Photo: Al Davis Might Consider Exfoliation Option

Screen shot of Al Davis from the ESPN film Straight Outta L.A.:

Al Davis photo from ESPN Movie Straight Outta L.A.

Soon to be pitching Carbon 14 spa treatments on HSN?

Raiders Bracing For Cable’s Arrest; Could Be Soon

Sure, the Raiders’ 29-6 loss to the Texans was a stinky effort, but I don’t think their coach deserves to be arrested for it. Oh, wait; Tom Cable may be on the verge of being arrested for his August punchout of assistant coach Randy Hanson. It has nothing to do with the Raiders’ performance on Sunday.

Tom Cable

Jason Cole of YAHOO SPORTS is reporting that the team is scrambling to decide who will take over if Cable is hauled off to jail; and that’s looking imminent. This is probably not unlike the power plays that occurred behind the scenes when a Roman emperor was near death; only in this case, all of the major players are jockeying to avoid getting the job. Read more…

Deposed Raider Coach Directed Players By Phone?

As we mentioned yesterday in SbB Live, former Raiders assistant coach Randy Hanson is now cooperating with police concerning an incident in the preseason when head coach Tom Cable allegedly slugged him and broke his jaw. Let’s see how many flying monkeys Al Davis dispatches to try and make this one go away.

Randy Hanson, Tom Cable

We pretty much knew this had to be coming at some point. But what really amused me from the NFL.COM report is that, evidently, after Hanson was fired and banned from the premises, some Raiders players smuggled him a team laptop, and Hanson continued to help coach them by phone. Ha ha. Wow. Read more…

Seymour, Raiders Declare War With Entire World

It cannot, must not be fun to be part of the Raiders’ organization these days. As the curtain falls on Al Davis‘ ability to lead the organization with any coherence - oh, hell, that curtain fell five years ago, but nobody bothered to tell Davis - what’s left is merely a grotesque caricature of an NFL team, complete with stadium, fans, equipment and a schedule, but utterly devoid of the structure upon which an actual winning team is to be built.

Richard Seymour Raiders Fans
(”Welcome to Hell. We’ve been expecting you.”)

Thus, it must have been devastating for Richard Seymour to learn of his trade from the Patriots to the Raiders. Even that he was worth a first-round pick would be scant consolation ; that’s just one more opportunity (to be summarily wasted, of course, but an opportunity all the same) to add talent that’s gone. Fortunately, smoldering rage is a family value in the Raiders’ clubhouse, which means his arrival has been wonderfully smooth and he’s fitting right in.

By that, of course, we mean that he’s drawing penalties for pulling hair and trying to pick a fight with journalists twice his age. Like we said, fitting right in.

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Raiders Try to Keep Ex-QB Out of Team Facilities

I can’t honestly say that watching the Oakland Raiders has been a picnic over the past few seasons, but Sunday’s vibe at the Coliseum was the most forlorn and hopeless I’ve seen in a long, long time. The one saving grace for the Silver n’ Black concerning Sunday’s 23-3 loss to Denver? Few locals saw it … the game was blacked out in the Bay Area.

Jamarcus Russell

Some pesky rule about a game having to be sold out in order to be on local television. Of course JaMarcus Russell’s performance wasn’t cable-ready to begin with: Those of you who have him on your fantasy rosters, my condolences. He was a glossy 12-of-21 for 61 yards and two interceptions. Worst. QB. Ever? Time will tell. And Rich Gannon was there to see it all, which has to be particularly galling to Al Davis. If you’re not familiar with the Gannon backstory, here it is:

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Speed Read: Is Tom Cable About To Get Hacked?

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder in Raiderland, the Internets are buzzing over a report published on NATIONAL FOOTBALL POST yesterday that cites anonymous sources detailing exactly what Tom Cable did to assistant Randy Hanson. If you aren’t familiar with what’s going on, we told you that Cable is alleged to have punched Hanson in the jaw during a meeting on August 5th. And if the latest report is anywhere close to being true, Cable won’t need to worry about his quarterback controversy, or anything else Raider related, anymore.

Tom Cable, Randy Hanson

First, here’s the nitty gritty:

According to the source, Cable knocked Hanson out of his chair and up against the wall and into a cabinet. Cable and Hanson fell to the floor, where Hanson was choked, the source said, and Cable was pulled off Hanson by the other men before Cable went after Hanson again.

“Cable said, ‘I am going to kill you, I am going to kill you,’ as he was choking him,’’ according to the source, who also said furniture in the room was damaged.

Hanson’s jaw is reportedly broken, and he also reportedly had to undergo further treatment in the emergency room on Wednesday night, a full two weeks after the August 5th incident. Cable could be facing a felony assault charge if everything is as it seems. If charges are filed, one has to think that Roger Goodell would invoke the “personal conduct” policy and at least force Cable to take a leave of absence, if not ban him altogether.

Roger Goodell

(”Why couldn’t you just ‘make it rain’ instead, Tom?”)

If it’s proven that Tom Cable choked Randy Hanson and broke his jaw, should he lose his job?

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Things are complicated, however, by the fact that Hanson doesn’t seem like the most stable guy on the face of the Earth. In fact, he only decided to cooperate with police and NFL investigations when he was told by Davis that he wouldn’t be able to return to his assistant position. He had hoped that the matter would be addressed internally, and that he’d be given his job back. The alleged assault came when Cable told Hanson that he was being demoted from his job as defensive backs coach and would instead by breaking down film and wouldn’t be allowed on the field.

If Hanson’s name sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Just weeks into last season, Lane Kiffin’s tenure with Oakland started to become unraveled when he suspended Hanson for “personal issues.” Hanson claimed that he was subsequently ostracized by Kiffin and wasn’t being allowed to perform any coaching duties. This angered Al Davis, who used Kiffin’s suspension of Hanson without his knowledge as an example of “insubordination.”

Lane Kiffin wipes face

Now, Hanson is experiencing déjà vu. From the NFP story:

Cable had been working to reduce Hanson’s role for months, the source said. Cable said that Hanson had been confusing the Raiders’ defensive backs, and Cable held a closed-door meeting with the cornerbacks and safeties and just himself. That led to a meeting between Cable and Hanson in Hanson’s room, and later a meeting with coaches after Cable had instructed Hanson not to come to practice.

Anything can happen once, but Hanson has been basically told to take a hike by two coaches now, which means that there’s probably something wrong with him. But is it worthy of getting his jaw broken? If Cable is charged, he’ll have to decide if his defense will be “I didn’t do it” or “he got what he deserved.” For what it’s worth, it looks like Cable was coming to the defense of his defensive coordinator, John Marshall, who NFP said was being verbally abused by Hanson.

Also complicating matters is the fact that the particulars of NFP’s story aren’t being corroborated independently by anyone at this point. Every other story I can find about the situation references the NFP story as its main source. The writer of the story, Brad Biggs, just joined NFP earlier this month, though he has written about the Bears for the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES for several years. I don’t think there’s any reason to doubt any of Biggs’ assertions, but it is a bit curious that none of the major newspapers in the Bay Area have confirmed any of these new details with their own reporting. Or maybe they just think Hanson’s crazy and not worthy of further publicity.

Randy Hanson

(It’s not a good sign when this is the only photo of you on the entire Internet.) 

The last time the United States hosted the World Cup, in 1994, O.J. Simpson stole its thunder and most of America ignored the whole thing. But now, with momentum for the sport building in the states, the U.S. is bidding to host either the 2018 or 2022 event (2022 seems more likely), and as part of the bid must come up with 12-18 stadiums to be used.

Yesterday, the list was trimmed down from 45 venues to 32, and contains, as you might expect, many of the largest and most modern NFL stadiums, as well as a smattering of others. Among those still on the list are the Rose Bowl, which hosted the ‘94 final, as well as the new stadiums in Arlington, East Rutherford, and Indianapolis. A few college-only stadiums are under consideration as well, including Michigan Stadium, Stanford Stadium, and Husky Stadium in Seattle.

Michigan Stadium

(Is there enough room for a full-size soccer field here between the brick walls?)

The dregs of the list include Detroit’s Ford Field (which shouldn’t really host any sort of championship football), domed stadiums like the Edward Jones Dome and the Georgia Dome, and the Oakland Mausoleum, which probably (hopefully) won’t exist in 2022.

Among those cities taken off the list were Salt Lake City, Las Vegas (sports bettors still can’t get used to a game where an over/under might actually be set at “0″), and the soccer-crazed town of Fayetteville, Arkansas (could you see Ghana and Portugal going to play a game in Fayetteville?). Unfortunately, Arkansas’ exclusion will further complicate Alan Partridge’s “soccermeter” should he give it another go in 2022:

• If “disgruntled” was a stat, there’s no doubt that Gary Sheffield would lead all of baseball in that category over the last 20 years. But he seems to have a point this time. The NY DAILY NEWS says Sheffield is confused that the Mets withdrew his name from waivers after another team made a claim, but also told him that he’s not in their plans for next season. It’s somewhat bizarre, considering the Mets are paying him $400,000 this year, that they wouldn’t just let him go. Especially if they could trade him for some sort of mid-to-low level prospect to a contender. Sheff’s Chefs are particularly unamused.

Sheff's Chefs

• If you’ve ever wanted to have a guy in a mascot suit take you for a piggy back ride, you’ll think twice after watching this. There are few things more hilarious than a good, solid, mascot accident:

• The NCAA is furious that a judge has ruled that documents relating to an investigation into academic fraud at Florida State are public record and FSU should have unfettered access to them, according to the ORLANDO SENTINEL.

• The Cubs are, finally, about to get Ricketts.

• An eight-year-old British kid named Tiger Brewer became the youngest person ever to stand on top of a plane while it’s flying around. This is apparently called “wing walking.” His parents are named Colin and Zoe if you’re wondering who’s trying to come up with a creative way to off their own kid.

• Ex-Major Leaguer Scott Spiezio is trying to work his way back from issues with drugs and alcohol, and is doing so in the Golden Baseball League. The LA TIMES caught up with him as he tries to repair his reputation.

Chad Ochocinco is about to change his middle name to “Gramatica,” after kicking a perfect extra point and booming a kickoff inside the 10:

• Earlier in the game, Randy Cross produced some fine artwork with the telestrator. KISSING SUZY KOLBER has the screenshot.

• The NEW YORK TIMES says baseball is likely to toy with the idea of an NBA-style system in which draft picks have pre-determined salaries based on where they are picked in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. This, of course, is at odds with baseball’s general open-market attitude, but might be easier to negotiate than a salary cap.

• Vote early and often: FANTASY BASEBALL DUGOUT’s “Hottest Baseball Wife” poll is underway, and 2009’s winner will be crowned on August 31st. Mark DeRosa’s wife, Heidi, is the defending champ and seems to be running away with it this year as well. Some of the pics on the site aren’t exactly flattering (Jordan Schneider looks like she’s in the Zapruder film), so here’s a better photo of the scrappy underdog, Ashley Eckstein:

Ashley Eckstein

Did Tom Cable Clobber Raiders’ Assistant Coach?

Holy Buddy Ryan — did Tom Cable really break the jaw of Oakland Raiders assistant coach Randy Hanson at practice recently? In a story first reported by the NATIONAL FOOTBALL POST this morning, and now being confirmed by the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, Cable was involved in “an altercation” with one of his assistants earlier this month at the team’s Napa practice facility, and that assistant was treated for a broken jaw at Queen of the Valley Hospital on August 6.

Tom Cable, Randy Hanson

Welcome to Al Davis’ world, in case you’re new to all of this. It’s a land ruled by dysfunction, where Davis and his flying monkeys watch practice in a crystal ball from a castle tower, coaches come and go with the frequency of a Tokyo subway train, and disputes are settled the old-fashioned way.

Read more…

Rick Pitino Pays Woman $3,000 To Have Abortion

Rick Pitino paid $3,000 to escape the possibility of parenthood with the woman accused of extorting him. Will Louisville keep Rick in the Cards?

Rick Pitino Pat Forde Karen Sypher

• No wonder Reggie Miller has been so smitten with Ali Kay - she’s quite the fashion designer.

• The Pittsburgh Steelers show their own version of the shotgun formation.

• Kids at a Virginia basketball camp learn that Michael Vick is a wholesome, blameless creature.

• Whoever took it, please give Baron Davis’ laptop back - he has some “private images” he’d like to keep private.

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I’m Suspecting DeAngelo Hall May Dislike Al Davis

OK, I’ll admit it: I use a small radio blaring Colin Cowherd’s radio program to keep raccoons out from underneath my house (also works with Bill O’Reilly and Latin Fusion). But every once in a while something occurs that’s worth tuning in to upstairs … thank goodness DC SPORTS BOG is listening, so I don’t have to.

DeAngelo Hall, Al Davis

Here’s Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall, discussing the prospects of having Jason Campbell as the team’s No. 1 quarterback, and most interestingly, how he feels now that he’s escaped the Oakland Raiders. To say that he rips Al Davis and the Silver and Black is an understatement.

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New Raiders Coach Takes Gentle Camp Approach

When Al Davis plucked Tom Cable out of relative obscurity and make him head coach last year, there were concerns that he wouldn’t be up for the task at hand and might be in over his head. Reading this story about his his first training camp as a head coach in the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE isn’t exactly inspiring confidence, as he’s decided to take a revolutionary approach to training camp: no contact.

New Raiders coach Tom Cable

(Tom Cable gets back to basics by telling players what a football is.)

And I don’t mean “limiting contact drills,” either. For the first four days of training camp, players are getting “back to basics” by spending two-a-days hitting the books and walking through drills designed to reinforce fundamentals. Basically, it’s training camp except without all of those nasty things like training, working out, or anything above a mild level of physical exertion.

Read more…