Indie Sport

Beleaguered Oakland Raiders Coach Lane Kiffin finally went public about his recent contretemps with team owner Al Davis during a Q&A in Palm Beach, Florida yesterday. In attendance were members of the Mexican press corps, who are covering off-season events as part of an ongoing civic effort to support Mexico City's desire to land an NFL franchise.

Our Indie Sport correspondent in Guadalajara has obtained a copy of this morning's issue of the Mexican daily, La Verdad, whose translation of Kiffin's remarks makes it clear how much our great neighbors to the south still need to learn before they are NFL-ready:

Q. Coach, what's it like working for Al Davis?

A. "I need a sip of water."

La Verdad: "I have a drinking problem. Okay?"

Q. What about Davis' involvement with the team?

A. "It's very unique. He's an owner who's very hands-on, prides himself on his knowledge of football."

La Verdad: "He's an insufferable, interfering megalomaniac with grandiose delusions."

Q. The last several Raiders coaches have not lasted long. Do you feel threatened?

A."It's not the easiest job. I know people have left because of that. Al is very demanding. At the same time, he is someone who has done a lot of things in this league -- coach, (AFL) commissioner, owner -- and has a lot of knowledge."

La Verdad: "I hate this job. I'm just biding my time for a better gig. Al is a narcissist who sucks up my time with his constant need to be the center of attention. He's a relic who the game has passed by. He hasn't had an original idea since Daryle Lamonica was here."

Q. What about Davis' decision to retain defensive coordinator Rob Ryan?

A. "At the end of the season, Rob and I had a meeting and Rob felt it was in his best interest to go somewhere else. I met with the owner and expressed that with Al, we talked about a lot of things and a lot of different scenarios that could come up, and Al decided to stay with Rob. Rob has one year left on his contract. I've always had a strong and very good relationship with Rob."

La Verdad: "Rob can't stand Davis either. I threatened to trim Al's pompadour if he dumped Rob and he caved in. We're both out of here next year."

Q. What did you take away from last year?

A. "Nobody was happy with 4-12, but it was a very valuable year for me and our staff to learn more about the team and see what we had. All that information helps for the future."

La Verdad: "We sucked, we will continue to suck, and Al Davis sucks. All that information helps for the future."

Q. "Thanks, Coach."

A. "No problem."

La Verdad: "Did I mention that I have a drinking problem?"

Indie Sport


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