Davis Should Step Down

Another coaching change in Oakland? It was inevitable.

Since the Senior Bowl this past offseason, the buzz amongst coaches and scouts was that Lane Kiffin wouldn't last through September as head coach of the Raiders. Those prognostications came true Tuesday when Al Davis woke up from his free spending coma to fire the only man who has stood up to him since Jon Gruden.

Two years ago Davis walked into the lobby of Arrowhead Stadium and boldly shouted to anyone who would listen, "Am I still welcome?" I held my tongue, but inside I was screaming, "Hell no!"

Davis made the slow walk through the pre-construction hallway surrounded by his entourage while nobody responded to his question. At that time he looked old, tired and out of touch with reality. It appears nothing has changed.

What Davis did Tuesday was sink the once proud Silver and Black nation to a new low, but the Raiders will get much worse on and off the field before it gets better. As Davis remarked to the media, his mother lived to be over 100 - that's not a good sign for Oakland fans who honestly deserve better.

You can say what you want about the Raider Nation, but the costumes and mouth-running have always brought an element of fun to every Raiders home game. We can do without the battery throwing and the beer spilling, but that's the way it's been for decades and that's the way it should be.

But now, even the most ardent of Raiders fans are upset with the man who sits atop an organization that can't keep a head coach and has become the laughing stock of the NFL after all the money it spent this offseason.

Forget about the names - teams in need of a rebuild shouldn't go free agent crazy. Don't buy into any of the talk that Davis wasn't responsible for all the money spent this offseason. Over $162 million doled out in contracts will have the Raiders in cap hell for as long as Davis remains the General Partner.

Davis told reporters this week he fired Kiffin by phone. Apparently he didn't even have the stomach to do it face to face, like a man. Instead, he let his subordinates deliver the news and cowardly pushed Kiffin off the plank.

When he was hired, Kiffin was the golden boy from USC, and a can't-miss prospect as an NFL head coach. But it went south early when the Raiders drafted quarterback Jamarcus Russell from LSU, instead of Notre Dame's Brady Quinn, whom Kiffin felt was a better prospect.

Davis had a chance to redeem himself, as he could have simply told the media that Kiffin just wasn't a good fit. Instead, he back-stabbed him, taking shots at Kiffin after the press conference and saying anything and everything to justify his decision.

He threw everything at Kiffin, and even called him a liar, but all it did was make Davis himself look small and petty. Right now he's arguably the worst owner in all of professional sports.

Davis has lost touch not only with reality, but he's lost touch with his fan base. He's slapping them in the face every time he opens his mouth. It's hard to believe that most Raiders fans view Davis as anything but a complete buffoon right now.

Some might argue Kiffin was too young to take on Davis, and he probably bit off more than he could chew. But that puts him in pretty good company with coaches like Jon Gruden and Mike Shanahan, who got out of Oakland with their careers intact and both went on to win Super Bowls.

Davis will never again reach the Super Bowl or the playoffs as long as he's pulling the strings in the front office and in the locker room. He obviously can't evaluate talent, as proven this offseason, and he won't be able to hire a decent head coach to work for him ever again. When it's all said and done he might offer the job to Art Shell for the third time.

All of this is sad because the Raiders/Chiefs rivalry should mean more for both fan bases. Sure, the Chiefs are rebuilding, but they have hope with a roster of young players who will only get better.

In Oakland, it's just more of the same that has ruined a founding AFL franchise. Some have called Davis a Maverick, but right now he's an embarrassment to the NFL. The league should step in and save the Raiders as was done in Cleveland years ago. Davis should be forced to sell the team or step down as the General Partner.

Anything else, and it will be a long time until the fans in Oakland see real NFL football again.

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