Okay, Bob. You kicked Roger Goodell in the delicates. You slandered the lawyers. You hocked a massive loogie on the internal machinery of the National Football League, and you essentially said you were surprised to learn that the kingmaker gets beheaded just like everyone else.
Now do you get Al Davis, Bob? Now do you see?
And while we’re at it, what do you intend to do about it?
See, there’s the difference between the fevered takes about you being the new Al, and the truth about being the new Al. Rightly or wrongly, and don’t be fooled because this isn’t about right or wrong but raw, naked power, you just started a process that the person you thought was the antithesis of league-think took years to master.
And just so you know, the rest of America hates all of you and just wants to watch games. If you all taped yourselves together and threw yourselves into a wormhole, America would feel sorry for the wormhole.
But we digress.
The person we referred to earlier was Al, and the process he took to beat the league was Al, too. He went to court for his right to jam his finger up to the third knuckle in the eyes of each of his partners, both those in the Raider hierarchy and his fellow NFL owners. He burned the ground in two cities and wrecked the franchise his son may have to leave Oakland to repair, but at the zenith of his skills and obstinacy, Al was not to be trifled with, by anyone. He fought until you were dead, then hired the guy with the defibrillator to revive you so he could do it again.
Al was a fun guy that way.
Which brings us to you, Bob. You just did the easy part – standing behind a podium paid for by Dunkin Donuts and said Roger Goodell and his army of corporate meerkats disappointed you by not seeing the error of their ways. And it is a measure of how soft we have become as a nation that your speech was considered the equal of any of Al’s rhetorical attacks on the NFL from 1964 through 1982.
What Al did was try to gut, bone, fry and eat Pete Rozelle. What you did was tell Roger Goodell you were going to hold your breath until he turns blue.
So what else you got, Bob? You ready to start working the room and convince owners that the monster they created needs to be replaced by a new monster? Are you going to make your team off-limits to them, including on game day? You want to pick the fight, you have to go for total war here, or back down like you did before, to your great public shame.
Now do you get Al, Bob? Now is it coming clear for you? Are you going to shake your fist in impotent rage and say, “Why I oughta,” or are you going to do what you do best – work the room over and over again to get a less disobedient puppet to sit in the place where your last puppet sits?
Are you willing to make this a crusade that consumes you? Are you willing to make calls (sorry, too soon?) and text and buttonhole and whisper and litigate to get the regime change you seem to hint that you want, or are you going to back down with a tepid, spineless “That’s already been addressed” by your own personal and decidedly less engaging Marshawn Lynch?
How badly do you want this, Bob? You talked it, or at least a version of it, but if you’re planning to walk it, you’d better bring provisions, a willingness to be outwardly contemptuous while being secretly cunning, and remember the fourth chapter of the Book Of Al.
“An enemy today is an enemy forever, and no body part is off-limits, ever.”