The ghost of Lane Kiffin is hovering above the AFC West.
Unbeknownst to Al Davis, Kiffin had a witch doctor implant his soul in the Raiders’ overhead projector. When Davis wheeled out the archaic device for his press conference, he unknowingly released the “Curse of Kiffin” on the AFC West.
Luckily for Raider fans, we have exorcised the curse by defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the end of the 2008 season. The win in Tampa not only sent Chucky packing, but was also the final hurrah for Monte Kiffin’s NFL tenure. Thus, Al Davis had a hand in removing the Kiffin family from professional football.
The “Curse of Kiffin” entails a hot shot, punk of a coach who strolls in off the street and attempts to reinvent the wheel.
When the Chiefs hired Todd Haley they assumed they were getting a hot coaching prospect with the fire of Mike Ditka burning in his belly. Instead, Haley looks more the part of a blowhard coordinator turned overwhelmed head coach ala Mike Martz.
Haley was in the right place at the right time. He, like Martz, hit the Kurt Warner lottery and rode the bible thumping TD thrower to the big game. Let’s just say that Haley wasn’t thought to be an offensive genius when Matt Leinart was drinking from beer bongs and plugging Paris Hilton. But once Touchdown Jesus took over the starting job full-time – during a contract year no less – Todd Haley miraculously became a coaching commodity.
The healing powers of Kurt Warner are real, but the curse is stronger.
Haley inherited a franchise that hasn’t seen a playoff win since 1994. So Todd’s first order of business was to trade for a quarterback who, before 2008, had not started a game since he was the last kid picked in a shirts and skins game in 1994.
Matt Cassel balled in 2008 – a contract year no less – but he’s not playing for the Pats anymore. Matty Cass is used to holding hands with his teammates, skipping in unison to the whistles of Belichick as he takes to the field on Sundays.
Things are a little different in KC, Matty C. You’re going to have to spend Saturday nights keeping one eye on Larry Johnson at the club and your Sundays will start with dragging your Hall of Fame tight end, kicking and screaming, onto the field. Not a good sign when you’re the new shot caller in town and upon your arrival the best two players on your team both want to skip town. Dial Baron Davis for advice on this matter, his time as a Clipper might give you a few clues.
The Curse of Kiffin is not isolated to the Chief franchise. The Broncos are in the middle of the cruel Kiffin death sentence as well.
For some reason the Bronco brass assumed that a 32-year old punk knew more about football than a Raider killer of a coach with two Super Bowl rings.
Mike Shanahan was shown the exit and Josh McDaniels was given the keys. So far, the results have been a page from the script of a daytime soap opera.
The good news for the rest of us is that Josh McDaniels is looking like he’s got the Millen touch.
The all too public feud between Pro Bowl QB Jay Cutler and McD is making for better drama than the Bachelor finale. I really want ABC to get McDaniels and Culter to have a sit down on primetime. Just when Cutler is about to burst into tears, they could have Matt Cassel come out and throw his arm around McDaniels.
Sure, there would be an awkward moment of silence, but once Wilford Brimley reminds Culter to check his blood sugar, a fight would ensue and television history would be made.
Maybe Matt Cassel is worth all this trouble, but I’m not buying it. My instincts tell me that this is all due to the Curse of Kiffin.
In case you’re wondering why the Chargers are not at risk for the curse, well, that’s simple. They’ve got their own curse to deal with: The Norv Turner Curse of Mediocrity
For this curse, I’m afraid there is no cure. Sorry Charger fans, you’re just going to have to keep looking at that empty trophy case, dreaming of what never will be.
As for the Chiefs and Bronocs, here is how you break the curse:
First, the Broncos are going to have to trade Jay Cutler out of the AFC. For arguments sake, let’s just say he goes to Tampa Bay.
Next, the Chiefs and Broncos will have to give their new Colin Cowherd coaching clones a year on the job and then fire them a month into their second season. Here is where it gets tricky. One of the Broncos is going to have to take out Matt Cassel. Once Cassel is on the IR, Tyler Thigpen is going to have to ball out of his mind. Scott Piolo will be forced to franchise tag Thigpen as an insurance policy. Once Cassel assures everyone that he’ll be ready for the start of the next season, Thigpen will become dead cap weight. Deal Thigpen to the Buccaneers where he’ll replace the wounded ego of Cutler in Tampa. Cutler will go back on the Bachelor finale with Raheem Morris and Tyler Thigpen, causing yet another public scuffle and forcing the NFC South to deal with the Curse of Kiffin.
If anything good could come of the Curse of Kiffin, it would be that Haley and McDaniels will end up with bombshells on thier arms. Have fun nailing hot blondes, boys! You’ll need someone to listen to you moan about your cursed luck.