Welcome to Black Monday.
Actually this season’s version of the Russian roulette of NFL coaches began a day early on Sunday with the firing of the Vikings’ Mike Tice. After his team won their final game. Many picked the Vikes to go to the dance this year. This was before injuries and a certain bye week cruise occurred. Not since the Love Boat has a cruise contributed to the end of someone’s career. New owner Zygi Wilf has to feel that he’s stepped into a zoo. One he’s invested millions in. With a name like his, I’m sure he’s seen his share of turmoil before.
Mike Sherman was run from the Packers after they experienced their worst season since 1991. What a difference a season makes. The Pack just extended Sherman’s contract two years last summer at the tune of $6.4 million. Now that’s a severance package.
The Packers were deluged with injuries this year. You have to feel for one of the game’s fiercest competitors, Brett Favre. If he’s done, he deserved to go out on a higher note. And while making better decisions on the field.
Not since Nelson Mandela has someone wanted to be freed as bad as the Saints’ Jim Haslett. He’s been begging to be released from his contract for weeks. This isn’t a rat jumping from a sinking ship. That title would go to the owner Tom Benson. The water hadn’t yet receded in The Big Easy when he started playing Jedi mind tricks with the heads and hearts of New Orleans fans, players, as well as the City of San Antonio.
Benson stated last week that he would be staying in New Orleans after all. Call me cynical, but this coincided with the completion of a long meeting with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. I would love to have been the proverbial fly on the wall and know what deal this opportunist struck with the league to stay.
Let’s hope that Haslett lands in one of the other jobs that are opening up.
The winners in the Reggie Bush Bowl, the Houston Texans, released the only coach they’ve ever had in Don Capers. You know it has to hurt to be part of something at the ground level and not be able to get it done. This young team seems to be in total turmoil in desperate need of good old fashioned leadership.
You hate to see someone lose their position due to injury or illness, but the long rumored firing of St. Louis Rams’ Mike Martz went down anyway. It’s hard not to apply the “what goes around, comes around” label to this one. Martz expedited previous coach Dick Vermeil’s exodus before the Gatorade® had dried from Vermeil’s Superbowl headset. Martz gravy trained Vermeil’s talented team ala Barry Switzer. He made many questionable decisions including glaring clock mismanagement during crunch time.
Speaking of Ole Waterworks, Dick Vermeil announced his retirement as well from the Kansas City Chiefs. We lost Hank Stram and Vermeil in the same season. Not cool. At least seemingly this time, Vermeil is leaving on his own terms.
Call me a wuss, but I dig a coach that’s not afraid to let his emotions flow. Give him a hand and a hanky (that’s like a Kleenex sort of, for those of you born after 1980).
Other shoes that could drop include Oakland coach Norv Turner who will meet with Darth Raider in the jumpsuit on Tuesday. This one needs to be done. Raider fan is getting restless. And that ain’t a good thing. For any of us.
Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Tuna Parcells may be considering retirement. He has been unable to get consistent turnaround improvement from the ‘Boys like he accomplished in his last two assignments with the Patriots and Jets. Of course, he also doesn’t have Bill Belichck at his side either this time around.
Colts coach Tony Dungy could possibly decide to call it quits after this season. He’s often said that he will enter the ministry when he retires. He was dealt a horrendous blow with the recent death of his 18 year old son. This guy is one of the league’s quality stand up guys. If he does in fact leave the league, it may very well be with a ring.
All these firings have me very nervous. You see, I’ve been off on vacation since December 23. I’m hoping I don’t show up and find that it’s Pink (slip) Tuesday.
They could never fire me. I’m too valuable.
Plus, I hold the office donut eating title. And in that regard, I’m still in my prime.
Welcome to Black Monday.