The League

Leonard Shapiro

Leonard Shapiro

Washington Post sports reporter, editor and columnist who has served on the NFL HOF Selection Committee.

Raider Rage


Pride and Poise used to be the official slogan of the Oakland Raiders, along with owner Al Davis's mantra of "Just Win, Baby."

Sadly, the once storied franchise no longer lives up to any of those lofty goals, and they may well have reached a new low this season with the news that head coach Tom Cable reportedly slugged one of his assistant coaches and broke his jaw, followed by allegations over the weekend on ESPN that include his ex-wife and ex-girlfriend claiming he was abusive to both of them, as well.

The authorities in California have already declined to indict Cable for assault in the coach-punch incident, but the court of public opinion is definitely not on his side, particularly after two of the women in his past life came forward to make their claims. Clearly though, it sounds as if Cable may have an anger management problem, and the way the Raiders have been playing lately, he's got plenty of anger to manage these days.

You'd like to think Cable is going to be on his best behavior the rest of the season, porobably his last as the Raiders head coach. The question now is what, if any, steps NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will take in terms of disciplining him. Will he use the same tough-guy standards he's imposed on a number of badly behaving players over his three-year reign, or will Cable get a pass from Park Avenue because he got one from the prosecutor's office.

Goodell knows his players are watching very closely, and I suspect that Cable soon will be summoned to a private session with the commish. If he admits to popping the assistant, for whatever reason, Goodell absolutely has to sock him with some sort of disiciplinary action, including a suspension and fine. And if there are further incidents, perhaps it would be wise for Cable to seek professional counseling, and take a leave of absence from his coaching duties. At the moment, the Raiders coach remains innocent until proven guilty, but clearly there's more than enough smoke here to suspect a blazing inferno may be raging on the Oakland sidelines.

By Leonard Shapiro  |  November 2, 2009; 3:58 PM ET  | Category:  Crime , Oakland Raiders , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Tricky Call | Next: Should Al Davis Fire Tom Cable?


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Coach Cable is a goon. He is the essence of the Al Davis influence on football. The
progressive deterioration of Davis from a
potent football maven to a sad "has been" has been pitiful to observe. Cable is simply the manifestation of Davis's tragic fall.

Posted by: philhicks28 | November 3, 2009 1:19 AM

Expect nothing from "new Sheriff" Goodell and you won't be disappointed when he delivers nothing. His discipline extends only to players, not coaches and certainly not organizations. Look no further than the Patriots video cheating of 2007- monetary fines (in amounts that sound large to normal folks but mean nothing to millionaires), no suspensions and certainly no penalty that would actually inflict pain like forfeiting the game they cheated in to the Jets.

Posted by: kguy1 | November 3, 2009 11:48 AM

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