Black Monday indeed. One day after the conclusion of the 2012 NFL regular season, heads were rolling from the east coast to the west, from NY (well, technically NJ) to San Diego. The pink slips were flying everywhere. It's probably a good thing there's no NFL teams in Hawaii or Alaska, or somebody might have got axed there too. Such was the atmosphere.
Those fired, so far, include head coaches Andy Reid in Philly, Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals, Pat Shurmur in Cleveland, and Chan Gailey in Buffalo. Also, Norv Turner in San Diego, Romeo Crennel in KC, and Lovie Smith of Da Bears.
With the possible exception of Smith in Chicago, all those guys pretty much had it coming for the way their teams performed this year. This is the third time Norv Turner has been fired by a team. Shouldn't he now be deemed an habitual offender? Shurmur of the Browns? Hey, what did he expect? It's Cleveland. Those guys haven't been any good since Jim Brown was running amok. Even though Andy Reid had been with the Eagles for 14 years, his team started mailing it in this year a couple months ago. Time to go. Never fear, Andy's the leading candidate to go to the Arizona Cardinals to replace Whisenhunt. Gailey made a few million, but Buffalo? Please. Like Cleveland, they've been lousy since a guy named Jim Kelly was their QB. Look for some of these losers to land head coaching jobs elsewhere, and the good ole boy NFL coaches' merry-go-round lives on. Yee-hah!
Wherefore art thou Romeo after KC fed him the poison pill? Beats me, but they stunk it up BAD this year. And what the hell kind of name is Romeo for an NFL head coach anyway?
What's even worse was Smith of ChiTown. It's the Bears, with no "teddy" in front of it, and they don't play at Pajama Party Stadium. They play at Soldier Field dammit, and they're known for guys like Ditka, Singletary, Urlacher, Butkus, Dent, and even a Refrigerator. Even their names sound tough.
Smith might well have been a fine head coach, but with all due respect to him, a guy named Lovie running THAT team was just WRONG. Idle thought -- could Smith be the same Lovie that was on Gilligan's Island? I hope not, because -- if you think Chaz Bono had an extreme makeover, get a load of THIS dude. Talk about some serious work. WOW.
A few general managers bit the dust too. Gene Smith of the Jax Jaguars, Rod Graves of Whisenhunt's same Arizona Cardinals, Tom Heckert of Shurmurs same Cleveland Browns, and A.J. Smith of Turners same San Diego Chargers.
Plus the GM of the NY Jets -- Mike Tannenbaum. How in the hell the Jets fired their GM but keep head coach Rex Ryan on board is beyond comprehension, but they did. Maybe it had something to do with that Tebow experiment not exactly working out, but Ryan was the guy running the clown act on the field.
All the other teams listed above didn't live up to expectations this year and heads rolled. Let's not forget, when a head coach gets fired, the coordinators and all the other position coaches normally get broomed as well. That's half a bus load right there. Also, when a GM gets fired, the next guy will probably want to hire a new head coach, so guys like Ryan, and his staff, are far from safe just yet.
There may be more firings to come as other owners deliberate their teams' futures. Probably not in Detroit, though. Owner William Clay Ford has been known to, ahem, "deliberate" for years, and STILL make the wrong decision.
And which team was the biggest under-achiever of them all this year? That would be the Detroit Edsels, excuse, Lions, of course. After going 10-6 last year, many predicted even better things in 2012. There were the delusional ones that dared even mention the words "Super Bowl". We don't hear much from them about that anymore. Gee, I wonder why?
But you know what? In Detroit, it doesn't even matter. Even though all 4 tires once again shredded on their vehicle a couple months ago, they didn't notice, and remain blissfully happy in their ignorance to keep driving down the road on the rims. It's just a minor vibration and it will fix itself by next year, they say. And hey, they only lost a bunch of games by a meager few points. We were THAT close. We'll gear up for the next draft, bring in a couple big time free agents, and we'll be contenders, they'll always add. And geez, Schwartz just caught a few bad breaks this year, but he's a really good coach. Maybe the Lions should give him another 5 or 10 year extension on his contract. If memory serves me correctly (certainly no given), then I believe a guy named Mr. T once summed it up quite well. Something about, "I pity the fools.....".
Yet for those very same reasons, Jim Schwartz, he of the worst record in the entire league during his tenure, will probably escape the axe that would certainly have fallen on him in any other NFL city at the end of this season. Only in Detroit, and only with William Clay at the helm of the ever recurring Titanic, would this happen.
But right now, with the waters still swirling around the league, a good thing has emerged.
Both Harbaughs are in the playoffs, and both Ryans are not. That includes Rob Ryan, the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys. Judging by the TV air time he receives on the sidelines, many might think he's the head coach down in Big D, but he's not. That would be Jason Garrett. And it's likely both are hanging on by a thread as the ever-lovable Jerry Jones, owner, president, GM, and head bottle washer of the Cowboys all rolled into one gigantic ego, is doing a little deliberating of his own.
Maybe there's a little justice that will become of this whole mess after all.