Just a few days ago, the NFL underwent an Uncertain Sunday -- not only because of two conference championship outcomes to be decided, but also with the news originating in Pittsburgh that the "defending Super Bowl champions" (we get to use that term for another week-plus) were not officially squared away on whether their new head coach was Mike Tomlin or Russ Grimm.
The issue became crystal clear yesterday once we saw the press conference where Tomlin was outfitted in his black suit, white dress shirt and bright yellow necktie.
It was then that we realized that a person should be judged by the content of his character and not by the color of his tie.
In the days ahead, Tomlin will re-configure the assistant coaches he'll retain from Cowher Power's staff (it's already official that Tomlin is going to keep Dick LeBeau as D-coordinator while receivers coach Bruce Arians will ascend to the O-coordinator post) with the new talent he'll import.
Grimm is gone, it seems ... headed for the Arizona desert to be w/ Whiz as they begin blueprinting the Cardinals' '07 thru '09 seasons of 7-9, 9-7 and 7-9.
On paper, Mike Tomlin has an easier job than Ken Whisenhunt. And, given the track record of the Rooney Family, the selection of Tomlin is one worth endorsing.
The Rooneys wouldn't lead us astray, would they?
"The Chief" would chomp on his stogie and give a big thumbs-up to this hire, wouldn't he?
Funny ... on the opposite side of the NFL continent, there's a Big Kahuna who was unofficially declared brain-dead even before Art Rooney passed away in Aug. '88.
That's right ... "Just Win, Baby" hasn't won a Super Bowl since The Chief died, but that doesn't stop AL-zheimer's Davis from stirrin' up trouble 'round OakTown.
Whereas Tomlin -- whom Deadspin accurately depicted as maybe/maybe not the long-lost twin of actor Omar Epps of "House" (the TV show we don't watch around here because Hugh Laurie uses his walking cane ON THE WRONG SIDE) -- is the third Steelers coach in the past 38 years, the Raiders' new on-field boss, Lame Kiffin, is the team's fifth in the past seven years.
It's another bold stroke of genius for Grandpa Al and his powerless (token?) chick chief executive, Amy Trask.
Some of the sound bytes eminating from OakTown have been classic. Ironically, The Sporting News put Al's face (with unflattering wisps of hair out of place) on the cover of the Jan. 22 edition. In that cover story, as well as when AL-zheimer's spoke up at the "Meet The Lame Brain," the Silver & Black are trying damn hard to remind America that the Raiders were AFC West champions in '00, '01 and '02 and that they were one Tuck Rule away from playing in three consecutive AFC Championship Games.
Rather than rehash how, back in the '00/'01 championship, the Raiders got WORKED by the Ravens in the Network Associates Coliseum (and by getting us to look beyond what Gruden did to his old team in the '03 Super Bowl), we're going to spin it positive with Al & Amy.
It just so happens that the transcripts of the Lame Kiffin interview follow, word for word, the dialogue from that scene in "The Enforcer."
It's 100 percent reliable and completely relatable.
MS. GRAY (from the Mayor's staff): "His Honor intends to broaden the areas of participation for women in the police force."
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "Well, that sounds very stylish."
MS. GRAY: "I think he also said something about winnowing the Neanderthals out of the department."
LT. DOBBS: "Well I'd guess we'd better get on with it. Next applicant."
(In walks Lame Kiffin)
LT. DOBBS: "As you know, this is the final stage in your examination. It's a rather informal test in which we get to try to get some line on your ability to think on your feet, your reaction to stress and pressure, your ability to apply the law in a hypothetical situation and so on, okay?"
LAME KIFFIN: "Yes, sir."
LT. DOBBS: "How long have you been on the force?"
LAME KIFFIN: "Nine years."
KRAUSE: "What department?"
LAME KIFFIN: "Mainly Personnel & Records."
KRAUSE: "Personnel & Records, huh?"
LAME KIFFIN (proudly): "Yes, sir."
KRAUSE (looking down the table to his right): "Harry?"
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN (disinterested at the end of the table, he drops his pencil and looks up): "Huh?"
LT. DOBBS: "Have you any questions for the applicant?"
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "Questions, hmmmm ... how fast do you run the hundred?"
LT. DOBBS: "Come on, Callahan! You know how this board functions."
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "All right ... sorry." (He rises from his chair, takes a few steps, leans against the wall and addresses the applicant) "You know that if you make Inspector under the mayor's new guidelines that you just might be riding in a police car?"
LAME KIFFIN (eagerly): "Yes, sir. That's what I'm hoping for."
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "Well, Officer Kiffin ... maybe you'll tell us all about your most important felony arrest."
LAME KIFFIN (somewhat hesistant): "I've never made a felony arrest."
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "Well, maybe you'll tell us about your best misdemeanor arrest."
LAME KIFFIN: "I've never made a misdemeanor arrest, either." (Looks sheepishly downward)
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN (with eyes widening from a squint and with mouth forming a snarl): "Then what the hell gives you the right to become an Inspector when there's men who've been out there on the streets for 10 or 15 years?"
MS. GRAY: "The woman's place is in the home, is that what you're trying to say?"
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN (addressing Ms. Gray as he walks toward the applicant): "What do you think this is, some kind of encounter group?" (He then uses his thumb and index finger to mimic a gun which he points at the applicant as he looks at Ms. Gray) "I wanna know what Officer Kiffin is going to do when someone points a gun at him and says, 'Hit the deck, you son of a bitch!' "
MS. GRAY: "You're deliberately trying to fail this candidate, aren't you, Callahan?"
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "If he fails out there, he gets his ass blown off."
LAME KIFFIN: "It's MY ass!"
(Inspector Callahan turns quickly to the applicant and offers a steely glare)
LAME KIFFIN (apologetically): "... and, uh ... my hard luck."
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "Except that, out there, you're going to have a partner. And, if you get blown away, he gets blown away with you. And, that's a helluva price to pay for being stylish."
LT. DOBBS: "Are you finished with the questioning, Callahan?"
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN (after returning to his seat and softening his tone): "Hypothetical situation, huh? All right .. I'm standing on a street corner and Mrs. Gray there comes up and propositions me ... that if I come home with her, for five bucks, she'll put on an exhibition with a Shetland pony."
(The applicant smiles sheepishly, tries to keep a straight face ... Krause tries to conceal his smile with his hand ...)
MS. GRAY (disgustedly): "Is this you idea of humor, Inspector?"
LT. DOBBS: "All right, what are you trying to do here, Callahan?"
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "I'm just trying to find out if anybody in this room knows what the hell law is being broken besides 'cruelty to animals.' "
LAME KIFFIN: "That's a conspiracy under Title 7, Section 182, Part 1 of the California State Penal Code ..."
(Inpector Callahan directs a surprised look at the applicant ... )
LAME KIFFIN: "... a conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor is, in fact, a felony and, according to People vs. Bashor 1965, that's ..."
LT. DOBBS: "Yes, that's right. Good answer. Thank you, Officer Moore. You'll be notified of your grade."
Wait ... who's Officer Moore?
And, are we to assume that Lame Kiffin got the job because his familiarity with Title 7, Section 182, Part 1 of the California State Penal Code scored him brownie points with Grandpa Al?
The Raiders once had a "Bill Callahan," but they need a stronger blend of Callahan nowadays.
For example, at his introductory press conference, America heard Lame Kiffin use the words "explosive" and "powerful" to describe what will be the Raiders' new offense.
Then, Lame Brain went all lame and said, "We will play happy and we will play hard ..."
Honestly ... is there anything in Title 7, Section 182, Part 1 of the California State Penal Code which covers "happy" and "hard"?
It's hard to swallow that one of the wins in the Raiders' 2-14 train-wreck season was that 20-13 victory over the Steelers.
That was horrific.
But, maybe, in time, Lame Kiffin will put down his G.I. Joe and his Lego's and put some pride n' poise back into the so-called "Commitment to Excellence."
When that day comes, it'll look a lot like that scene from "Magnum Force."
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "You heroes have killed a dozen people this week. What do you plan to do next week?"
OFCR. DAVIS (flatly): "Kill a dozen more."
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INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "Your gun's out of its holster, Briggs. First time?"
Let's nobody "jump the gun here." While it is true that if Lame Kiffin's last name was "Kotite," he'd be spending the autumn of '07 licking the boots of Coach Carroll and Steve Sarkisian.
As it stands, Lame Kiffin needs to assemble a coaching staff.
With Al & Amy holding his hand.
In OakTown, there's gotta be a line forming with applicants ranging from waitresses to guys who work in the appliance dept. at Sears ... to forest rangers and P.E. teachers ... to that cute chick who works at Cinnabon.
And, say ... where's that offensive coordinator who was running the B&B?
Time to go back to the interview which laid the foundation for all interviews which followed:
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "You from around here?"
OFCR. GONZALEZ: "Yeah. I went to school at San Jose State."
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "Play ball?"
OFCR. GONZALEZ: "No, I boxed. Light-heavy."
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "Just what I need, it's a college boy."
OFCR. GONZALEZ: "You haven't found one thing you like about me yet, have you?"
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "Well, it's early yet." (pause) "Get your degree?"
OFCR. GONZALEZ: "Sociology."
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "Sociology? Oh, you'll go far. That is, if you live."
OFCR. GONZALEZ: "I intend to."
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "Just don't let you college degree get ya killed, 'cuz I'm likely to get killed with you."
OFCR. GONZALEZ: "There is one question, Inspector Callahan. Why do they call you 'Dirty Harry'?"
FRANK DiGIORGIO (butting in): "That's one thing about our Harry ... he doesn't play any favorites. Harry hates everybody. Limeys, micks, Heebs, fat degos, niggers, honkeys, Chinks, you name it ..."
OFCR. GONZALEZ: "How does he feel about Mexicans?"
DiGIORGIO: "Ask him."
INSPECTOR CALLAHAN: "Especially spicks." (smiles slightly, winks at DiGeorgio)
It was nice to work our way backwards from "The Enforcer" to "Magnum Force" to "Dirty Harry," the original masterpiece of machismo and testosterone.
Nowadays, all they give the aspiring Lame Kiffins is dirty, bleak, forgettable films with throwaway lines ... movies such as "Fight Club" and "Saw," "Saw II" and "Saw III."
What's that gonna learn ya?
"The First Rule of Fight Club ... 'Do not talk about the '03 Raiders.'
"The Second Rule of Fight Club ... 'Do not talk about the '04 Raiders.'
"The Third Rule of Fight Club ... 'Do not talk about the '05 Raiders.'
"The Fourth Rule of Fight Club ... 'Do not talk about the '06 Raiders.'
"The Fifth Rule of Fight Club ... 'Please talk about the '00 Raiders, the '01 Raiders and the '02 Raiders.'
"The Sixth Rule of Fight Club ... 'When talking about the '02 Raiders, talk about Baskin-Robbins' 31 flavors, not about the mental health of Barret Robbins ..."
Oh ... and the actor who played Frank DiGiorgio was in all three Dirty Harry epics.
Lame Kiffin's goin' out the way that Frank did, sad to say ...