Yesterday was Black Monday in the NFL. My team's coach got fired. Your team's coach got fired. EVERYONE'S coach got fired. If six Fortune 500 CEOs were all shitcanned on the same day, the markets would crash; there'd be barricades in the streets by noon. But it's a telling sign of football culture that mass purges can be considered CLEANSING. No one revels in this festival of newly unemployed rich men more than I do.
Of course, Black Monday is a discouraging day for pretty much any fan of a team with a coaching vacancy. It's proof that your team has no fucking clue what it's doing, that it just wasted years of toil and millions of dollars on an ultimately fruitless pursuit of success, and that it is on the verge of repeating the process many times over. You can do a thorough coaching search and throw piles of money at a college coach or a hot assistant, but your odds of success are about the same as finding a star in the second round of the draft. I already know my team will hire some new stiff to replace the old stiff, and thus I am now dead inside.
But I may as well enjoy the upheaval while it lasts. Black Monday happens only once a year, and the euphoria tends to die down quickly. So let's review what happened yesterday by ranking the firings from most entertaining to least.
1. Washington. Sorry, Cleveland. No one does acrimony like the Skins, who dragged out Mike Shanahan's inevitable firing for weeks before formally doing so and then put scotch tape on the windows so that reporters couldn't see inside the team's facilities. It's telling that Shanahan's tenure represented the Skins at their MOST functional, and that they have already regressed back into open paranoia.
2. Cleveland. Rob Chudzinski was technically fired on Sunday night, but when you have reporters calling your front office the Three Stooges and you forcibly relocate single-fan protests across the street—did the Browns really have to put team HQ next to some kind of abandoned box factory?—you earn your spot here. Do you realize that Josh McDaniels, who is pure evil, may TURN DOWN this job? I wouldn't hire Josh McDaniels to make me a sandwich. He is the fucking worst. Teams were firing their coaches yesterday without a definitive idea of who could (or would) be coaching the team next. That is bad.
3. Tampa Bay. We all thought Greg Schiano was doomed, but then the Bucs kinda sorta played OK down the stretch and we thought he might stick around and then BOOM BITCH, the Bucs swept out both Schiano and the GM. And I will miss Schiano. When Lovie Smith arrives and the Bucs become a levelheaded, fairly bland, possibly competent organization, I will miss Schiano ordering low hits and telling his players to piss on their flesh-eating bacteria wounds.
4. Detroit. Whenever there are vague reports of "friction" between a coach and GM (as was the case with Jim Schwartz and Martin Mayhew), I like to picture the two men just beating the living shit out of each other in the hallway, screaming breathtaking obscenities at one another. THIS IS MY FUCKING TEAM AND I WILL FUCKING TEAR OFF YOUR DICK AND EAT IT.
5. Minnesota. Who was the coach? Did they even have a coach? Was it that guy with the thing? He seemed nice. Whatever.
So there you go. Five teams headed nowhere, and determined to stay on course. Lord willing, they'll get nowhere soon enough.