Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A New Frame of Mind

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." - Sir Winston Churchill

My mood over the weekend was one of outrage and despair. I wish I was the type of guy who could put my head in the sand and avoid reading the countless articles that poked fun (and a stick in the eye) at the Raiders.

I also wish I wasn't so quick to make assumptions or assign blame for the mess we are in. For that I apologize and attempt to clear my head.

Instead of picking and choosing the bits and pieces of articles that I believe and analyzing different "what if" scenarios, I'm going to shift gears and wait for the dust to settle over the next few weeks.

My sincere hope is that I'm wrong about my assumptions AND the Kiffin/Davis relationship isn't at the point of no return.

After reading a dozen articles from yesterday and today, my instinct tells me that there were mistakes made by both Kiffin & Davis through their words and actions. Both are tenacious,driven, singularly focused stubborn men who have a difficult time backing down.

There were probably a few times were Davis felt Kiffin overstepped his bounds. There were also more than likely a few incidents where Kiffin felt Davis wasn't properly supporting him.

The most disappointing aspect to this entire mess is that it seem to me that it never had to get to the point where ultimatums were thrown and the dirty laundry aired in public. The way the "problems" were resolved lacked a sense of professionalism and confidentiality that would have resolved the differences amicably.

Another extremely disappointing aspect to the way the Raiders have conducted their business is that, IMO, there is a lack of focus on keeping their eye on the ball ... namely winning and doing things in the best interest of the team, fans, and organization. All of this negative press and bad marketing is detrimental and unnecessary.

It will be interesting to witness how all of the controversy over the past few weeks plays out.

Will it be a case where Kiffin & Davis form a stronger bond and become joined at the hip to prove the football media wrong?


Will it be a situation where the waters are so polluted that the relationship has suffered irrevocable harm?


Will it be a relationship that will be truly "make or break" based on the won/loss record of 2008?

I'm guessing it is the latter. I don't have any problem with this scenario. As long as we return to the business at hand (coaching staff additions, free agency acquisitions, draft selections, training camp, etc.) then all of us will be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Nothing would please me more than to concentrate on the one thing we universally relish ... Raider Football!

My greatest hope and sense of solace comes from a quote that Lane Kiffin had posted in each players' locker in the latter stages of the 2007 season:

"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." - Winston Churchill

If Kiffin was sincere in his admiration of this Churchill quote, 2008 still has a chance to be another peg up on the competitive ladder.


Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

loved the post. my sentiments as well. but i stand by my takes over the weekend as well. florida raider called you out for "loyalty to al". it is as what i said, al deserves the credit in both good and bad.
i also said that i lead a group of 400+ people at my church as a minister for young married couples. the one thing i've learned is that in order for me to accomplish the vision i have set; i have to trust the leadership around me, that they are on the same page, and leading their groups to that point. now that doesn't mean i blindly trust that. no, i do spot checks, but they are not over-bearing, constantly over their shoulder.
bottom line, the results of improvement tells me the most out of anything.
al davis seems to have forgotten this, and to some, he's never done it. i was voicing my concern over what was being reported, that if true, things would never get better because of this. yes, there are people that al davis trusts. jim otto, freddie b, art shell, john madden, howie long, jimmy johnson, dennis green, the list is long. but what he has to realize as well, that same trust needs to be extended to the current coaching staff. because he hired them to do a specific job. let them do what they need to do to accomplish it, and then step in if they do what they think needs to be done, and yet they fail. this is where i fault al davis the last 5 years. callahan deserved to go, but was norv really given a fair chance? shell was a joke. now with kiffin, he cannot afford to treat him the same way. trust the people you put in leadership, or don't hire the leadership.

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Don in Ny said...

Yea I have to agree with you on all those points and yes we all need to just sit back relax and see what happens. Although in IMHO I truly beleive that there is a fourth scenerio that a lot of people have left along the wayside and it is this......

What if .... this was all media conjecture thrown in with a lot of reduntent publishing of the same and/or combination of several published rumors from several media outlets.

A lot of the nation has made statements that AL or Kiffin or somebody should speak out about all these reports but here are the problem that I foresee with that...

There is an old statement that fits "THOU DOEST PROTEST TOO MUCH" if anyone in the orginization were to make a statement on every thing that comes out they would fall into that category with the media.

Than you have the other side of the media that if anybody made a statement they would just brush it off as "oh they are just trying to hide from us " "you know those GD freakin secretive Raiders"

So maybe the Raiders just go about their business like they had planned all along, and as you've noticed, all the reports just start fading away in the sunset.

Just one Life Long Fans opinion from NY.

6:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you CJ, and I was while we were jumping the gun. I'm hanging back now. One thing is for sure, SOMETHING happened.


6:52 AM  
Anonymous memdf said...


Nicely done. My house is filled with the aroma of humble pie cooking. When it is done, both the pie and this situation, I will be happy to eat my share. Actually if things work out ok, I'll eat the whole thing!

You were not the only one who reacted, the Nation rose up of which I am very pleased.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

yes memdf, the raider nation spoke. whether or not al really listened or cares is a completely different story. don't eat that pie just yet my friend as this isn't over by far. many people were turned off because of this and many others will show their disgust at the gate where it really counts. so we'll see what happens in the coming days and weeks.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

We're Raiders fans. We jump the gun. That's what we do best. But I stand by every last word, and have voiced similar opinions over the years on this board. Even if the Davis/Kiffin thing turns out to be nothing but the media's imagination, nothing changes the last five years. And nothing will change the next five as long as Al is in charge.

The fact remains that no decent coach other than Jimmy Shirtsleeves from Divison III would consider the coaching job. It's been over for the formerly great mastermind for a long time. Nation, wake up and smell the coffee.

The Raiders will rise again. And I'll be with them in the trenches until then because that's what a Raiders fan does. But it's going to be a long wait, I fear.

8:48 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nicely done Calico Jack.

I'm still worried that we didn't jump the gun, and that the gun is still loaded.

6:05 AM  
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