No 79-year-old man could hit as hard as Al Davis, who steamrolled, slammed, tarred and attacked his former coach Lane Kiffin.
Davis did the unthinkable. He turned a 5-15 head coach into a sympathetic figure, then had enough vitriol left over to smear other people who escaped the headlines, but not Davis’ wrath.
In one of the most stunning news conferences in NFL history, Kiffin had to realize he brought a slingshot to a gunfight. Davis brought down everyone but Pete Rozelle in much the way the Raiders have been brought down in recent seasons.
Davis pontificated that:
- Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin wanted to leave Tampa Bay for Oakland.
- USC head coach Pete Carroll and the senior Kiffin failed to save Lane from himself.
- Packers general manager Ted Thompson didn’t think wide receiver Randy Moss could run anymore.
- The Patriots tampered with Moss, a former Raider.
- Former Raiders executive Michael Lombardi undermined former Raiders coach Art Shell.
- Broncos coach Mike Shanahan should have asterisks next to his two Super Bowl titles for Denver’s salary cap violations leading up to its back-to-back world championships.
- Reporter Chris Mortensen is a professional liar, which is worse than a rumor mongerer.
Davis carried on in the press conference the way he had back in the courtroom, during his legendary battles versus the NFL. On the day Kiffin was out, so were Davis’ fangs.
If only his team showed as much fight.