You can call him Al - and his team a mess

The Baltimore Sun

So many candidates, so little space. Tom turkeys Isiah Thomas, the Dallas Cowboys' Adam Jones and Bud Selig made my short list, but only one man belonged at the top of the pecking order: Al Davis, the four-bald-tires-on-ice owner of the hapless Oakland Raiders.

Out of control and with no traction, Davis has gone from being the force that drove the Raiders to three Super Bowl victories and NFL honchos to distraction to being a laughingstock incapable of doing anything but running his mouth.

He overpays for has-beens (six years, $55 million, for Javon Walker), goes through head coaches like Kleenex in flu season (six since the Ravens beat the Raiders in the 2000 season's AFC title game) and insists he still knows how to win, baby, win ("You're going to have to have me around for a while").

Early last month, though, he took his place at the top of the roost for firing hand-picked coach Lane Kiffin after he compiled a 5-15 record over two seasons. At a rambling 90-minute news conference, Davis called Kiffin a "flat-out liar" and a "professional liar" and refused to pay Kiffin the rest of the money he's owed. For good measure, he called he called ESPN's Chris Mortensen "a professional liar," too.

In case reporters missed the message, he displayed on a screen a warning letter he wrote to Kiffin. At least it wasn't a dead fish wrapped in a bullet-proof vest.

Since installing Tom Cable to run the show, the Raiders are 2-5. Gobble, gobble.

The good news is Davis insists he's going the turn the team over to his son. The bad news is Davis first wants to win two more Super Bowls. Pass the gravy.

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