Get Out Monday ran its course fairly quickly, largely because Cleveland’s Jimmy Haslam needed to fire Rob Chudzinski before Washington’s Danny Snyder smoked Mike Shanahan.
Hey, this is how owners compete in the modern world: “I blew up my guy before you blew up your guy and now I can hire my next guy hours before you.” There ought to be a trophy for this – maybe a severed head in a basket hanging off a golden spear buried in a granite base. The NFL Coach Of The Hey Where’d He Go Cup.
It’s hard to make the case that any of the departed – Chudzinski, Shanahan, Tampa Bay’s Greg Schiano, Minnesota’s Leslie Frazier or Detroit’s Jim Schwartz – didn’t have it coming on the basis of record alone; the five were 19-60-1 this year.
But the problem is that the owners rather than the general managers are making coaching calls now, and owners who make football decisions by definition weaken the nation.
Indeed, there is nothing to suggest that Haslam, Snyder, the Glazers in Tampa, Zygi Wilf in Minnesota or the Fords in Detroit will be any better at hiring the next guy then they were at hiring these guys. If truth be told, the owners probably need owners to have their own football acumen evaluated as they evaluate their own.
I mean, here’s a fact. The Browns have fired their coach four times since the last time any of their AFC North brethren have fired one. In other words, stability matters, and teams that fire their coaches tend to fire their successors quickly. Patience is something they leave to steadier types – like narcotics informers, auctioneers and Maury Povich guests.
If the owners had owners, Haslam would be fired on whatever Monday is best for this sort of thing. So would the Glazers, Fords, the Zygster and Snyder for sure. So would Mark Davis and Jerry Jones and Ralph Wilson and Woody Johnson. Frankly, this is an idea whose time has clearly come.
But it’s hard to find bosses for billionaires, unless you go to their HR departments. Those people can scare everyone with a single file cabinet.
Thus, You’re Fired Mondays will continue, and they will spill backwards into Sunday nights and, soon enough, into Sunday postgame pressers. Owners secretly love this stuff because it allows them to pretend they know what they’re doing in yet another career pursuit, and the fact that in almost all circumstances they are wrong makes no difference at all.
Hell, in Dallas, this sort of insanity is the bitcoin of the realm. The only thing that can be said of General Manager Jerry and Boy Stephen is that they are the opposite of impetuous. They hold on to Jason Garrett as though he was Queen Elizabeth II, and say what you will about Garrett, it is still a better way to operate than Haslam did with Chudzinski.
Now maybe Haslam needed something to take his mind off his ongoing court dates in the Pilot J federal fraud case, in which case Chudzinski bought his ex-boss one night of sleep. Wilf is also crossways with the legal system, so firing Frazier provides a nice distraction.
But for the most part, firing is as firing does, and one leads to the next in an increasingly tight spiral. And if you’re a Raider fan twitchy over the inaction on Dennis Allen, consider that Mark Davis would have to replace him, and that’s probably not an optimal situation for your peace of mind.
Besides, next year it’ll be probably be your turn anyway.