Al Davis is hot.
Not only are Davis’ Oakland Raiders tied for first place in the AFC West with Kansas City Chiefs at 5-4 (and have the current tiebreaker edge) and are over .500 at this point in the season for the first time since 2002, but Davis --- a grievance and court-room legend --- has also won off the field. A league arbitrator ruled that Davis was just in his firing of former head coach Lane Kiffin in September 2008.
The ruling took more than two years after Kiffin pursued part of his remaining contract. Davis argued from the day he fired Kiffin, in an infamous news conference, for just cause because he was insubordinate. Davis had a laundry list of reasons why he thought Kiffin was fired justly.
The arbitrator agreed. Kiffin was seeking $333,000, which was a contract offset. He was hired as the head coach at Tennessee two months after he was fired by the Raiders. Kiffin is now the head coach at USC. The Raiders' counter grievance for lawyer and arbitration fees was also denied, the source said.
But this has to be considered a win for the Raiders. It was more about money, anyway. Kiffin challenged Davis like few ever have. In the end, Davis prevailed.
Just like the old days, baby.