Tom Cable: A Day in the Life of the Oakland Raiders Head Coach, Pt. 1

Richard LangfordCorrespondent INovember 18, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Head coach Tom Cable of the Oakland Raiders looks on against the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFL game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 18, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Any resemblance to reality of the below events is purely coincidental.

Monday, 5 a.m., at the Cable household—an alarm goes off...

“Just wake up, baby! Just wake up, baby!” screams the alarm—louder and louder each time. Carol Cable, tired from a long night sleeping next to a restless mate, reaches her hand over and stumbles for the alarm.

In the meantime, after a night of cold sweat and night-terror-filled sleep, Tom Cable grunts and swings his arm to hit the snooze button on an alarm he wishes he had never set.

Tom misses the snooze but does hit his wife’s fumbling hand.

“Ow! My hand! Tom, you hit me! I can’t believe you hit me!” Carol screams in shock.

“Carol, I am so sorry! I was just trying to hit the snooze. Are you OK?” Tom replies, groggy and in shock.

“What do you care? I should have listened to those other women! It’s not my fault your team sucks and you can’t coach!”

“That’s not fair, Carol. Are you in pain? I didn’t mean to hit you; I just wanted to turn this alarm off,” says Tom, still fumbling with the alarm clock.

“I don’t want your excuses. My hand is...” Carol's voice could no longer be heard over the increasing volume of the command, “Just wake up, baby! Just wake up, baby!”

“Carol, I am sorry, but I can’t hear...” says Tom, still trying to silence the alarm. “What is wrong with this devil machine?” Tired and frustrated, Tom rips the alarm out of the wall.

“Just wake up, baby!” The clock, it seems, has a set of backup batteries.

By this time, Carol is already throwing his clothes out of the closet. “I can' are insa...not going to take this...” Tom can only make out what she is saying in the quick silences between the sentences of the alarm clock.

“Carol, I can’t...damn alarm.” Tom was trying, to no avail, to find the batteries. “You don’t have to do this!” Tom shouts in an attempt to be heard over the alarm. “I love you and I would never want to hurt you. I just wanted to get this alarm to shut up.” At wits end, Tom throws the alarm.

And a mighty throw it is. The alarm sails toward the door, just as the Cable’s housekeeper opens it to see what the commotion was. The alarm bounces off her forehead, sending the alarm and the housekeeper to the ground.

"Oh, Christ," Cable moans.

“!” in pieces, the alarm sputters and quiets down to a stop.

The housekeeper is silent.

“Oh my God! Tom, you are a raging beast!” Carol shouts as she checks the housekeeper’s pulse. Luckily, there is indeed a pulse to check. “Don’t move—I am calling the cops!”

The cops and the ambulance arrive at the same time. After the housekeeper regains consciousness, she tells the police she had opened the door and—bam!—she was struck by the flying, shouting head of Al Davis.

Putting together pieces of stories, the police feel it is all a misunderstanding and let Tom go. Mrs. Cable assures all those in shouting distance that this was not the last they would hear of this matter—to which everyone within shouting distance thought "No duh."

“Well, just another day in to the office,” Tom says, grabbing enough things to stay there for a while.

Due to the commotion, Cable is about an hour later than usual. Cable’s secretary Les, a former lineman (he didn’t want to have to worry about accusations of assault on his secretary) greets him. “Hey Tom. Wow, you OK? You look a little out of sorts. Is that a suitcase...? Boss man has already called four times wondering where you were. Good news is the fourth time he actually got your name right. Anyway, he asked you to call him.”

“Can’t wait. I am guessing I got a "Shell" and "Bugel." What was the third name?”

“Kiffin,” Cable’s secretary mumbles, as he did not want to have to tell him that.

“Ugh, this is not good at all,” Cable replies while rubbing his throbbing head and thinking, "I can’t get fired today. I need to sleep here a while."

“What’s with the suitcase?” Les wonders out loud.

“Turn on ESPN—I am sure they’ll let you know,” Cable says, entering his office.

Cable sits down in his commander’s seat and starts polishing his head coach nameplate, thinking this could be the last time it was accurate. After gaining the courage, he dials the boss man.

The phone does not even ring before Al Davis picks up: “Damn it, Shell, this better be you!”

"That’s good," Cable thinks. "At least he didn’t greet me with Kiffin." Cable knew not to correct him on the name. “Al, I am sorry I was late. I had a rough morning, but I am here and ready to work and turn this thing around. We were close yesterday. I thought we had it...”

“Close!” Davis interrupts. “Close is all you are going to get with coaching like that. You need to be more aggressive. Get the ball downfield. Let Heyward run and Russell throw. I want Heyward and Russell on the field every offensive snap. Every other play needs to be a deep throw.”

“Al,” Cable replies, knowing he needed to make his case, as this game plan was the exact opposite of what he wanted to do. “I had to pull Russell. He is not seeing the whole field. He is not making the right reads, and his accuracy has just been terrible. He just doesn’t seem to understand that he needs to put in the work during the week to grasp the game plan...And Heyward-Bey can’t catch swine flu.”

“You're the coach. Fix it.” Davis says, growing tired of the excuses and thinking he should just fire this Mike White guy once and for all. But, of course, he knows to wait until he's sure he can do it with out having to pay him. “Why should Russell pay attention to your game plans? They obviously aren’t working. He hasn’t gotten any better this year. I gave you the next Elway and you are turning him into Ryan Leaf.”

“Look,” Davis continues, “I gave you the fastest receiver in the draft—throw it deep to him. If he weren’t so worried about running the sissy patterns that fill your so-called offense, he wouldn’t be tipping balls to the defense.”

“But—” Cable had so many things he wanted to say, but before he can say them, he is interrupted.

“Russell and Heyward play—and if they don’t start improving you can kiss this dream job good-bye. I am not going to continue to look bad because you can’t coach Hall of Fame talent,” Davis says before hanging up with a clang.

“Make you look bad?” Cable thinks, making a scrunched Al Davis face and mouthing words while swaying his head back and forth. “I had more talent at Idaho. If I didn’t need a place to sleep, I’d quit. I can’t coach these guys...”

Cable takes a deep breath, relieved he still had a job. “This kind of negative thinking is not going to help.” Cable presses the intercom button to his secretary. “Les, get me JaDumba—” Cable stops and tells himself “positive thoughts” before continuing, “I mean Russell.”

Realizing he was going to need to talk to more people than Russell, he presses the intercom button again. “Then get Dropsward-Bey and McFumbles, 'cause they are next.” Cable just decides to go with the nicknames; he can start his positive thinking in a minute.

For "A Day in the Life of the Oakland Raiders Head Coach, Pt. 2" click here.


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