They all gathered at Raiders headquarters on Monday to watch Lane Kiffin get fired, but no such thing occurred. Kiffin is, apparently, still the head coach, at least for the next few hours. So instead of an execution, the scheduled entertainment involved Raiders senior executive John Herrera interrupting the proceedings by yelling at San Jose Mercury reporter Tim Kawakami. Finger jabbing and threats of lawsuits ensued. Al Davis, nowhere to be seen. Ladies and gentlemen, your Oakland Raiders! The fun began when Kawakami asked Kiffin a question that involved the coach's lack of support in the Raiders front office. Herrera interrupted the question by calling Kawakami a liar, and then when the press conference ended, he got in the reporter's face and began yelling again. (Video here). Kawakami threatened to sue the team if Herrera slugged him, which is always fun. Kawakami described the action in his blog this morning.
Oh man, that’s really really interesting to walk into the heart of the Raiders. That’s what happened to me just a little while ago and it was like dropping into Wonderland for few minutes–I could see what the Raiders see, I could feel what the Raiders feel, I was really tapped into the mania. Man, it was trippy. Head-spinning. Hallucinatory. Herrera brought me there by angrily confronting me about a question I asked Kiffin. I feel bad for the guy (well for BOTH guys), but Herrera’s the one who closed Kiffin’s Monday news conference by stepping up to me, shouting at me, calling me a liar. I didn’t get mad. You’ll see the video. I wasn’t mad. I was interested: THIS IS WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE INSIDE THE RAIDER MANIA. It was crazy. It was other-worldly, where normal truths didn’t mean anything. Yep, I feel like I know the Raiders soooo well now.
Among the other reporters there was Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
Kawakami put his hand on Herrera's arm in a peacekeeping soothing way and said, "Calm down." Herrera violently shook it off. "Get your hand off me," he shouted. "Get your (bleeping) hand off me." To which Kawakami replied, "Do you want to take a punch at me?" "Yeah, I'd love to." And then I heard Kawakami say, "I'd love to own part of this franchise," meaning if a Raider official slugged him he could sue.
The great thing here is that everyone in the Raiders front office seems to be telling Kiffin that he's been fired, but nothing is official until Davis says so ... and Davis hasn't said anything. In his defense, Davis has been busy ordering chocolate chip cookies with no more than 10 chocolate chips, none too close to the outside. "Come in with the milk, come in with the milk, come in with the milk ..." How to describe the Oakland Raiders at this point? Drawing parallels to the Berlin bunker during Hitler's final hours would be insensitive and wrong, so let's just put a happy face on it and say that the circus is in town! The Raiders’ John Herrera Vs. Me In Front Of The Cameras Today: Well, THAT Was Fun [San Jose Mercury] Raiders: Liar, Liar Pants On Fire [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]