Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kiffin and Etiquette

It's not just Raiders owner Al Davis who now thinks Lane Kiffin has bad manners.

The former Raiders coach, now the head coach at the University of Tennessee, has just broken protocol by hiring an NFL coach away during the regular season. Sure, the Raiders are going nowhere, but it's still considered bad form for assistant offensive line coach James Cregg to leave early for the UT job.

Sure, Cregg is not the first NFL coach to bolt before the season ends (remember Bobby Petrino's bailout from the Atlanta Falcons last year?), but it's still considered a violation of an unwritten rule. And as if to drive that point home, Kiffin's own father, Monte, is finishing out the season as a Tampa Bay assistant coach before moving to Tennessee. It would have been easy for Lane Kiffin to tell Cregg to wrap it up with the Raiders before heading to Knoxville.

Of course, there's plenty of backstory here. Kiffin and Al Davis probably aren't sending Christmas cards to each other this year. Kiffin must be having a big jolly laugh, watching his Raiders successor Tom Cable vent about this. Cable: "You don't do that. You never quit. You never quit, I don't care what it is. You don't quit.''

And while some enjoy watching Kiffin poke Big Bad Al in the eye, I have to wonder how that bridge he's burning behind him will eventually turn out for him. That old karma train has a way of coming full circle.

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