What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
One of my favorite TV shows is Star Trek. There have been five incarnations of Star Trek, but my favorite was always the original. Captain James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, you know them all. You also know the tale of the “red shirt;” meaning characters who you didn’t recognize who were wearing such a garment were as good as dead. The exception to this rule of cours was Scotty, who proved that being a Canadian playing a Scotsman could be made impervious to pretty much anything by marinating him in enough single-malt scotch to float the Enterprise. That means this week’s edition of the Coaches Death Watch is all about which of these guys will be Scotty, and which will end up in a rubber bag with the Star Fleet logo on it.
1) Mike Pettine ↑2
A common trait of a “red shirt” is that what happens to them really isn’t their fault; they’re just doing their jobs. Captain Kirk send them out to secure the area, and their last words always end up being something like “Hey Captain! Come over here I found somethi—AAAAIIIIGGGGHHH!” There can’t be a better way to describe Mike Pettine.
Does anyone know the last coach to win a playoff game for the Cleveland Browns? That would be Bill Belichick in 1995, who beat the Bill Parcells-coached Patriots. Since then, the Browns have had coaches who aspire to stay in Cleveland longer than an Indians Rookie of the Year (yes, that was a gratuitous Joe Charbonneau reference).
None of them have succeeded.
Pettine promises to be the next wad of toilet paper plugging the shitter at a Taco Bell, and when they flush him out with one of industrial accordion-style janitor’s plungers, it won’t be his fault. The never-ending circus that is the Brownies front office is now back on the “Johnny Manziel is our starter” train the Browns were thumped yet again by Cincinnati. Forget the “tough” stand about his behavior, the bottom line is when Luke McCown gets hurt and your only other option is Austin Davis, they would name John Daly as the starter.
The point is the Browns have gone through about 200 quarterbacks since that play-off win, and it’s pretty clear the search isn’t over. The Browns can’t draft and they can’t develop players, which is why they have zero consistency. That means they never let a coach lay any groundwork to stop this death spiral, which is why the only people who will take that job are guys like Pettine, meaning somebody who will take any head coaching job just to put “head coach” on their resume. This is the same way girls from Kansas hop off the bus in Hollywood thinking they are going to be the next Jennifer Lawrence and end up in a Motel 6 in Chatsworth with 14 midget dicks in them.
If you get handed Pettine’s red shirt, get it dry-cleaned before you put it on.
2) Jeff Fisher ↔
Fisher has a better chance of winning a fist fight with a Klingon than still being employed on Black Monday.
Once again, Jeff Fisher’s team pulled a no-show. The funny part about this is he got pissed off when asked about his team’s effort, then that team laid an ostrich egg. Whatever message Fisher is broadcasting doesn’t matter, because his team is listening with a 1964 Motorola transistor radio which has dead batteries. The Rams once-feared defense is softer than a fat cheerleader, and betting on Nick Foles to be the guy to save your team is like putting your house payment on the Washington Generals.
3) Mike McCoy *NEW*
OK, so it’s really not a “red shirt” thing, but the Chargers are the Enterprise getting sucked into the “Doomsday Machine.” No matter what this franchise does, they just can’t get out of the funk they’ve been in since they ran Marty Schottenheimer out of town. Under current head coach Mike McCoy, San Diego has started slowly and charged at the end of each season , and every time they fell short.
This time they saved the stumbling finish for the entire season. I realize the Chargers have had a ton of injuries, but by this time in the NFL season, every team looks like an urban emergency room on a Saturday night. This team has come apart at the seams, and we all know who usually pays the price for that.
4) Tom Coughlin. ↔
The original Star Trek ran for two seasons before it was cancelled. However, a letter writing campaign by fans of the show persuaded NBC to keep the show on for one more season. I sense a similar outcry every time I put Coughlin on this list. But face it, Coughlinites…the guy makes boob-type decisions.
I’m always in favor of being aggressive, but once again Grandpa Tom pulled another blunder. Up 10 points in the 4th quarter and in the red zone, Coughlin elected to go fort it on 4th down, bypassing the field goal that would have made the Jets score two touchdowns to win. Worse yet, he’s lets Eli Manning throw the ball in that situation. Of course, Eli did what Eli does, he chucked a pick. I’ve lost count how many times (at least four just this year alone) geriatric Tommy Boy has made decisions like that which cost him a win. You never saw an old “red-shirt” for a reason, which is why I think Tommy gets a chance to “retire” rather than a face a public firing.
5. Chuck Pagano ↔
Monday, Pagano was 45 minutes late for his scheduled press conference, and the immediate speculation was that he had been fired. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but it set Twitter on fire for awhile. I know GM Ryan Grigson has done Pagano no favors, and I also know that his franchise quarterback has been on the shelf. But I still see Pagano being unable to make adjustments. He went to Pittsburgh last year and got his lunch handed to him. He went to Pittsburgh last Sunday and got his lunch handed to him. I look at Pagano’s 39-21 record and think “Wow, that’s better than I am giving him credit for.” Then I remember how many of those wins came in the craptacular known as the AFC South, and I know the phasers are pointed squarely at Pagano and are set to kill.
Chip Kelly infuriates me. He’s been my personal yo-yo. From Honorable Mention to #1 back to Honorable Mention. I can’t get a read on him. All logic suggests that he should be fired. The past two weeks he’s been public enemy #1 in Philadelphia. Then he turns around and beats the Patriots. That will probably save him. I heard a few Philadelphia media members who seem to be plugged in say there is no way he’s getting fired. Plus he’s got the Eagles somehow tied for the lead in the NFC East again.
Just like a bad penny Caldwell keeps coming back. I mainly wanted to criticize how he defended that Hail Mary last week. Three rushers, and five guys in the end zone. Do the math. Where where were the other three guys? In the middle of the goddamn field. Somebody please explain what those guys who were 20 yards away from the end zone were doing? I’ve never been a huge fan of Aaron Rodgers; but that’s for another piece someday. But the one thing you can’t do is underestimate Rodgers’ arm strength. It was obvious there was no where else that ball was going but the end zone. That’s why Jimmy is back in my sights.
Star Trek is a cultural phenomenon, but it also left a trail of red-shirted, nameless crewmen in its wake. While these coaches are far from anonymous, in the end they all end up cold meat. They may be the captains of their ships for now, but it won’t be long before they all boldly go where so many other clowns have gone before.
-You can follow JFI on Twitter @jbhickle