Report: D.A. Could Press Cable Charges Tomorrow

Tim Kawakami of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS reports this morning:

Something could happen tomorrow. We don’t know what the Napa Valley DA will do, and there are plenty of conflicting indications, but it’s possible the DA announces that he will press charges against Tom Cable.

Randy Hanson Tom Cable

If that happens, it’s almost certain that Al Davis would either suspend or fire Cable with cause. (Though the real cause would be the JaMarcus Russell Offense’s continued fizzle.)

Cable has repeatedly denied that he seriously assaulted Hanson, saying instead that the two had a brief scuffle. But there’s no denying that Hanson’s jaw is broken, something that can’t be explained away. Read more…

Cable Might Plea Bargain Now To “Avoid Jail Time”

Estranged Raiders Coach Randy Hanson gives an extremely detailed, full accounting of his relationship with head coach Tom Cable and owner Al Davis to Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports. Hanson also provides his version of a confrontation with Cable that may have led to his jaw being broken.

Randy Hanson Tom Cable

(Silver reports Cable may be looking for plea bargain to avoid jail)

In Hanson’s version of the events, Cable comes off as a paranoid maniac who devoted his life to belittling Hanson - who the head coach viewed as a snitch for Owner Al Davis. (Hanson was hired by Davis before Cable was named head coach.)

The critical matter at hand of course is if Hanson was actually violently assaulted by Davis in front of three Raider assistant coaches. Hanson provides the same deposition to Silver as he made to Napa police.

Read more…

Raiders Bracing For Cable’s Arrest; Could Be Soon

Sure, the Raiders’ 29-6 loss to the Texans was a stinky effort, but I don’t think their coach deserves to be arrested for it. Oh, wait; Tom Cable may be on the verge of being arrested for his August punchout of assistant coach Randy Hanson. It has nothing to do with the Raiders’ performance on Sunday.

Tom Cable

Jason Cole of YAHOO SPORTS is reporting that the team is scrambling to decide who will take over if Cable is hauled off to jail; and that’s looking imminent. This is probably not unlike the power plays that occurred behind the scenes when a Roman emperor was near death; only in this case, all of the major players are jockeying to avoid getting the job. Read more…

Deposed Raider Coach Directed Players By Phone?

As we mentioned yesterday in SbB Live, former Raiders assistant coach Randy Hanson is now cooperating with police concerning an incident in the preseason when head coach Tom Cable allegedly slugged him and broke his jaw. Let’s see how many flying monkeys Al Davis dispatches to try and make this one go away.

Randy Hanson, Tom Cable

We pretty much knew this had to be coming at some point. But what really amused me from the NFL.COM report is that, evidently, after Hanson was fired and banned from the premises, some Raiders players smuggled him a team laptop, and Hanson continued to help coach them by phone. Ha ha. Wow. Read more…

Speed Read: Is Tom Cable About To Get Hacked?

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder in Raiderland, the Internets are buzzing over a report published on NATIONAL FOOTBALL POST yesterday that cites anonymous sources detailing exactly what Tom Cable did to assistant Randy Hanson. If you aren’t familiar with what’s going on, we told you that Cable is alleged to have punched Hanson in the jaw during a meeting on August 5th. And if the latest report is anywhere close to being true, Cable won’t need to worry about his quarterback controversy, or anything else Raider related, anymore.

Tom Cable, Randy Hanson

First, here’s the nitty gritty:

According to the source, Cable knocked Hanson out of his chair and up against the wall and into a cabinet. Cable and Hanson fell to the floor, where Hanson was choked, the source said, and Cable was pulled off Hanson by the other men before Cable went after Hanson again.

“Cable said, ‘I am going to kill you, I am going to kill you,’ as he was choking him,’’ according to the source, who also said furniture in the room was damaged.

Hanson’s jaw is reportedly broken, and he also reportedly had to undergo further treatment in the emergency room on Wednesday night, a full two weeks after the August 5th incident. Cable could be facing a felony assault charge if everything is as it seems. If charges are filed, one has to think that Roger Goodell would invoke the “personal conduct” policy and at least force Cable to take a leave of absence, if not ban him altogether.

Roger Goodell

(”Why couldn’t you just ‘make it rain’ instead, Tom?”)

If it’s proven that Tom Cable choked Randy Hanson and broke his jaw, should he lose his job?

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Things are complicated, however, by the fact that Hanson doesn’t seem like the most stable guy on the face of the Earth. In fact, he only decided to cooperate with police and NFL investigations when he was told by Davis that he wouldn’t be able to return to his assistant position. He had hoped that the matter would be addressed internally, and that he’d be given his job back. The alleged assault came when Cable told Hanson that he was being demoted from his job as defensive backs coach and would instead by breaking down film and wouldn’t be allowed on the field.

If Hanson’s name sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Just weeks into last season, Lane Kiffin’s tenure with Oakland started to become unraveled when he suspended Hanson for “personal issues.” Hanson claimed that he was subsequently ostracized by Kiffin and wasn’t being allowed to perform any coaching duties. This angered Al Davis, who used Kiffin’s suspension of Hanson without his knowledge as an example of “insubordination.”

Lane Kiffin wipes face

Now, Hanson is experiencing déjà vu. From the NFP story:

Cable had been working to reduce Hanson’s role for months, the source said. Cable said that Hanson had been confusing the Raiders’ defensive backs, and Cable held a closed-door meeting with the cornerbacks and safeties and just himself. That led to a meeting between Cable and Hanson in Hanson’s room, and later a meeting with coaches after Cable had instructed Hanson not to come to practice.

Anything can happen once, but Hanson has been basically told to take a hike by two coaches now, which means that there’s probably something wrong with him. But is it worthy of getting his jaw broken? If Cable is charged, he’ll have to decide if his defense will be “I didn’t do it” or “he got what he deserved.” For what it’s worth, it looks like Cable was coming to the defense of his defensive coordinator, John Marshall, who NFP said was being verbally abused by Hanson.

Also complicating matters is the fact that the particulars of NFP’s story aren’t being corroborated independently by anyone at this point. Every other story I can find about the situation references the NFP story as its main source. The writer of the story, Brad Biggs, just joined NFP earlier this month, though he has written about the Bears for the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES for several years. I don’t think there’s any reason to doubt any of Biggs’ assertions, but it is a bit curious that none of the major newspapers in the Bay Area have confirmed any of these new details with their own reporting. Or maybe they just think Hanson’s crazy and not worthy of further publicity.

Randy Hanson

(It’s not a good sign when this is the only photo of you on the entire Internet.) 

The last time the United States hosted the World Cup, in 1994, O.J. Simpson stole its thunder and most of America ignored the whole thing. But now, with momentum for the sport building in the states, the U.S. is bidding to host either the 2018 or 2022 event (2022 seems more likely), and as part of the bid must come up with 12-18 stadiums to be used.

Yesterday, the list was trimmed down from 45 venues to 32, and contains, as you might expect, many of the largest and most modern NFL stadiums, as well as a smattering of others. Among those still on the list are the Rose Bowl, which hosted the ‘94 final, as well as the new stadiums in Arlington, East Rutherford, and Indianapolis. A few college-only stadiums are under consideration as well, including Michigan Stadium, Stanford Stadium, and Husky Stadium in Seattle.

Michigan Stadium

(Is there enough room for a full-size soccer field here between the brick walls?)

The dregs of the list include Detroit’s Ford Field (which shouldn’t really host any sort of championship football), domed stadiums like the Edward Jones Dome and the Georgia Dome, and the Oakland Mausoleum, which probably (hopefully) won’t exist in 2022.

Among those cities taken off the list were Salt Lake City, Las Vegas (sports bettors still can’t get used to a game where an over/under might actually be set at “0″), and the soccer-crazed town of Fayetteville, Arkansas (could you see Ghana and Portugal going to play a game in Fayetteville?). Unfortunately, Arkansas’ exclusion will further complicate Alan Partridge’s “soccermeter” should he give it another go in 2022:

• If “disgruntled” was a stat, there’s no doubt that Gary Sheffield would lead all of baseball in that category over the last 20 years. But he seems to have a point this time. The NY DAILY NEWS says Sheffield is confused that the Mets withdrew his name from waivers after another team made a claim, but also told him that he’s not in their plans for next season. It’s somewhat bizarre, considering the Mets are paying him $400,000 this year, that they wouldn’t just let him go. Especially if they could trade him for some sort of mid-to-low level prospect to a contender. Sheff’s Chefs are particularly unamused.

Sheff's Chefs

• If you’ve ever wanted to have a guy in a mascot suit take you for a piggy back ride, you’ll think twice after watching this. There are few things more hilarious than a good, solid, mascot accident:

• The NCAA is furious that a judge has ruled that documents relating to an investigation into academic fraud at Florida State are public record and FSU should have unfettered access to them, according to the ORLANDO SENTINEL.

• The Cubs are, finally, about to get Ricketts.

• An eight-year-old British kid named Tiger Brewer became the youngest person ever to stand on top of a plane while it’s flying around. This is apparently called “wing walking.” His parents are named Colin and Zoe if you’re wondering who’s trying to come up with a creative way to off their own kid.

• Ex-Major Leaguer Scott Spiezio is trying to work his way back from issues with drugs and alcohol, and is doing so in the Golden Baseball League. The LA TIMES caught up with him as he tries to repair his reputation.

Chad Ochocinco is about to change his middle name to “Gramatica,” after kicking a perfect extra point and booming a kickoff inside the 10:

• Earlier in the game, Randy Cross produced some fine artwork with the telestrator. KISSING SUZY KOLBER has the screenshot.

• The NEW YORK TIMES says baseball is likely to toy with the idea of an NBA-style system in which draft picks have pre-determined salaries based on where they are picked in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. This, of course, is at odds with baseball’s general open-market attitude, but might be easier to negotiate than a salary cap.

• Vote early and often: FANTASY BASEBALL DUGOUT’s “Hottest Baseball Wife” poll is underway, and 2009’s winner will be crowned on August 31st. Mark DeRosa’s wife, Heidi, is the defending champ and seems to be running away with it this year as well. Some of the pics on the site aren’t exactly flattering (Jordan Schneider looks like she’s in the Zapruder film), so here’s a better photo of the scrappy underdog, Ashley Eckstein:

Ashley Eckstein

Erin Andrews Appears in Gritty Gridiron GQ Shoot

Erin Andrews gets down & dirty in a new photoshoot for GQ magazine.

Erin Andrews GQ 2

• Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable ducks & weaves from questions about his alleged clobbering of assistant Randy Hanson.

• Hey, Georgia Bulldogs fans - please pass the caviar, s’il vous plait!

Jeremy Mayfield’s stepmom won’t keep off her stepson’s lawn. What, is she high? Why, yes she is!

• A group of senior bowlers in Oregon put the beat down on a would-be purse snatcher. We must protect these lanes!

Read more…

Speed Read: Cable Doesn’t KO Punch-Up Rumors

The Oakland Raiders: they put the “Holy crap, Coach just slugged an assistant!” in “dysfunction.” At least, we’ll have to assume that’s what happened, as Raiders head coach Tom Cable (who is not, by the way, in way over his head) didn’t do much to clarify reports that he broke the jaw of defensive assistant coach Randy Hanson with a sucker punch, with his only response being that “it’s an internal issue and we’re dealing with it, and that’s all I’m going to say.”

Tom Cable, Randy Hanson

That sure didn’t sound like a denial, and “dealing with it” sure seems like code for “I’m going to use a tire iron to cave in the head of the next pipsqueak who asks me about this.” The Raiders are becoming more like a sitcom every day. Sort of like “Coach“, but with less physical comedy and more physical assault.

Cast of Coach

 (Remember when Hayden Fox crushed Luther’s jaw with a punch? Me either.)

(Although I do love the episode where Coach smashed in Dauber’s face with a beer bottle after he lost the playbook right before the big game in a wacky mix-up.)

If Cable (who is totally qualified to be an NFL head coach and has the winning demeanor of a John Madden or Curly Lambeau) wasn’t admitting to anything on Monday, then at least his players were rolling over on him, starting a “Cable, Bumaye” chant during practice to mimic the cheers Muhammad Ali got from the African people before the “Rumble in the Jungle.”

And about Hanson: Raiders fans might remember, he’s the same coach that irritated Lane Kiffin so much that he “suspended him for one game, said he had medical issues and then tried to fire him” before Al Davis stepped in and backed Hanson, who apparently is one of his favorites. So Cable (who is not treading so much water that the band from “Titanic” is standing by) probably picked the worst person in the organization to slug except for Davis himself.

(Also, you have to wonder if one of those “medical conditions” that Kiffin tried to use to fire Hanson was a “permanent glass jaw”…)

Meanwhile, Beano Cook thinks that Syracuse should get a spot ready for another Heisman Trophy to go along with those representing Jim Brown and Ernie Davis. After all, if they found a way to get Ron Powlus back at QB, anything is possible. Of course, Beano Cook is a rambling old man, the kind who holds up the line at the supermarket so he can check every item on the receipt for errors.

greg paulus qb

So no, Syracuse didn’t get “Heisman” Powlus into their football program, but it’s close: they announced yesterday that former Duke point guard Greg Paulus will be the starting QB for their opening game against Minnesota. It’s either a testament to the athletic ability of Paulus - who hasn’t played football since high school but was once the Gatorade National Player of the Year - or the sorry state of Syracuse football that someone who has been out of the game for years is their best bet. I won’t say which one, but merely point out that Syracuse was 3-25 in the Big East the last four years.

Finally, let’s see…former WWE champion decides to become an MMA fighter. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. But this time we aren’t talking about a UFC heavyweight champion/Coors aficionado, but a new possible women’s MMA star. The DAYTON DAILY NEWS says that Lisa Marie Varon, who wrestled until recently in the WWE as Victoria, has been training for nearly a year and is ready to make her MMA debut soon.

Victoria

On the positive side, Varon is a former bodybuilding and fitness model who was one of the most physical women’s wrestlers, and she is working with former UFC champ Rich Franklin’s trainer. The downsides are that she is 38, and has almost no fighting experience.

Victoria

Still, she apparently is quite serious about this, and wants to become a part of the Strikeforce women’s division. While she might not talented enough to rival Christiane “Cyborg” Santos, I think we can agree that seeing Varon take on Gina Carano would be a much more attractive match-up.

In other sports news that you might have missed while celebrating the fact that The Kids In The Hall are getting back together for a TV project:

  • No matter what, Scott Boras always wins. This time it was getting a last-minute deal done between the Washington Nationals and his client, No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg. The price tag? Just a cool four years and $15 million - almost double what the Cubs signed Mark Prior for in 2001 in what had been the previous largest contract for a draft pick.
  • The NEW YORK TIMES wonders if Y.E. Yang’s shocking victory over Tiger Woods in the PGA Championship will start a golfing boom in Asia that could help the PGA Tour. Because that’s worked so well for the LPGA…
  • Speaking of which, CNBC’s Darren Rovell says that other than Yang, the biggest winner on Sunday might have been Le Coq Sportif, the clothing line whose red rooster logo got almost $2 million of free air time during final round coverage.
  • The Lingerie Football League has released its preseason “All Fantasy Team“, but BUSTED COVERAGE wants to know if you should be more insulted to be a third-team offensive lineman or first-team offensive lineman.
  • Stephen Good might be the starting right guard for the Oklahoma Sooners, but EVERY DAY SHOULD BE SATURDAY says there’s one thing that terrifies him more than losing to Texas: Clowns, especially Pennywise from “It”. No word on if he wet the bed when Bozo the Clown came on as a kid.
  • Sad news from the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: former North Carolina State LB Edrick Smith was killed early Sunday morning when a hit-and-run drunk driver smashed into the Honda Accord he was in, splitting it in two.
  • NEWSOK.COM says that Oklahoma All-American TE Jermaine Gresham broke his vow of media silence last Friday … to give a “shout out” to Michael Vick for being signed by the Eagles. Also, he gave “mad props” to attempted Presidential assassin/Manson Family member Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme for being released from prison.
  • Great, another “Polish canoeist goes nuts on the way to World Championships and forces plane into emergency landing” story.
  • Two men from Honolulu were arrested in Las Vegas for having pot in their car after leading police on a short chase. Not much of a story, until you realize that the men were Honolulu cops in Nevada to play on a softball team in the Nevada Police & Fire Games. Needless to say, Dano has already booked them, and then beat them for being so stupid.
  • This might be a bit more than gamesmanship: a top British rugby team was having players use fake blood so they could substitute in better kickers during key stages of games.

What’s your favorite moment of coaching violence (real or threatened)?

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Did Tom Cable Clobber Raiders’ Assistant Coach?

Holy Buddy Ryan — did Tom Cable really break the jaw of Oakland Raiders assistant coach Randy Hanson at practice recently? In a story first reported by the NATIONAL FOOTBALL POST this morning, and now being confirmed by the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, Cable was involved in “an altercation” with one of his assistants earlier this month at the team’s Napa practice facility, and that assistant was treated for a broken jaw at Queen of the Valley Hospital on August 6.

Tom Cable, Randy Hanson

Welcome to Al Davis’ world, in case you’re new to all of this. It’s a land ruled by dysfunction, where Davis and his flying monkeys watch practice in a crystal ball from a castle tower, coaches come and go with the frequency of a Tokyo subway train, and disputes are settled the old-fashioned way.

Read more…

Ricky Williams Doesn’t Do Buds During Bye Week

Ricky Williams really wanted to get high during the Dolphins’ bye - but the RB had the strength to spike such smoky thoughts.

Ricky Williams Just Say No

• The Steelers & Ravens really played some smashmouth football Monday night - along with smashed legs, smashed shoulders, smashed knees, etc.

• Oakland Raiders assistant Randy Hanson says Lane Kiffin was trying to sabotage his career. Well, Randy won’t have to worry about that anymore.

• A school that hasn’t even played its first basketball game has fired their coach - for excessive swearing, dammit.

Josh Howard says he’s sorry he talked smack about the Star Spangled Banner.

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Raider Asst. Says Kiffin Trying To Sabotage Him

Lost among all the Lane Kiffin hysteria is the strange saga of Oakland Raiders assistant Randy Hanson, who reportedly was suspended earlier this season by Kiffin and subsequently ostracized from the coaching staff. According to Hanson, Kiffin is trying to run him off and has lied about his mental state and physical condition.

Randy Hanson and Lane Kiffin

All the while, Hanson comes off as a guy who’s just a little too intense for his own good. In other words, like the average Raider employee.  Steve Corkran of the CONTRA COSTA TIMES got Hanson’s side of the story, and it’s just a tad different than Kiffin’s version of events.

Read more…