Maybe it was indigestion, maybe it was falling asleep on the couch with the TV on, but I awoke last night in a cold sweat, I had a vision of the future of the Raiders. Not long term, but just what the next move would be.
I tried to shake it as I stumbled up the stairs, but as I brushed my teeth and changed for bed it became clearer. This vision was starting to make sense to me. As I lay my head on the pillow I fought the thoughts running through my head, hoping that sleep would come and erase them from my mind.
Sleep did come; the thoughts were erased from my mind. After the alarm rudely awakened me, I stumbled in the dark and made my way to the shower. As the warm water washed my face, the vision returned. It was like a waking nightmare.
The Raiders moves to this point had befuddled me. Tommy Kelly getting a big time deal I had been able to justify. Sure he had only shown flashes, but he plays a position that gets paid. Bringing in Wilson at Safety, well it should allow Huff to play more free, but once again, Wilson was a flash guy.
Then you start to look at the subsequent deals. Harris has been nothing but a tease. He seemingly has all the physical tools, but never has put them together on the field. Walker has teased through two outstanding years with nothing but discord and injury surrounding them. Hall teases with his talk of big games, and occasional big plays.
The key here is that they all tease; flashes of brilliance but in the end, none of them deliver on the promises. Suddenly the vision was making too much sense. It was all becoming all too real to me. As I made my breakfast the bottle of Jack on the shelf was looking way too tempting at 7am on a workday.
The rumors of turmoil on the coaching staff ran through my mind as I drove to work. Al wanted Kiffen out. Kiffen wasn’t leaving. My mind clicked over to a call I heard on Sirius radio the other day. A caller reported that he had heard that there was an out in Kiffens contract coming up. That Al had only to wait until after the draft to let him loose, and then would owe Kiffen no more money.
I initially had dismissed this call. If there had been such a report I’m sure that I would have read it or heard it from a more reputable source than a random afternoon caller. The caller claimed that Kiffen had no input on the hiring of Lofton, but that report had been quickly squashed. Kiffen had run the interview, turning over contract matters to Al, as it should be.
Now all these factors were screaming in my head, they all had lead to this demon vision that I couldn’t shake. James Lofton, one tease after another brought in as players, discord between Kiffen, Al and Ryan. Who has worked with Lofton before, who has a history of being the biggest cock-tease of a coach to ever run an NFL franchise?
That right, my vision had been Marty standing on the sidelines wearing silver and black. The vision’s return had me scrambling to keep my truck on the road. “God damn it, its too much before my morning coffee”, I thought to myself.
I tend to ignore rumors; I prefer to wait for facts before I come to any judgment. The whole Al vs. Kiffen thing I had dismissed as the media reaching for anything to write about a franchise that gives them no access. But the subsequent moves of the franchise had my brain working overtime. Rumors piled upon rumors. Could two desperate men really put years of hatred behind them for one last run at glory.
Could Al’s desperation for one last ring before riding into the sunset really lead him to jettison yet another promising young coach for a retread who had delivered nothing but empty promises. Could Marty’s desperation to coach one last time lead him to the franchise that he has despised above all others all these years.
I put little stock into rumors, I put even less into those who claim to have visions, I’m no prophet, I’m sure there is nothing to it. That said, this morning I can’t escape the thoughts in my head. Marty Schottenheimer, head coach Oakland Raiders, I need to start keeping a bottle of Jack here in my desk.