The NFL Should Assume Some Control of the Oakland Raiders

Chaz MattsonAnalyst IOctober 1, 2008

With all of the recent activity in America leading up to the Presidential Election in November, the news has shown much prognostication, exaggeration, and political battling over the bailout.  Regardless of who you vote for, only real change will fix the economy and will make collecting unemployment a simple yes or no question.  Are you employed check “YES” or “NO”, that’s it.  If employers are truly paying into the system, that is probably the fastest way to fix the economy.  The more “YES” votes received for an employer, the more they have to pay into the system, and ultimately their former employees are taken care of and hence the by product is less room for layoffs in America.  Yes you see it’s about taking responsibility and being held accountable, truly accountable.  It’s just insight and suggestion, but if it’s possible to fix the economy and unemployment, just think, it would be possible to fix the Oakland Raiders once and for all. 

With the advent of Al Davis’ actions and the issues regarding the fall-out in Raider Nation it has become more evident in the sports world that another heated battle is possibly on the horizon.  Most immediately on the micro scale it is time for the NFL to start monitoring itself better than it has and finally treat ownership groups the same way they do when players screw-up.  On the macro scale it is time for a form of “fan legislation” to be enacted that will hold professional teams accountable for the integrity of the product they put on the stadium or arena floor.  Should they be found liable, they would have to face steep fines that would virtually ensure that each team takes care of business in an ethical manner. 

At some point in time enough is enough with the players and it should be mandated among the teams as well through a private voting process.  In the Oakland Raiders there is a renegade franchise that is messing with the integrity of professional football.  Most private corporations like that either sink or get majorly fined and the Raiders should be treated accordingly.  It’s important to understand that Al Davis wanted Lane Kiffin fired a long time before he was actually terminated yesterday. 

One thing Lane Kiffin may have done to ensure his termination was to have his kicker Sebastian Janikowski attempt a 76 yard field goal.  Lane has stated that he was not trying to get fired, however it is obvious Al Davis was trying to build a case against Lane and the long field goal attempt didn’t help Kiffins cause.  In fact during the press conference, Al Davis stated that he “wanted it to workout”, that he believed Kiffin had not acted in good faith and was highly critical of the organization and was ironically enough, being released based on “cause” and fractured relationships with other coaches.  That is why he says he was terminating Lane Kiffin.   Moreover Davis called Kiffin “a flat out liar”.

Kiffin was later interviewed about the press conference and stated his family are hurt by Davis’ accusations and he felt embarrassed for Al Davis.

Given the empirical data from this case, it’s time for some form of fan legislation to protect the integrity of the games, whatever the games may be.  Besides Al Davis, the NBA recently just gave a slap on the wrist to a now former referee who was caught fixing games.  With so many variables in play, it’s a daunting task; however it is paramount that the integrity of the games be protected for everyone’s sake.  While the Raiders have a unique following and are either loved or hated, this just isn’t good for the league having Al Davis be the voice of the owners.  If ever there were cause it probably would be found against Al Davis and the way he goes through coaches like butter on a hot day.

Al Davis ended his press conference almost defiantly stating, “We’ll get back.  We’ll be back.  The Raiders will be back. That’s uh…  I have unshakeable confidence, the will to win, and I just know the fire that burns brightest in this building is the will to win and we will win.  We will win.”

It’s hard to take Al Davis seriously, which translates into, it’s hard to take the organization seriously.  It’s bad enough it’s a rouge agent, Al Davis refuses to pay his former coaches, breaching contract terms.  The dilemma is that the Raiders franchise is a fractional part of the greatest sports league on planet earth.  How could that be?  Say it isn’t so.  One thing stands clear, Al Davis needs help and the sports fans in this country need a different sort of help to keep the integrity of the games at the top of this list.  With regard to this case, it might just be time for the Raiders to have some control of their organization taken over by the league until a new ownership group can be found.  While the NFL may have been patient in waiting this situation out, it’s obvious that approach continues to haunt the league and will until there is resolution with the Raiders.