Al Davis Releases The Hounds

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As the dust settles from Tuesday's Oakland Raiders press conference, shellshocked witnesses are only now coming to grips with what occurred. I wasn't there, but I listened on the radio, and came away with this impression: Al Davis needs to be tranquilized and relocated further back into the woods. Whenever he emerges into civilization — which is rare these days — only heartache and chaos can result; on Tuesday the target was Lane Kiffin, but next time it could be you or me. Several amusing accounts have emerged this morning, one of the best being from Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury:

And, right there on stage, Davis disclosed his own dark, vindictive soul. He revealed himself as an owner willing to torpedo his team's season to build a case against Lane Kiffin so he wouldn't have to pay Kiffin. Davis' news conferences are always high drama, but what happened Tuesday at the Raiders facility was off the charts. It was Theater of the Absurd, in two acts, with - I'm not kidding - a 10-minute intermission.

They introduced interim coach Tom Cable following that intermission, and nobody cared. The thing was all about Al and his public dismembering of Kiffin, whom Davis accused of wanton buffoonery, to say the least of it. Kiffin was also, according to Davis, a "liar," and a "disgrace," and might very well be responsible for the nation's financial crisis. It was all of course a bald-face opening gambit in Davis' strategy to establish cause, therefore freeing himself of having to pay the coach the remainder of his contract. To Davis, such machinations are more important than football, or life, itself. But knowing the reason doesn't make it any more palatable. After seeing Davis' performance, Kiffin's attorney advised his client to keep mum, which he is doing, except for an interview with ESPN's Trey Wingo. "I just had a real sick feeling watching that," Kiffin said. "I was kind of embarrassed for (Davis) to be honest with you." Having followed the Raiders and been a fan for most of my life, I have to say that I can relate. Davis' performance was character assasination of the lowest form, unworthy of even the vilest comic book villain. When Davis produced a three-page letter that he had written to Kiffin earlier in the season outlining the coach's faults, and placed the document on an overhead projector, I actually cringed. What next; seizing a female reporter and tying her to the railroad tracks? Other accounts can be found here, and here. And if you'd like to journey into the Heart of Darkness yourself, here's the video: Part 1 here and part 2 here. The sad part is, all of this is bound to be repeated sometime in the near future, either with Cable or some other unfortunate soul. And the pattern will be repeated until Davis ultimately steps down, or is dispatched with a stake through the heart. Until then, enjoy the show, I guess. Raiders' Ugly Way Put On Display For All To See [San Jose Mercury] Al Davis Airs Out The Raiders Dirty Laundry [Bronco Talk] Letter From Davis To Kiffin [Inside The Oakland Raiders]