Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable has been very much under fire lately.
One for the team’s Jekyll and Hyde performances, and another for allegations made against him of physical violence towards partners and employees.
Many commentators, columnists, and sportswriters have called for him to be sacked or suspended as a result of these allegations. Many fans have called for his head after Oakland’s 2-6 record at midseason.
But are these calls and criticisms fair?
To deal with the coaching issue first.
While Tom Cable hasn't covered himself in glory this season, there is an argument to say that if the Raiders had even an average quarterback, they would be 4-4 right now, and still in the hunt for a playoff spot.
Tom Cable would not be the first or the last coach to lose his job by standing by a quarterback who is struggling, and there is a strong argument to say that JaMarcus Russell is the problem, not Cable.
Russell is an overweight underachiever, with a poor work ethic, poor on-field vision, and a strangely positive slant on his own performances.
Of course, it may be Al Davis who is keeping Russell on the field, not Cable. But we will never know.
As for the allegations of violence and anger management issues against Cable, at this point in time, he stands innocent of any criminal offence. The NAPA D.A. declined to prosecute Cable in the Randy Hanson matter, and cleared him of assaulting the former Raider employee, citing that Hanson’s evidence was not consistent with that of other witnesses at the scene.
Hanson also declined to press charges until the Raiders told him that he would not be financially compensated, and was not found to be a credible witness.
In regard to Cable’s ex girlfriend, Marie Lutz, this alleged assault happened when she came around to his house and found out that there was another woman there. Neighbors stated that they heard Ms. Lutz shouting and screaming. Cable is alleged to have grabbed her by the elbow and thrown her out.
His actions in the circumstances do not appear unreasonable, and the police department certainly agreed. He cooperated fully with the investigation, and was cleared of any wrong doing.
Hell hath no fury?
This "Outside the Lines" interview was also put together by ESPN, the Raider haters, and Cable was not afforded the chance to respond. Who can forget their shameful treatment of Darrius Heyward Bey by Chris Carter and Tom Jackson? ESPN are disgracefully biased against Oakland.
One of his ex-wives wrote a letter in support of Cable, saying she had never experienced violence at his hands in 17 years.
Cable did however, make a clear admission to striking the other with an open hand after he found out she had committed adultery.
Violence against women can never be justified, and is repulsive in every way. But, this was an incident 20 years ago, and wrong or not, it should not be allowed to impact on Cable’s life and career now.
I say again, Tom Cable has never been charged or convicted of any criminal offence .
So let’s no start a witch hunt, or allow Terry O'Neill from NOW to do so.