Not a plumber, nor an electrician—a cable guy. The Cable Guy.
Tom Cable begins his regime as head of what he feels is a storied franchise with a smile on his face. And that is exactly why he is perfect for the job.
"This is a dream come true," says the offensive lines coach turned interim head coach turned head coach. Those words are echoed by anyone associated with the Oakland organization.
A coach who is tickled pink to be there, but of greater significance: a coach who is proud to be there. Raider Nation couldn't ask for more.
This is a team that has not had more than five wins since 2002. Pierce Brosnan was still James Bond, the Dixie Chicks were still country, and the majority of America still liked George Walker Bush.
Seventy-two months later, when facing a head-coaching vacancy, the Al Davis administration had the following as candidates: Winston Moss, Kevin Gilbride, and Cable.
Moss is the inside linebackers coach for a Green Bay Packers team that was 26th against the run. Positives? He was the only major defensive assistant to not get fired.
Gilbride is the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants, and less than a month ago faced the type of fury that only Hell and New Yorkers hath. Players bashed him. Fans bashed him. And Davis interviewed him to lead the Oakland Raiders.
He parallels the Raiders to the Yankees and the Celtics. Except when Boston and New York have a head coaching vacancy, their candidate list doesn't read like a cancelling season ticket holder's complaint list.
The pickings were slim. In the mix were not offensive masterminds or hard nosed legends. Which is why the key trait possessed by Cable makes him a perfect fit.
He wants more than anything to coach Oakland. He wants more than anything to resurrect Oakland.
As Cable most eloquently and directly states when responding to a reporter questioning why he feels it is the Raiders' time now. "You ask me why? It's because I believe in this team."
No virtue is more perfect for a head coach. And despite all the criticism, this is one thing that Al Davis clearly succeeded in finding, recognizing, and acquiring.
Says the owner: "He was steadfast in his belief in the Raiders, steadfast in his passion."
Passion. It's what makes love and hedonism go round. And hopefully for every man ever to don a Darth Vader mask and spiked shoulder pads, also the Oakland Raiders.
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