JaMarcus Russell In Loss: “I did a pretty good job”

Sunday in San Diego, the Chargers beat the Raiders for the 13th straight time, a bitter pill for the legions of SoCal Raider fans who made the annual journey south from (East) Los Angeles.

Jamarcus Russell

(NFL apparently is like Vegas to J-Russ and Cable: A game of “chance”)

With the lossthe Raiders dropped to 2-6, their playoff hopes out the window.

But despite Sunday’s result and the season’s circumstances, JaMarcus Russell wasn’t displeased with himself after the Charger loss. Nor was his coach. Read more…

Tom Cable Faces Abuse Allegations From Women

ESPN’s Outside The Lines reports this morning that three different women in Tom Cable’s life have accused the Raiders Coach of physical abuse in public document filings.

New Raiders coach Tom Cable

This morning ESPN aired on-camera comments from Cable’s first wife Sandy, as she accused the coach of punching her in the jaw during their marriage. Another woman, Marie Lutz, a woman that Cable dated before marrying his third wife (Carol) in May, also accused Cable of striking her in the face. Cable’s second wife Glenda, who receives a five-figure child support payment from Cable each month, disputed her previously documented abuse charge.

After ESPN aired the allegations, Cable quickly fired off a response which was read post-haste by Bob Ley on-air. Read more…

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: Hey Kids! The Vick Circus Is In Town!

I know you thought Thursday would never come, but it’s here. And yes, I told you that if you were good, I’d take you to the Cirque du Vick, that dramatic mix of circus arts and occasional football plays scheduled for tonight at Lincoln Financial Field. It’s Michael Vick’s return to the NFL, making this not just another exhibition game no one will watch, but must-see entertainment. Hey, I don’t make the rules. I just observe.

And there’s plenty of excitement in store, including a pro-Vick march and rally by the NAACP, possible disruption by PETA and other anti-Vick factions, and of course the always-reliable Philly fans themselves (hey, who threw that brick!?). Unfortunately, the ride depicted in the photo above left and in the video below will not be available. The guy in a Vick jersey riding a puppy is either a tragic coincidence, or an example of a man who majored in Irony and wants to put that degree to use for once.

The YouTube description says it was shot at an amusement park in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and that’s all I know about it. Except that what he’s doing is just wrong on so many levels. But it fits right in with the festivities here on Michael Vick Day, so climb aboard, kids! Just don’t let Steeler Poodle see you.

Steeler Poodle

(Steeler Poodle sez: “Big Ben is innocent!”)

Eagles head coach Andy Reid has said that Vick will play with the first team at some point during the first three quarters tonight, but in what capacity and for how long is still shrouded in mystery. Andy, you sly minx. Presenting Vick tonight after only two weeks of practice serves no actual physical purpose, since he’ll be sitting out at least the first five games of the regular season. But by throwing him into the mix tonight you get the majority of the controversy out of the way early; like a first kiss. But beware, Mike; Philly fans like to slip in the tongue.

It’ll be Vick’s first appearance in an NFL game since Dec. 31, 2006; which was also at Lincoln Financial. And he’ll start today in federal bankruptcy court, which is always fun. Then it’s home to feed the dogs, and then on to the game. Yeah, it’s unknown if Vick has truly seen the light and is genuinely remorseful over his dog-killing past. But what we do know is that all the publicity surrounding his incarceration hasn’t helped dogs one bit. The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has reported 400 investigations of dogfighting operations so far this year; almost twice as many as in all of 2008.

But in case any of you fans are actually interested in the game, please note that former Eagles three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tra Thomas returns to Philadelphia for the first time since joining the Jaguars. And there may even be a Brian Westbrook sighting tonight, but don’t expect to see him for long. If you’re not a local, the game will be shown on NFL Network tonight at 11 p.m. (ET), and again on Friday at 4 p.m. (ET).

Meanwhile, at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the MLB Players’ Union got a favorable ruling on the infamous 104-player PED list, and may soon have it back in hand where it will be carried forthwith to the nearest shredder.

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that agents had no right to seize baseball’s anonymous drug-testing results from 2003. The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a victory for the players’ union, which has argued for years to have the results of the 104 players who allegedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 returned.

“This was an obvious case of deliberate overreaching by the government in an effort to seize data as to which it lacked probable cause,” Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote in the 9-2 decision.

The records, seized by government agents in April 2004 as part of the BALCO investigation into Barry Bonds, has been the subject of legal wrangling ever since. If the case doesn’t end up in the Supreme Court, the list will be returned to the players’ union, where it will presumably be destroyed. The court ruled that federal agents trampled on players’ protections against unreasonable searches and seizures in taking the list, which included Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz, who were among those whose names were leaked.

The American Defenders of New Hampshire were supposed to play the New Jersey Jackals in a Can-Am pro baseball game on Tuesday, but there was one problem: They faced a lockout. But it isn’t the kind of lockout you’re used to hearing about; the City of Nashua locked the stadium because the team was behind in their rent. The Defenders — formerly known as the Nashua Pride — owe fire, police and rent bills totaling about $45,000 according to mayor Donnalee Lozeau. And to make sure the teams didn’t scale the fence and play the game anyway, Lozeau had city workers park a tractor over home plate. This is true. Fun fact: The Defenders team president is Dan Duquette, former general manager of the Boston Red Sox. They’re now on the road, but as of today, the stadium impasse has not been resolved.

Links to read while sharing Pop Tarts with your gorilla:

  • Above is a photo of a very toasted Billy Gillispie, who was arrested by Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, police early this morning for DUI. Yep, that’s the former Kentucky Wildcats basketball coach, who was fired in a contract dispute this past March and has since sued the university for breach of contract. Gillispie and a passenger were driving a white 2009 Mercedes with Texas tags around 2:45 a.m. on US 127 when someone reported seeing the car driving erratically. Gillispie was arrested and charged with DUI, and reportedly refused to take a breathalizer or blood alcohol test. Gillispie had also been arrested for DUI in Oklahoma in 1999.
  • Allen Iverson may be a Grizzly before you know it. Memphis confirmed that they’ve made him an offer, but will AI go through with it? I can’t picture him in Memphis; it doesn’t seem like a good fit. Iverson touring Graceland is just too bizarre.
  • Not sure if this happened before or after David Ortiz’s walkoff home run gave the Red Sox a 3-2 win over the White Sox on Wednesday, but Boston released Brad Penny, who was 7-8. Penny, 1-6 over his past 11 starts, is working on the one-year, $5 million contract he signed during the offseason.

  • In naming Shaun Hill as the team’s No. 1 quarterback on Tuesday, 49ers coach Mike Singletary praised him in the way that only Mike Singletary can. In other words, it’s our baffling NFL quote of the Year so far: “There’s nothing pretty about Shaun. Everything’s ugly: His drop … his release … all these things. But what’s beautiful about him is his heart. I want to go down with a guy like that.” Season tickets still available!
  • Was watching Brad Cooper on “The Tonight Show” last night, and he almost revealed who will be taking up the Mr. T role in the new “A Team” movie that’s on the way to theaters (Cooper will play Faceman, with Liam Neeson as Hannibal). Cooper wouldn’t spill the other big role, but according to several sources, BA Baracus will be played by Rampage Jackson.

Will you watch the Eagles-Jaguars game on NFL Network because of Vick?

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Week In Review: Erin Andrews Gets Down & Dirty

• Whether you adore her or want to ignore her, Erin Andrews is starting to embrace her popularity more & more - such as posing for a GQ photoshoot.

Erin Andrews GQ 3

• Help wanted: New Mexico football office. Only hot young girls need apply.

• Redskins backup QB Colt Brennan denies reports that he’s Jessica Simpson’s new NFL stud.

Tom Cable shows how rough & tough the Raiders are going to be this season by breaking the jaw of one of his assistant coaches.

• The Dodgers turn to Snoop Dogg to help sell tickets. Fo’ shizzle.

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!

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