Could the Oakland Raiders Get Lucky and Bring Back Chucky?

Pat CowanCorrespondent IJanuary 17, 2009

"02...01...00...and the Oakland Raiders have upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-24, knocking them out of the playoff hunt..."

That turned out to be the game that decided Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen's fate in Tampa. The loss to the Raiders completed a four-game skid that eliminated the Bucs from the playoffs.

What many fail to realize is that this scenario was set in motion months before, by Jon Gruden's former boss, Al Davis.

Al Davis hired a young prodigy from USC named Lane Kiffin. He had hoped this young prodigy would be like his last one, Jon Gruden. Instead, what he got was a spoiled kid that had tantrums in the media every time he didn't get his way.

What does this have to do with Jon Gruden getting fired you say?

Kiffin led the media along with little sound bites that suggested that "The Owner's" constant meddling had sabotaged his success. He suggested that Defensive Coordinator, Rob Ryan and Al had meetings to decide how the defense was going to blow the game that week.

He also suggested that Al Davis had not provided him with the necessary talent to get the job done and that the whole team sucked.

Here's where the grappling hooks are fired, tying the Raiders' ship to the Buccaneers' ship.

After a 4-12 campaign in '07 and starting 1-3 in '08, Al Davis called a press conference and announced Lane Kiffin was fired. Unbelievably, not because of his record, but for his antics behind the mic. Now, it was "the Owner's" turn behind the mic.

"The Owner" Al Davis, laid out the time line for Lane Kiffin's firing, sighting that it all started back in January of '08 when Lane wanted to fire Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator and hire the Bucs defensive coordinator, his Dad, Monte Kiffin.

At the same time Monte Kiffin was calling Al Davis suggesting that if "he were there", this is how he would handle his snot-nosed son. Mr. Davis soon realized that this was beginning sound like a tampering charge and called Tampa's GM Bruce Allen to give him the skinny on what dear 'Ol Dad and little Lane were cooking up.

On Nov. 30, the Tennessee Volunteers announced that Lane Kiffin would be their new head coach. Lane Kiffin immediately made a statement saying he wanted his dad to coach the D. Rumors suggested that Gruden had asked Lane not to announce Monte's decision to join his son until after the season had ended.

On Nov. 30, the Bucs were 9-3 and had one of the best defenses in the league. They would lose their last four games while the defense would give up an average of 379 total yard, 194 rushing yards and 30 points a game.

Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen went down with the Bucs' ship.

Ironically, the Raiders are interviewing for a new head coach.

Ironically, they have been dragging their feet.

What are the chances that Bruce Allen and Jon Gruden are rescued from the shark-infested waters by the Raiders.

Despite what the media wants to make of it, Jon Gruden had nothing but great things to say in his book about the Raiders owner. Gruden said they shared their love of football and their will to win.

Will the same ties that were ultimately Gruden's undoing in Tampa be the "Return of Chucky" to Oakland?

That's a title that would send shivers down the AFC West's spine.

Sounds like a great name for a sequel to me.