The world is full of shitty people: CEOs, every single United States President, those rollercoaster operators who say something’s going on with the ride before they send you to Hell, etc.
I’m not sure there is a profession that attracts shitty people more than American Football Head Coach. This applies mostly to college and the NFL, but I have seen plenty of high school and pee-wee coaches who fit this bill. And really, this is applicable to every professional sport, but I don’t care about them and I’m sure you don’t either.
Football at nearly every level has evolved into a workplace of toxicity akin only to Chernobyl three days after the accident. It attracts psychopaths who dedicate their entire lives to the sport because they see it as the most masculine thing they can do, and they never want to be mistaken for anything but an Alpha Male: the ultimate state of being, one running purely on testosterone and Diet Coke. This toxic masculinity has worked its way in to the sport on a fundamental level, where some people argue that this new generation of players are “soft” when in reality they are being safe. And it starts with the coaches.
The worst part? The people in charge seem keen to reuse the same coaches until they die.
Any coach, no matter what they do or who they are as a person, is guaranteed another job if they have had even a modicum of success. Sometimes though, you can absolutely suck and be rehired by your best friend as a favor, which is more-or-less what usually happens. It’s why we constantly digest and vomit back up the same coaches in the NFL; how guys like Dan Quinn, Gus Bradley, or Darrell Bevell keep getting jobs of note.
The NFL is just a dog that eats its own shit. You know, a dumb puppy who you tell not to, who themselves probably knows its a bad idea, but this is a new piece of poop that they haven’t tried yet. Maybe this one will be different though. Maybe Bill Lazor will stop running draws on 3rd and 8. Maybe Lovie Smith won’t run the Tampa 2 if he doesn’t have linebackers with range. Maybe this shit won’t hurt my stomach.
College isn’t much better, but has generally been more progressive and been more willing to give guys shots. These guys are usually former players who have spent at least a decade doing the most grueling, thankless jobs in the sport and earn their spots as head coaches. Sometimes they’re Lane Kiffin. And sometimes, they’re career assistants finally being given the chance to be a head coach because they’re cheap and a major school made a mistake in their last hire and needs to get that money off the books before they can try it again (see Pittman, Sam.) The latter sometimes works and actually constructs a culture we can be proud of and that other coaches should strive for.
Okay, sometimes they can let a player die on their watch due to the conditions they put the player in, but in my defense I said murder. That’s manslaughter at best. MURDER is probably the breaking point.
Jon Gruden Sucks
The latest in this trend is Jon Gruden, who many thought to be a Good Guy until emails revealed him to be a serial killer using voodoo magic to revive his career.
Gruden, who “resigned” from his position as head coach for the Las Vegas Raiders for misogynistic, homophobic, and racist slurs in emails he made while an employee at ESPN, is dumbfounded by his firing. In a press release, he apologizes and says that “he never meant to hurt anyone”, aka he had no intention of ever letting his bigotry be shown to the public and is remorseful over the fact we have all seen his true colors. Surely, with his hate-filled heart no one would ever want him to get another job.
Well fuck. I shouldn’t be surprised though, it is just Miami-
Please people. I am begging you. Put your fandom aside for a second. Put aside the fact that Gruden won one Super Bowl 20 years ago. Do you really want a guy with a record barely over .500, who hasn’t had a winning season since 2008, and more importantly HATES HIS OWN PLAYERS leading your children? A man who has one mildly funny or ridiculous quip a season that all of twitter makes fun of him for three days? A MAN WHO LOST HIS VIRGINITY TO THE NOTRE DAME FIGHT SONG???
This is the dude you want as your head coach? You want to root for this man? Who casually drops the f-slur while being the head coach for the ONLY opening gay player in the NFL? Jesus Christ. Carl Nassib, you deserve so much better than this. I can only imagine what you are going through right now.
There’s no doubt in my mind Gruden will get another job. It might be a rehabilitation stint under Nick Saban, or he’ll lie low for a few years and let some people forget until he comes roaring back. He’ll probably be coaching the Raiders again by 2034.
Urban Meyer Also Sucks
Oh Urban. Uncle Urb. How happy is he that Gruden is taking the limelight away from his pervy mug?
I don’t even know how Urban has a job still. I’m guessing it’s because he’s too expensive, but Gruden was under contract for $100 million. Sure, Gruden’s probably voids because he “quit”, but that’s boring. You can fire Urban for a number of made up reasons that could reasonably fit under “for cause”. Has Shad Khan even tried? PFT laid out a pretty decent argument from Meyer’s video alone. You could just say he’s not doing his job, which he’s not. I’m not talking about the losing: coaches lose and have rough starts to the season all the time, and with a roster like the one in Jacksonville that's excusable. No, when I say he’s not doing his job I mean stuff like this:
Seriously, is he drunk and/or high during practices and games? Does he not know what’s going on with his team? What would you do as the owner of the team with arguably the greatest quarterback prospect ever? You courted Urban out of retirement, were the only NFL team that really showed any interest in him, and he could potentially set your franchise back a decade. There’s no reason for Shad Khan to still have him on staff.
This of course isn’t even half of it. Urban started his tenure with the Jaguars by hiring Chris Doyle as his Director of Sport Performance, a thought-to-be home run hire after two decades in the same position at Iowa. Needless to say, he is no longer on staff. It’s not often a head coach starts 0-1 without a game being played. Matt Patricia is the last one I can think of, and his situation similarly predicted exactly what his tenure would look like.
All I’m saying is that there needs to be a drastic overhaul to the hiring process. There is no doubt in my mind that Art Briles would be hired by now if it wouldn’t be a PR nightmare for the university. Hell, Kendal Briles gets a new job every other year and no one cares.
We trust these men with raising our children. Football should be a place of growth; it shouldn’t be about winning, it should be about becoming the best versions of ourselves. It’s about cultivating relationships and creating cultures that we can be proud of. Coach Lasso understands this. He also understands that that’s not what football is right now, and he left. We should all consider the same.