Who the hell knows with the Skins. At the organizational level, they’ve spent the past 20 years blasting away at their own dicks with shotguns, and there is no reason to expect they’ll abandon the effort anytime between now and when the seas rise to reclaim Landover. Maybe they will name poor, hapless Jay Gruden head coach for life. That sure would be a Skins sort of thing to do; even if The Lesser Gruden is not the absolute worst coach in the sport, there is no affirmative reason to have him coach your football team, and there never has been. He has persisted in the job for five years, I suspect, almost entirely as a human expression of Dan Snyder’s desire for people to quit making fun of how frequently he changes head coaches. If that strikes you as a demeaning professional arrangement, well, keep reading.
The team’s noisome, visibly radioactive, Morgul Vale–ass front office—Snyder and looming Frankenstein failson Bruce Allen, that is to say, trying and drunkenly failing to laugh believably and clink their glasses together in a dim, empty room somewhere—certainly seems like it finally intends to fire this doofus, which would at least approximate some kind of sanity, which maybe is the strongest reason to doubt they will actually do it. There were vague reports that Gruden’s job would hang in the balance of this past weekend’s meeting with the Giants; the Skins lost that game 24-3 to a rookie quarterback, dropping them to 0-4 and effectively extinguishing whatever guttering fart-flame passed for hope that they’d compete for the playoffs or even maintain some dignity. He’s still employed as of today, so I guess the reports were wrong. Or maybe Allen read them and decided what A Football Man does is defy the liberal media by firing one more spray of buckshot into his own crotch when they didn’t think he would.
But, with the Dwayne Haskins era looking like it could officially launch any time now—and also like the only reason it hasn’t already is that Gruden still hopes the more experienced Case Keenum might help him steal enough wins to keep his job—there’s no particularly compelling reason not to just be done with the Gruden administration and begin the shamble toward whatever can be pitched to the six remaining dead-ender fans as the latest fresh start. They’re all but guaranteed to fire him at some point between now and next season; they may well have fired him by the time the team returns from its Week 10 bye. But they’re definitely not going to fire him before the team gets pounded into the earth like a tent stake by the New England Patriots at home this coming Sunday, in front of an almost entirely hostile crowd mostly wearing blue and red. If they did that, the cartoonish 70-0 ass-kicking couldn’t as easily be written off as just the last failure of a rightly shitcanned loser. It would belong to the present, rather than the past, and that’s inconvenient to the people who want to sell tickets and shirts and TV ads.
This has to be a weird and awful spot; if football coaches were not, as a rule, the absolute worst imaginable cross-section of humanity you could almost feel pity for one that ends up here. The sport’s absurd martial value system forbids a coach from quitting under basically any set of circumstances, no matter how humiliating or hopeless, so pretty much each year you get some version of this, some desperate bastard with dark circles under his eyes keeping up the requisite manic George Patton routine week after week, pretending not to notice the undertaker following him up and down the sidelines with a tape measure. Is it better to eat shit so badly you leave the organization with no practical choice but to dismiss you immediately, at gunpoint, before you even get back to the postgame locker room? Or will that kind of total collapse just convince them of the need to stick you with the entire remainder of the season so as to prevent the stink from rubbing off on anybody else? Are NFL coaches, grasping fanatical careerists as a rule, even capable of wanting the quicker and more merciful ending?
I genuinely have no idea, just the certainty that whatever the least-bad option is, nobody in this pinwheeling clown-car will discover it. Poor Haskins. Maybe he will fare better under ... oh God, it’s going to be like Donald Rumsfeld or some shit, isn’t it.