than carry out this resignation letter nonsense. That is hurting the team as is the instability you mentioned.

My main point is if you want to be upset about the instability on the Raiders that is legitimate and I agree with it.

But lets not confuse the anger over instability with loosing a guy who is no Lombardi and probably not going to stick around for long anyway.

Regards

Florida Raider

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CJ,

Further to my previous post. The issue of Kiffin is neither here nor there. He is gone and the Raiders should expedite the situation.

I agree that Al Davis is not running the team effectively.

He has two choices hire someone who has the crediblity and experience to run the team and then stay out of the way for the most part.

Or if he is goign to hire another young novice like Kiffin then make sure that person can live with his input so there are no misconceptions going in. That does not chang emy opinion that Kiffin has not done anything to deserve complete operational freedom

REgards

Florida Raider

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.silverandblackpride.com/story/2008/1/26/24624/7566

8:20 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

If these reports are true, we've entered a zero-sum game.

Either we're about to lose a force of positive change, a coach who had finally steered our lost ship in the right direction.

Or...We about to lose a guy who some folks contend is disloyal, and who wasn't really such hot stuff in the first place.

If it's the former, that's bad. If it's latter, it's equally bad, because it would mean that the organization, after five years, 61 losses and four head coaching hires, has remained incapable of establishing any form of consistency, continuity or direction, which would amount to organizational incompetence of the highest order.

How many second chances do the Raiders get with their paying customers? At what point does loyalty yield to outrage? Where does the buck stop? These are questions that many fans are rightfully asking themselves, even if we might have different answers.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Florida Raider:

You make some good points. I don't think Kiffin is a "savior".

I do think he has the potential to be an excellent head coach. He has the charisma and leadership abilities that the players respond to.

Being a former Marine, I like to use the old acronym, KISS >>> Keep It Simple, Stupid.

If you are Al Davis, you have 2 choices:

(1) Support & publicly endorse your Head Coach. Put whatever disagreements you had with your Head Coach in the past in the best interest of the team. OR

(2) If Kiffin isn't your guys (for whatever reason) terminate him ASAP instead of playing this game of "chicken" on who will blink first.

These are simple choices.

Unfortunately right now we are in purgatory .... Kiffin is our Head Coach but for how long? Do you get the feeling that the only reason Kiffin is currently our Head Coach is because Al too stubborn and hard headed to pay the $4M? Kiffin is not a "lame duck" coach. He is a severerly wounded duck.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Raider_Fan_Hopeful said...

So I've been thinking about the "Why?” The report like someone said was given on a Friday. Was this on purpose to let the media take it and run with it during the weekend?

What if this entire allegation was on purpose? Part of the Al's unique outlook on the game of football. What if he is thinking on a different level than what seems to be apparent? We all know that this man is unique and developed the "Raider Way" when it comes to football.

Thus, maybe the Raider organization did this to see what Al could get for Kiffin? Or to see how much the fans like Kiffin. Or, yet, another reason non-apparent to anyone right now.

And look at all the coincidences. The weekend this story comes out is the weekend the Raiders coach the senior bowl. Maybe it was just a publicity stunt by the NFL network or ESPN. Also Kiffin was not wearing any apparel at the senior bowl. Along with Lofton and Saunders coming next week. Could the "unidentified sources” conspire this story for a particular reason, other than the explicit reasoning of Kiffin losing his job.

Who knows, the Raiders always do something different. Heck maybe ESPN did it just to run something instead of the same old January topic of the Super Bowl.

Al probably hates Patriots, maybe he did it just to grab some of the spotlight from them and direct the audience towards himself and the Raider organization.

With this said, I hope I'm not being over optimistic by trying to think outside the box. I just hope that out of all thousands of other reasons, Al didn't do this with the purpose of actually firing Kiffin. Everyone knows that the potential this kid has, and the possible greatness with the Raider Nation.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CJ,

I will make this my last comment on the subject---btw is it not sad that this topic is genrating more responses than some of your other excellent blogs

I agree with you Al does not want Kiffin anymore so he shoudl just man up and fire him and swallow the 4mm hit. This is how the business works and who can blam Kiffin for sitting back until he gets his money, I would probably do the same

My support for Al's reason I guess stems from the following subconsicious mantra that I think most Raider fans should adhere to: "The Raiders are Al and Al is the Raiders."

As a fan we need to accept that for good or bad after all without Al I have a feeling a lot fewer of us would be fans. The only thing I can not truley support him on was freezing out MArcus.

For everything Al has given us he desrves the right to continue to do his things his way self-destructive or not. Its his team. Maybe its a shortcoming of mine but I will continue to support Raiders- Al-Raiders-Al blindly if anything as a show of thanks for all the memories.

Keep up the wonderful work CJ,

All the best
Florida Raider

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FloridaRaider you are delusional. Please do not attend the Raider games next year in Tampa and Miami because you give Raider fans a bad name. Thank you.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Pete The Raider said...

Is Florida Raider a child?

3:45 AM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

There is a line in the media now developing that Al may have felt he was justified because Kiffin had his eye on returning to college. There are zero facts or evidence to support this, so I think it's just an attempt by the Florida Raiders of the world to justify the "always perfect Al" myth. Don't fall into this trap.

Even if he did eventually want to return to the college game, I believe Kiffin is a man (boy) of his word. He's under contract and has acted accordingly from the day he was hired. Didn't interview or take the Arkansas job, UCLA job, etc. Didn't interview with anyone.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Nike Air Force One said...

What a wack job..

10:34 PM  

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