Al Davis, Lane Kiffin, and the overhead projector

Al Davis, Lane Kiffin, and the overhead projector
September 9, 2013, 11:30 am
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Lane Kiffin went 4-12 as a rookie head coach with the Raiders in 2007, and was fired after a 1-3 start in 2008. (AP)

Lane Kiffin and the Trojans are 8-7 in their last 15 games. (AP)

Even with the Raiders losing in Indianapolis, they entered Sunday’s game knowing that somewhere, Al Davis’ overhead projector was smiling. And yes, that was a Terrelle Pryor reference AND a USC reference. And we’ll get back to Trojans after this brief word from Sunday’s pregame shows.


According to Ray Lewis, making his TV debut Sunday, a thing happened in Atlanta years ago that somehow involved him, and he learned a valuable lesson about choosing one’s companions and the value of not being bad twice. I’m sure that will satisfy people. Of course it will.

On the other hand, it did what it was designed to do – allow Lewis to say, “I’ve already covered that,” and never cover it again. Whatever it was.


And one other pregame note: It is okay for Amy Trask to stop complaining about the Civil War now. The Tuck Rule game was 11 years ago, and the Siragusa-Pancakes-Gannon game was 12 years back. Look, Ames, and we say this with all due respect, you lost at Gettysburg. The South shall not rise again. Get over it.


Back to Lane Kiffin, though. He was fired several times in Wikipedia since USC lost to Washington State, rehired by Twitter, and then fired again by sidewalk ( This will be the most consistent offense USC shows all year.


And speaking of Kiffin again, he had nothing whatsoever to do with Arkansas State’s decision to wear dark gray uniforms at Auburn while Auburn was wearing its home blue. He had nothing to do with Arkansas State being penalized 15 yards for not wearing contrasting uniforms, and he definitely did not have anything to do with Arkansas State getting penalized to start the second half for the same reason.

In fact, you cannot blame Kiffin for the way college football uniforms have become wanton acts of abstract art done by alcoholic artists, because USC’s haven’t changed a jot.

That said, it’s still his fault because, well, because it’s all his fault. And because Wikipedia and the Department of Public Works keeps saying so.


And finally on Kiffin, he still won’t be the first coach fired this year, because Texas’ Mack Brown whacked defensive coordinator Manny Diaz after BYU rushed . . . RUSHED, I tell you . . . for 550 yards against the ‘Horns Saturday.

And the obvious questions would be (a) what the protocol would be for firing a coach during a game, and (b) what if BYU had only gone for, say, 463?


The seemingly squirrelly spinout by Clint Bowyer at Richmond, and a subsequently dodgy pit by teammate Brian Vickers, that may have eliminated two rivals to Michael Waltrip Racing’s Martin Truex for the final spot in NASCAR’s Chase for Sprint Cup may not be underhanded (though wouldn’t it swell if it were?). If I’m Bowyer, though, I try very hard to avoid postrace quotes like this:

“We had a flat tire or something. It just snapped around . . . I know it's a lot of fun for you guys to write a lot of wacky things. Go ahead if you want to, get creative. But don't look too much into it.”

Yeah, that’ll chase people off the scent, especially after this from Bowyer’s radio, as detected by ESPN:

"Thirty-nine (Ryan Newman) is going to win the race," Bowyer was told over his radio.

“Is your arm starting to hurt?" crew chief Brian Pattie asked. "I bet it's hot in there. Itch it.”

He scratched. The car spun. And all of a sudden, I love racing.


And finally, compare and contrast Clay Matthews of Green Bay, Rey Maualuga of Cincinnati and Lavonte David of Tampa Bay. Don’t worry. It’ll come to you soon enough.

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