Friday, January 16, 2009

"They just don't get it up here!"

I don't understand how the only coach to ever lead a franchise to a Super Bowl win, like Mike Shanahan or Jon Gruden, could ever get fired by that franchise. When you look ahead from zero championships, it's rather impossible to understand what life is like with even one championship. I assume if the Vikings ever win a Super Bowl, the head coach that leads them there will have a lifetime contract, getting to continue coaching the team for as long as he likes no matter what his record, and fans would still be satisfied. Of course that isn't so, but looking at the rest of the world when rooting for a team with zero championships colors everything differently.


  1. Anonymous11:23 PM

    It only shows you how fickle franchises can be when they are overtly successful.

    If Bud Grant would have won just one of the Superbowls that he coached in, he would have been bronzed and placed on hollowed ground outside old Met stadium.

    Not a bronze statue, mind you, I mean they would have really bronzed Bud and set him there for all of posterity to see.

    It really has become a "what have you done for me lately" situation in the NFL. Too bad, obviously both men are excellent coaches and should not be on the market for too long, unless they prefer to be.

  2. Anonymous6:30 PM

    There's an old saying in marketing, "sell the dream, not the product".

    No actual coach with a human track record can ever match the dream of what could be ... especially if you hire a new guy with no track record.

    Here in NYC the Jets are looking for a coach. Bill Cowher has a 63% winning record over 16 years with only 3 losing seasons. But in Jets discussion groups the fans are near totally dismissive of him.

    "I'm not happy about Cowher as our next coach because he's too one dimensional, and I don't like his Drill Sergeant underbite
    mug and flying spittle" is the type of comment. And "He wanted Woody [the team owner] to call him first, who is he?" Etc.

    But Rex Ryan, there's the man! He's the DC of a great defense. Point out that the last two DCs of that very same defense, Nolan and Lewis, have in 10 years of HCing combined for all of one winning season between them, and it is ... whatever.

    What about Billick? He has a SB ring, won it with Dilfer at QB (and face it, the Jets look like they are going to have to find a way to win without a QB for years to come) and he built and ran all those great Ravens Ds.

    No way ... he won only 56% of his games and just one ring in nine years in spite of having all those great Ds. That's why he got fired, right? Who wants to hire a retread like him?

    Shanahan ... forget him, how many rings has he won without Elway?

    Does anyone understand the low risk of success when hiring "a hot coordinator of the moment" with no HC experence, as a HC? Say: Cameron, Marinelli, Crennell, Nolan, Linehan, Williams, Morra Jr., Mangini, Belichick-in-Cleveland, etc. So if you want a winning HC, doesn't it make sense to at least seriously consider an actual proven winning HC (like Cowher, Billick, Shanahan)?

    Hey, of course you don't want to hire a loser like any of them, you go for the best guy instead! Rex Ryan! He has the track record of great D coaching, he's an innovator, and he's a great motivator too -- just listen to him talk! He could be the next Vince Lombardi and Bill Walsh combined! He could be!!

    Now, that's hard to argue with.

    I mean, I have nothing at all against Rex Ryan, he may prove to be God's own gift to football ... but I hope you see my point.

  3. This season will feature a relative rarity--the Super Bowl champ will not be coached by a re-tread. For a decade, most Super Bowl winning coaches have had previous head coaching experience with another franchise (Shanahan, Vermeil, Belichick, Gruden, Dungy, Coughlin--the exceptions are Billick and Cowher).

    I'm all about the re-treads. I think coaching is like a lot of other professions--people improve with experience.

  4. Anonymous4:04 AM

    I think you are grossly overvaluating Super Bowls.

    If Shanahan had 10 years of Cleveland level football after his win, I would have honestly said the franchise had waited long enough. What makes this so boneheaded is that Denver was always in the hunt in the AFC, posting a league leading DVOA juat a few years ago. So he definitely had it in him.

    As for Gruden, I can only say, that Gruden Team lost the SB against Dungys Team (which was coached by Gruden) and since then its a rather bumpy ride. So if you look at these two 1st and 2nd I would definitely put this as a draft bust.

  5. That's sort of the point: when you root for a team with no Super Bowl wins, you grossly overvalue Super Bowls. I can make a fairly convincing argument the Vikings are the most successful franchise never to win a Super Bowl, but that would be the most empty, depressing argument I ever made.