Somewhere between Randy Hanson’s shattered jaw and the countless speculations that dot the blogosphere, is the truth about what happened at the Napa Marriott nearly two weeks ago.
Unfortunately, we’ll never know.
To the surprise of none, Tom Cable denied ever punching his defensive assistant. Now the lines have been drawn. On one side stands Nancy Gay and on the other is Adam Schefter. Gay penned the initial piece that fingered Cable as the man responsible for Hanson’s inadvertent impersonation of Glass Joe. Schefter corroborated Cable’s story stating that this was nothing more than a heated discussion.
What we don’t know is which side of the line Al Davis stands on relative to where his head coach is situated. Hanson was one of Al’s guys when the festering drama of Lane Kiffin’s job status was all the rage in Oakland one year ago. Davis defended Hanson when he was suspended by Kiffin for his comments about the game plan that led to a 41-14 loss to Denver on opening night. Now that Cable has forced the hand of Davis, the speculation begins.
Raider executive John Herrera told the press that the situation is a matter that will be handled internally.
When one hears that the Raiders will handle the matter themselves, images of Al Davis, Tom Cable, Randy Hanson and a fifth of scotch come to mind. The scotch summit will not be televised or publicized in any matter that could be confused with the beer summit.
In the end, all we’ve got is another brick in the wall of dysfunction being erected in the East Bay.
Or do we?
Almost any other team in the league would have a difficult time dealing with the media swarm that attracts to this story. For the Raider organization, it is but a walk in the park.
While writers raced to their laptops, the Oakland Raiders had taken to the practice field, cheering in jubilation, “Cable Bumaye!”
Yes, this is true. And if the players were supposed to be fractured and amiss then they must have missed that memo. As the chants that once greeted Muhammad Ali in Zaire flooded the practice field, a sense of lightheartedness about the whole ordeal came into focus.
Maybe this is just another sign of the impending doom that hovers around Oakland like a cheap suit on the body of Craig Sager. Perhaps the players are just dancing to the apocalypse.
All we know is that there was a heated discussion and one coach was sent to the hospital where a police report was filed.
It is very possible that all of this is being blown out of proportion. Things happen in life. Not all is as it seems even if it is reported by Mike Florio. Sometimes accidents happen at the wrong time. Evander Holyfield got his ear stuck in Mike Tyson’s teeth once. Bill Belichick forgot to turn off his camcorder several times. Ted Haggard forgot he was straight on multiple occasions.
Did Cable punch Hanson? I’m inclined to believe Cable on this one. However, there was a scuffle of some sort. This does not mean a punch was thrown. Maybe there was a shove that led to the mishap. Who knows?
All we know is that one man’s jaw was broken and a police report was filed. Over active imaginations will run like Forrest Gump on meth. Old school organizations will chalk it up to the rigors of training camp and will drown the story in happy hour drink specials.
No matter the case, the players are behind their coach. So much so, that they chant his name in humorous delight.
With regards to punchgate, the only question that matters relates to the owner and face of the franchise, Al Davis. Depending on where he comes out on this whole matter will determine which direction this season will turn. Should Mr. Davis stick to his guns and side with Hanson, you can expect another year of turmoil. Should Al allow Cable to continue to run the ship his way, you can expect a drastic improvement in morale and on-field performance.
Of course, Mr. Davis will have the final say on Cable’s employment but it is Roger Goodell who could throw the rule book at Davis.
Did Cable throw Hanson out of his chair when he got too familiar with John Marshall?
We’ll never know and that is exactly the way that Al Davis wants this situation to be remembered.
We know where the players stand. They’re behind their coach singing his praises.
Where does Al Davis stand?
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