Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reverberations after the latest Al Davis Presser

There have been some pretty massive reverberations after the last Al Davis press conference. I am sure that is because we have never seen a major sports figure look so terrible in public before. No joke. It is safe to say that the whole league is horrified. That's no joke either.

I myself was astonished by his appearance, and I don't usually react so strongly to these things, but I did this time. My first thought was "How can a man look so close to death and still be alive?" My second thought was "Why would you even want to show your face in public if your health were failing so badly?" I myself would chose to go into seclusion at that point in my life. I wouldn't want any photos take of me in such a state. I wouldn't want anyone to remember me like that.

I originally broke out my poisoned pen to craft leathal weapon. I wrote a no-holds bared, cry havok, kill-shot piece, but then I thought better of it. Obviously, the man's health is failing him completely. He suffering from horrendous skin cancer and liver problems. The Alzheimers continues to manifest itself. It's a horrible situation. He must be in terrible pain. I think I will end my life before I reach that point. No joke. I'm serious. A nice large dose of fentanyl would be preferable to such pain. Anyway, I decided to spare Al Davis my venom... which is hyper-abundant.

Instead, it is interesting to observe the conversation and debate that this press conference has triggered. We've been having this debate for 6 years now folks. It's obvious to everyone that Al Davis is decrepit and mentally incompetent, and yet he maintains absolute autocratic control over the Raiders. It stands to reason that no organization can succeed with its CEO in such a state, and still at the helm. Does Al Davis have to die before the Raiders will win again? Most believe the answer is yes.

It is very difficult to argue the contrary. How can you? I am at a loss to think of any other way out. You can go deep into denial, and say that Al's mind is fine, it's just his body that is failing him. This argument depends on a form of Cartesian mind/body dualism that is utterly false. The mind is part of the body. If some other part of the body fails, the mind will be seriously impacted. Furthermore, it is clear that his mind isn't there anymore. He makes big errors and small errors of every type when he is out in public. His management of the Raiders over the past 5 or 6 years has been preposterous. This points to the dimentia and Alzheimer's that have frequently been rumored.

Now we have both former and current employees of the Raider organization declaring that it is a nightmare to work for the Raiders. Al Davis's waking hours at Raider HQ are filled with bittness, angry tirades, and venom produced by the team's inability to win, and the loss of his personal health.

In the natural world of ordinary people, this is the moment in the cycle of life when we go into seclusion. We spend our last days with a few close family members and friends. We don't work. We don't concern ourselves with public obligations. We shed our public and private duties as we get ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. We make peace with ourself, our family and our friends. I saw my grandmother do this. I think she died well. I hope I can die that well when my time comes.

It is pathetic that Al cannot take his hands off the captain's wheel at this stage of life. I mean that in the dictionary sense of the term pathetic. It is a tragedy that this guy is so fixated that he's going to die (probably unexpectedly for him) slumped over the desk at Raider HQ. I wouldn't want to go that way. Maybe he does. In the meanwhile, there is something that is being tragically squandered, and that is his last days of watching his football team. If he would cash out and hand this team over to the right, young, ambitious, industrious man, he could watch the team blossom again in his last days. You know Al Davis will never do that.