And You Thought *Your* Job Situation was Uncertain
The 2010 NFL season is far from over and it's already clear that it has been an unusual one, for a variety of reasons. If I had to pick a few words to describe the season thus far, they would be words like surprising. Dramatic. Tumultuous. And if you are a coach in the NFL this year of an under performing team, uncertainty should definitely be the word used to describe the season. With 3 weeks in the regular season remaining, 3 coaches have been fired in the midst of the season. In a time when the economy is struggling and millions are out of jobs, some may find it somehow comforting that there is some measure of accountability in the high paying enterprise of professional football.
A look at the fallen:
Victim #1: Wade Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
After a seemingly endless free fall for the team, the first ax of the season went to Dallas Cowboys coach Wade Phillips. After a pathetic showing of 1-7, owner Jerry Jones had enough and fired Phillips in early November. Probably to the chagrin to Phillips, a change of leadership seemed to be exactly what the Cowboys needed. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was named the new head coach, and under him the Cowboys have a 3-1 record. Including a win over the Indianapolis Colts. Boo.
Victim #2: Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings
The drama from the Cowboys has been surpassed this season by only one team: The Minnesota Vikings. That was due in large part to Hot Mess Brett Favre, but also due to Mr. Crazy-in-a-Different -Sort-of-Way Randy Moss and rumors of a virtual mutiny among players under coach Brad Childress. Each time a firing seemed to be imminent the Vikings seemed to eek out a win. Until the a 31-3 loss at home to Favre's former team, the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings management had enough and appointed defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to the role of head coach. Reportedly, Childress learned of his firing from watching TV. Oops. See, it's not just your workplace that has vast communications issues.
Victim #3: Josh McDaniels, Denver Broncos
News came on Monday that Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels got the ax after the Broncos lost 7 out of 8 games, with a record of 3-9 on the season. Unlike the drama with the Cowboys and the Vikings, the Broncos seemed to quietly and not too dramatically suck. Until news broke that McDaniels, who previously was part of the coaching staff of the New England Patriots, brought New England's cheating ways with him to the Broncos by filming a practice of the San Francisco 49ers for a Halloween game played in London. McDaniels and the Broncos' video operations coordinator, who McDaniels brought with him from the Patriots, were fined $50,000 each by the NFL, and the VOC was fired. The team's record, this dishonesty, and the trades of talented players such as running back Peyton Hillis all led to the end of McDaniels. The interim head coach for the Broncos is running backs coach Eric Studesville.
It's nice to know that you and I aren't the only ones that have to undergo performance reviews. Thankfully we don't have to do so publicly as the likes of Phillips, Chilly and McDaniels. But by the same token, they have millions of dollars in compensation that they can use to soothe their unemployed hearts.
Will there be any more firings during the 2010 NFL season? I'll be curious to see what happens to the coach of the 2-10 Cincinatti Bengals, Marvin Lewis.