The big sports news conference is usually elaborate puffery, coated with demi-gloss exaggeration and resounding notes of staged over-optimism.
March the new coach out, ignore anything done by the previous guy, speak in platitudes, emphasize only the theoretical bright new future.
But this is not the way the Raiders do things, and definitely not the way Al Davis ever dreams of doing anything.
As he proved again Tuesday in a remarkable two-hour filibuster, the Raiders are never more real or more exposed than when Davis is sitting on a stage, challenging the world and staring into the cameras.
He doesn't blink. Or wear makeup. Or leave his chair. You take Al Davis for who he is -- petty, mischievous, grand and utterly failed of late -- or you move along.
This is who he is, up close and far too personal. It's who the Raiders are. No mystery, only cold and singular fury.
Explains a lot, huh?
Officially, this was a news conference to introduce Hue Jackson as the team's sixth head coach in the past nine years, and Jackson gamely played his part.
But mostly this was Al strong-arming all discussion into a blunt-force destruction of Tom Cable, the previous coach, who actually was the Raiders' most successful one in years.
"I just didn't think he could do it, otherwise, he'd be here," Davis said of Cable. "And there are other reasons. Very strong reasons. Which we'll get into."
Al said Cable failed
Al kept hinting and hinting, then just went ahead and announced the list of off-field charges against Cable, for which Al fined the coach $120,000 (and over which Cable reportedly has filed a grievance), and then Al said it was too much.
Davis was careful to say he didn't know if any of the charges were true. But the accumulation was more than enough for Al to speak about it at length, conveniently just in time to justify Al running Cable out of his franchise.
Again, by themselves, would Cable's purported transgressions be enough for a legitimate firing? Yes, if they're true. But Davis all but conceded that he kept Cable around through the end of the season because the Raiders had a chance to make the playoffs.
Instant morality takes a back seat to a possible playoff run, of course. No playoffs equals morality time.
"Now, one of the things revealed (in one of the allegations) was too much for me," Davis said.
What was the final straw? Apparently, Al believed Cable was bringing a woman on trips, verboten in Al's code of football conduct.
"All of this stuff goes a long way against my wishes, against my way of living, against my life and against the Raider way, and I just wasn't going to take it anymore," Davis said.
This line of attack was all very similar to Al's evisceration of Lane Kiffin more than three years ago, on the day he promoted Cable.
Now it's Cable out, Jackson in, and probably in two years, Al will be back up there again, glaring at us all, daring anybody to question his latest act of coach-icide.
Over the course of the media marathon, Davis frequently raved about quarterback Jason Campbell (knocking Heisman winner Cam Newton while doing it, and while twice calling him "Kim Newton").
Davis also praised himself for the Raiders' great 2010 draft, sounded sad about the failure of JaMarcus Russell due to "personal problems," and occasionally spoke about Jackson.
But the essence of this performance was to lash out at Cable, and by extension, at those who have criticized Davis for dispatching him as he has dispatched so many others.
"I have made mistakes, yes," Davis said, when asked specifically about his inability to keep a coach longer than a few years. "There's no question about it.
"And you've got to have great players. But you also have the players and don't get it done. You're saying, should I take some of the blame? I certainly do."
So if you made a mistake on Cable's character, and concede that Russell's personal problems were too much (and cost the team $34 million), is there a problem with the Raiders' hiring process?
"Yeah, we're very bad at it," Davis said sarcastically.
There's your Raiders reality. Will Davis live forever? I think he lives these days just so he can fire people, and joust with reporters, and try to destroy careers and end up hiring coaches who have no other option but to temporarily come under Al's thumb.
This is Al, and this is who the Raiders are -- uncensored, unpuffed, unedited, live and seething.