And then he held a press conference trying to win over those same members of the press that he didn't care about. There is a mountain of information to try to digest after a bizarre day, where Al Davis read a three-page letter he gave to Lane Kiffin, outlining what an a-hole the guy had become.
Imagine being the commissioner of this league and one of your franchises -- and let's be honest, one of the most important franchises -- has come to this. A highly visible, he-said, he-said for the world to see.
Or at least the 16 people who get NFL Network.
But there is a lot of things to digest and here are a couple of the most important points to discuss.
Very early in the news conference, Davis quipped that he used to have a way with young people. And that the young guys that he had to let go, he knew they were going to go on to have fruitful NFL careers. Obviously referring to Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden. However, he didn't come out and say that about Kiffin. In fact, he basically said that Kiffin was in over his head and was probably not going to be a good coach on any level. People aren't talking about that, but that stood out the most to me. There was some obvious contempt. Davis has a history of mining young, unheralded talent (two two previously mention guys, John Madden and Tom Flores), but he admits that he missed the boat on Kiffin.
What was his first clue? The fact that nobody from the USC staff followed Kiffin to Oakland. Nobody wanted to leave USC for Oakland. Although that says a lot about the Raiders, you would have figured that Kiffin could have picked up a video assistant or something.
This ultimately is going to fall back on Kiffin being a nozzle. Davis is a jerk to work for. The Raiders don't pay for coaches, which is why he typically hires young guys. The atmosphere is horrible and Davis is meddling.
But come on Lane, you have to play the game. You can either come in, do a great job and move on like Gruden did. Or you can take your lumps and find a Hall of Fame quarterback to gravy train like John Madden did.
Instead, you acted like a punk who was upset that his manager at Subway wouldn't give him Friday night off so he could go scam on chicks at the local AMC. He's a spoiled son of a coach, that's all.
But don't worry about the Raiders. Those problems laid out above will still dog them. No money, no power. Hell, college football has become such a big-time deal, that selling out to be the Raiders coach isn't exactly a winning option. The Raiders will continue to add guys like Tom Cable and the commitment to mediocrity will continue.