Tag Archive: Oakland Raiders

Remember the Oakland Raiders and their “Commitment to Excellence”?

The Silver and Black catch-phrase was quietly buried along with its originator, Al Davis.

Is it time, actually past time, for the Pac-12 Conference to drop its divorced-from-reality tag: “Conference of Champions”?

Consider that only 35,000 (assuming you believe the “announced” official attendance) bothered to show up for the conference football “championship” game this past November 30. The game was an absolute non-factor in deciding which four teams made the College Football Playoff (CFP).

Why would any conference commissioner hold its football championship game on a gridlocked Friday night in a pro-football Mecca, while the real Power Five conferences play their championship games on Saturday?

The literal oceans of empty seats in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara sent an unmistakable signal to the sports world: If Pac-12 fans don’t care, why should you? What ya think Pac-12 boss Larry Scott?

Weigh that only two times has the Pac-12 qualified its teams for the College Football Playoff (i.e., Oregon in 2014 and Washington in 2016) out of a potential 20 spots over five years.

In bowl games, the conference is 4-12 in the past two years: 1-8, 2017-18; 3-4 2018-19.

The last time a Pac-12 team won the national title in football: USC in 2004.

The last time a Pac-12 team won the national title in men’s basketball: Arizona in the previous century,1997.

The last time a Pac-12 team won the national title in women’s basketball: Stanford, ditto for the 20th century, 1992.

The conference is fond of championing its NCAA Director’s Cup standings as tantamount to “athletic success,” most notably Stanford, UCLA, USC, Cal and Oregon. Does anyone really care about college sports outside of the aforementioned football, men’s and women’s basketball?

Yes, Oregon State is the current champion in baseball. Oregon won its seventh track-and-field championship in 2015 … but other than piling up Director’s Cup points, do these championships really matter to the sports public?

From Love to The Embarcadero

In 2009, the Pac-12 presidents hired Larry Scott away from the women’s tennis circuit (where love means nothing) to run the conference, which was falling behind the other Power Five conferences (i.e., SEC, ACC, Big 10, Big 12).

To Scott’s credit, he took the lead in creating the Pac-12 Network. He also brought in the Denver and Salt Lake City media markets into the fold with the expansion of the 10-school contiguous state balanced conference to include non-contiguous Colorado and Utah.

The aforementioned conference championship game was added to the mix, but for some reason Scott and his lieutenants can’t seem the figure out the Levi’s Stadium dog just won’t hunt after five tries.

When was the only time the conference championship ever sold out? The first game in 2011 held at the venue of the team with the best record, Oregon’s Autzen Stadium. Why not persist in awarding the championship game to the team with the best record?

Sure beats an empty tarped stadium with an “announced” crowd of 35,134 on a Friday night.

The conference’s men’s basketball tournament is held in Las Vegas. There are zero Pac-12 teams in Nevada. Are gambling tables and shows with lots of skin, the secret to drawing fans to watch the conference’s best?

John Canzano of the struggling Portland Oregonian penned a four-piece mammoth series essentially asking if the Pac-12 is getting the bang for its buck. The conference pays Scott $4.8 million per annum and devotes $6.9 million yearly for its offices near the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco.

Pac-12 members receive $31 million annually from the conference. By contrast, SEC members receive $41 million and the Big 10 universities garner $37 million from their respective conferences.

Certainly geography is not Scott’s fault, but it still must be his concern. The majority of Pac-12 members are situated three hours west of Bristol, Connecticut, the home of ESECPN. What Almost DailyBrett does not understand is the surrender implied in “Pac-12 After Dark.”

In order to provide ESPN and Fox with late evening “sports programming” for insomniacs in the Eastern and Central time zones, our fans and teams must sometimes wait until 7:45 pm to kick-off or tip-off our games. The alternative is 11 am kickoffs, fostering 8 am tailgates. Pass the orange juice.

Hey Larry instead of the networks deciding the times of our games, let’s team with Pac-12 presidents and athletic directors in courageously insisting the majority of our games be held between 12:30 pm and 5 pm local time for our fans on Saturdays.

As for the tagline: “Conference of Champions,” let’s shelve/deep six it until Pac-12 teams once again actually win some real championships.





Leave it to Lane Kiffin to be fired from a job (Alabama offensive coordinator) that he already quit.

That’s Lame … Kiffin.kiffinsaban

As a result, Kiffin won’t be on the sideline tomorrow for the biggest college football game in America as the Crimson Tide defends its national title in a rematch with Clemson in the “Natty.” His failed USC successor Steve “Moonshine” Sarkisian will be calling the plays for Alabama.

Who will ESECPN’s Kirk Herbstreit gush about for three-plus hours without Kiffin huddling behind his little laminated card? If you took a gulp of beer every time Herbstreit heaped fawning praise on Kiffin during last year’s Natty, you would have been smashed by the second quarter.

It seems as if a little dark rain cloud follows Lane’s every step of his rocky career. With Kiffin, there is an abundance of football talent, and yet a gaping deficit in personal public relations.firelanekiffin

Consider that Kiffin was shown the door by the Oakland Raiders, publicly called a liar by the late Al Davis. He skipped out on the Tennessee Volunteers after one season, leaving the school, team and coach staff in the lurch. He was fired in the LAX parking lot at 2:30 am by then-USC Athletic Director Pat Haden when too much became too much.

And now by “mutual” consent with legendary Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban, Kiffin will not be the offensive coordinator for the best team in the land in the biggest game of the year.

If you are keeping score at home, here are the raw numbers for Kiffin’s another-chance-after-another-chance career: Oakland, 5-15; Tennessee, 7-6; USC, 28-15 for a grand total of 40 wins and 36 losses. Give Kiffin credit: He has turned mediocrity into a lucrative (read millions) art form.

And now he is the incoming head coach of the … (drum roll) … Florida Atlantic University Owls (2016: 3-9) of Conference USA. You have to wonder if the administration at FAU is so desperate that it would reach out to such a tarnished commodity behind a laminated clipboard. How long will it take before Kiffin embarrasses FAU? Three years? Almost DailyBrett will take the “under.”

The above question implies that Kiffin will actually spend three years at FAU. Considering Kiffin’s track record, three years is most likely a stretch.kiffinbillboard

How does Lane Kiffin keeping failing only to be given new life time-and-time again? It’s akin to giving Anthony Weiner access to Twitter once again. The result is not going to be pretty.

It would be hard for Almost DailyBrett to make up all of these transgressions: Airport parking lot termination, locker room fights, banned reporters, deflated footballs, missed dinners, departed team buses, jersey changing incidents, recruiting decommits, the hoodie, the sun glasses, even the petty precluding of visiting teams merely walking through the LA Mausoleum before games.kiffinshades

When the Crimson Tide’s Nick Saban hired Kiffin as his offensive coordinator three years ago, didn’t you know the Great State of Alabama was not big enough to hold both of their legendary egos and related arrogance at the same time?

The public explanation for Kiffin’s latest dismissal is that he was not devoting the time and effort necessary for a team preparing for the Natty. Kiffin was also hiring his FAU staff and recruiting players for the Boca Raton-based school.kiffinhoodie

Something tells Almost DailyBrett that Kiffin was garnering way too much attention (i.e., Herbstreit on ESECPN, Gary Danielson on CBS) and taking too much credit away from Saban. If Alabama wins Monday, he will tie the immortal Paul “Bear” Bryant with a record six national championships.

Somebody needed to go, and it was the one who was already going.

What’s curious is after one former failed USC coach being dismissed as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, Saban is now relaying on another former failed USC coach.

If Steve Sarkisian learned anything from the legendary mistakes of Lane Kiffin, it’s good to humble and to allow the boss to receive the lion’s share of the Crimson Tide glory.











If the Integrated Circuit, the PC or the Internet (take your pick) served as the invention that defined the 20th Century, then is it fair to speculate that the security screening metal detector will be the machine that characterizes life in the 21st Century?

This disturbing notion comes to mind with the approaching 10th anniversary of the September 11 Al-Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and with my new record with the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) this morning at the Burbank (CA) Airport.


Never before in my personal recorded history has my carry-on bag ever made it through the metal detector three times to be followed by a thorough hand search. My football binoculars were even treated to a fourth trip through the metal detector and a chemical analysis. Gee, I never contemplated that my bag, my binoculars or even little ole me would be suspected to be a clear-and-present danger to the survival of the Republic for which it stands.

For the people who know me, it is no surprise where I come down on the let’s protect America/end global terrorism vs. the personal liberties divide. I am definitely in the camp of the former. Having said that, I am becoming increasingly concerned about the possible onslaught of security screening metal detectors as airports and government buildings may only be just the start.

A friend just returned from Jerusalem and told the story about having to pass through a metal detector check-point to enter a supermarket. Even though I was shocked to hear this news accompanying a mundane excursion in the Holy Land, it does make sense because of the incredibly strong religious-fueled emotions in this particular city and eternal problem-child region.

Could we be facing a litany of metal detectors to visit domestic “soft targets,” such as our stadiums, arenas, hospitals, malls, schools, universities and even the local Safeway? I fear this scenario is not as far-fetched as it seems. Who would have envisioned just 10 years ago the tyrannical TSA exercising Third Reichish dominance over our airports, putting out carry-ons, binoculars and our body cavities under their tender mercies?

What gives me the most angst about this potential society-wide 1984 metal detector nightmare is that the real culprit may not be exclusively global terrorists, but our own loss of civility. Two weeks ago, we were all treated via YouTube to video-after-video of the dozen or so fights in the stands and parking lot of Candlestick (one person was shot, two were beaten to unconsciousness and at least 12 were arrested) at a pre-season between the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders. That’s right, this game had absolutely no bearing on the season standings and yet…mindless barbarism.

Has anybody ever heard of “Magnanimous in Victory; Gracious in Defeat” whether the game courts or not? https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/magnanimous-in-victory-gracious-in-defeat/

We have seen stately oak trees poisoned in Auburn, Alabama by a sicko Alabama fan; a San Francisco Giants fan critically injured in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium and of course, there were the 1999 Columbine shootings. What I really fear — and I becoming increasingly convinced this day is coming sooner as opposed to later — is a prominent coach, player, cheerleader, band member or just a fan being shot in a stadium. The sin? Wearing the colors of/rooting for the hated opponent. We all instinctively know there are intoxicated fans, carrying weapons in the parking lots and into the stands. And yet, I don’t want to see metal detectors at stadiums. Room-temperature IQ security goons checking for bottles and cans is tolerable, but not those machines.

Think of it this way if you don’t like the notion of granny going through the nth-degree at airports, then how will you like it when she has to endure the same treatment just to make a routine trip to the store for milk and eggs? Will we be at least partially responsible for this new state of affairs?

Hopefully, everyone can understand if the TSA is a little jumpier than normal this week with the days ticking down to the 10th anniversary of that simply awful day. Regardless of the ultimate demise of Osama bin Laden, we need remain vigilant in the face of a lot of other bad people plotting against our way of life. At the same time, we have to face up to our responsibility when it comes to the decline of civility in society. “Compromise” is not a bad word, but it applies to all parties in a disagreement or outright dispute…not just the other side.

The consequences for increasing societal Balkanization are not the responsibility of someone else, but each-and-every one of us. Sorry if this reads like I am standing on my own little soapbox. I am just having sweeping visions about ubiquitous metal detectors being a prominent and permanent feature of our daily lives.

We always have the option of locking out doors, drawing our blinds and making our world smaller and smaller as the sands of time count down the last days of our lives.

I dearly hope I am wrong about a future Metal-Detector Society. I fear that I am right.









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