What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
We got one…and about freaking time. Of course, it wasn’t who I was expecting. As you probably know, Jeff Fisher has been fired. I didn’t have him on my original list, but he was on my “Should Be Fired” list. 83.3% of you who voted in our poll agreed The Fish should get canned. Here’s why I originally thought so.
Would you like to know how long it’s been since a Jeff Fisher-coached team made the play-offs? Here’s a few hints. Bill Clinton was still president, the smartphone had yet to be invented, and the #1 song in this county was “What A Girl Wants ” by Christina Aguilera.
That’s right. You have to go back to January of 2000 for the last time a team led by “Mr. 7-9” saw the play-offs. Forget the fact his teams have a reputation for playing dirtier than the Road Warriors in a cage match. Forget the fact that his teams are Rex Ryan-ish for collecting stupid penalties. And forget the fact that his mustache makes him look like a cross between an Alabama state trooper and a 1970’s porn star. Luckily for him, he’s in a place where that isn’t going to matter for at least three more years.
A Dubsist pointed out that I was wrong about that, The Fish took the Titans to the play-offs in 2008. But as J-Dub pointed out, one trip to January football in fifteen years is a pretty good reason to give this guy a date with the unemployment line. But, that doesn’t change the fact I missed this one.
Unlike many of the gas-bags in the mainstream sports media, I’ll admit when I’m wrong. I’m especially surprised by the timing of this firing. We know about the 2-year extension, even though they say that was done before the season actually started. There’s the fact that the Rams have a short week this week because they’re playing on Thursday. Even more curious is the fact that Fisher tied Dan Reeves for the record for most all-time losses as an NFL coach. Los Angeles Rams fans have to remember their pre-St. Louis history includes such coaching debacles as Bob Waterfield, Harland Svare, and the second incarnation of Chuck Knox. Having the losingest coach in NFL history doesn’t help sell tickets in a city your franchise abandoned a generation ago.
Either way, the fact is The Fish got filleted, which means I finally have an excuse to dive back update my list of coaches I think are going to get deep-sixed come “Black Monday.”
1) Gus Bradley – Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jags have been a huge disappointment. Even I was dumb enough to predict before the season that they’d make the playoffs. A lot of people are baffled that Bradley’s keys still work in the locks at Jacksonville’s facilities (yes, they still have keys in a world of pass-cards). I can’t imagine he will be come “Black Monday.” Maybe the playoff prediction was a stretch, but I still think there is some talent on that team, at least on offense. Last year it looked like Blake Bortles was progressing nicely, now he’s running backwards faster than Darrelle Revis getting toasted by a guy who was a FedEx driver two weeks ago.
2) Rex Ryan – Buffalo Bills
I had Rex at the top of the charts before the season, mainly because the Buffalo brass had given him the ultimatum of “playoffs or bust.” To be honest, I wasn’t even going to have him on the list in this edition for a lot of reasons, and to be honest, J-Dub will tell you I’m the world’s biggest “anti-Rex” guy. Yeah, Buffalo isn’t going to make the playoffs, but they’ve been competitive and they aren’t the worst team in the league by far. Hell, they aren’t even the worst team in their division. Nobody will be as long as Woody Johnson owns the Jets, but that’s another story.
But, I keep hearing these rumblings about Rex being on the hot seat. Personally (and like I said, this will stun people who know me) I’d keep Rex. He’s been pretty tame this year. His team isn’t awful. They’ve cut down on the penalties and foolishness that usually defines a Rex team. But, I don’t get consulted on these things, and it sounds like Rex is shuffling out of Buffalo in a few weeks.
3) Chuck Pagano – Indianapolis Colts
This is the perfect spot for Pagano on this list. It’s 50/50 he stays. Is there anything more H. Dumpty Pagano-ish than sitting on a fence? Well, The future Chuck-omelet has been straddling that wall for 2 years now, and he’s given no reason for owner Jim Irsay not to push him off. For some reason Irsay seems reluctant to do it. Maybe he sees the big egg in some percodan-induced hallucination.
The problem is he may not have a choice after this year. The natives are restless in Indianapolis. Fans want Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson gone, and for once, I can’t say Colts fans are wrong. Look no further than last week. They are at home playing the team with which they’re tied for the division lead, and they made Brock Osweiler look like a competent NFL quarterback. In case you missed it, the term “Osweiler-ed” is about become the new standard for terms describing shitty quarterback play, officially surpassing “Cutler-ed,” “Fitzpatrick-ed,” and “(Insert 21st-century Cleveland Browns example here). Making Osweiler look like a competent NFL quarterback is turning Dr. Nick Riveira into the Surgeon General.
Can I get extra cheese in my Chuck-omelet?
4) Mike McCoy – San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are the most frustrating teams around if you’re a gambler. Just when you think it’s safe to write them off, they show up and either beat somebody they shouldn’t. Worse yet, they always seem to be in a position to make the number on their own 20 with 1:30 to go, then they go all “Bill Cosby” on you. You wake up thinking your drink tasted funny, then you don’t remember how you lost, and you can’t figure out why your pants are on backwards.
That’s why Philip Rivers’ Hall of Fame plaque is going to say “Screwed more gamblers than Sharon Stone in ‘Casino.'” Ask any gambler who has been to the plasma center more than three times, and they will all tell you about the free juice and cookies known as the “Rivers Special.”
To be fair, this year the Chargers have had a ton of injuries, but then again, they are always more beat up than Tina Turner when she was still married to Ike. The Chargers are moving to Los Angeles because a new stadium in San Diego is as likely as the existence of a Donald Trump-Hilary Clinton sex tape. That means at some point, there’s going to be a clean sweep for the Chargers.
5) John Fox – Chicago Bears
The Bears have been such a disaster I’m surprised they haven’t been renamed the “Clinton Campaigns.” I’m not sure how much of that is on John Fox, but he may end up paying the price because they always say you can’t fire all the players. Like a lot of bad football team, they’ve been bitten by injury bug, but considering the lack of talent the Bears started with, that’s like saying your high school didn’t have a valedictorian because everybody failed “nap” in kindergarten. Failure is a tree with deep roots, and right now Chicago is a forest of football futlility.
It took 13 weeks to get our first coach firing in 2016, which is off-the-charts unusual. Somewhere as we speak, somebody is blaming that on climate change or Vladimir Putin. Yeah, like that’s the only reason 2016 has been an odd year. I’m guessing we won’t have any more coaches get the pipe until “Black Monday,” and I’m not sure that will be it’s usual bloodletting. Frankly, if more than two guys on this list are filling out change-of-address cards in January, I’ll be more surprised than a starving North Korean at a Golden Corral.
Agree? Disagree? Got a hot take of your own on this topic? Send it to JFI at @jbhickle on Twitter or email firstname.lastname@example.org .