While I don’t wish to challenge Monty Poole’s account of what happened after the Raiders defeated the Cardinals on Sunday, boy, do I wish there was some video evidence. From the Oakland Tribune.
The Raiders had beaten Arizona, and the locker room was almost empty, just a couple players still getting dressed, when I walked over to Warren Sapp to engage conversation. Al Davis (above), with the aid of his walker, stood about 10 feet away, in the hallway between the locker room and the showers.
I barely had addressed Warren when Al’s voice pierced the air. He was talking tough to SF Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler.
Apparently ticked off by something Ostler had written weeks earlier, Davis said if he were 20 years younger he would kick Ostler’s butt. That’s how it sounded, at least.
No, I am not making this up.
Immediately, I pushed pause. My questions to Sapp would have to wait. Warren wasn’t listening anyway. His eyes lit up, and his jaw bounced off the floor.
For the next 90 seconds or so, as Al vented his displeasure and stared down Ostler, there was no other sound. Maybe eight people milling about a room the size of a high school cafeteria, and nothing. Except Davis throwing verbal jabs and hooks, with Ostler doing his best to dodge the punches.
Davis seemed especially incensed with the notion that Ostler had mocked his health, particularly the indefinite recovery of what the Raiders have described as a “quad problem.”
Ostler, whose style is tongue-in-cheek, carried himself well, maintaining his dignity. Though clearly stunned by the intensity and relentlessness of the assault, he offered a rational defense of his work. He said he never intended to mock Al, implying that nothing should be taken personally.
The enduring images, however, are of Sapp’s expression, which was pure disbelief, as if he’d heard a 77-year-old man, using a walker, longing to threaten violence, and the stone-cold look on Al’s face as he spoke.
Several readers have raised with us their opinions that something wasn’t right with ESPN’s Michael Irvin during a Tuesday appearance on SportsCenter.
And this isn’t the first time that we’ve heard whispers about Irvin’s demeanor during a midweek SportsCenter broadcast. When Irvin appeared with Bob Ley during the T.O. accidental suicide attempt a few weeks back, a high-level guy with one of the teams expressed concern to us that something was wrong with Irvin.
“Something wasn’t right” with the Playmaker? Does that mean he was making sense?