Football Knower Mike Lombardi infamously said that Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was “less qualified to coach a team than anyone I’ve ever seen” before the start of last season. Pederson went on to win the goddamn Super Bowl, and Lombardi has been eating crow ever since. Today, Pederson served him another helping.
In his column today, NBC’s Peter King has a bit about Pederson’s forthcoming book, which allowed Pederson to talk a little bit about the fallout from Lombardi’s slight:
One bit of the book stuck out to me. Pederson, in my time with him, comes across as a totally normal guy. He remembers precisely where he came from, and doesn’t think his job today is any more important to his players than his job was coaching high school football a decade ago in Louisiana. But he remembers slights—and one in particular. The week before the 2017 season, Mike Lombardi, a long-time NFL front-office man who was working for The Ringer, wrote about Pederson: “Everybody knows Doug Pederson isn’t a head coach. He might be less qualified to coach a team than anyone I’ve ever seen.”
That got a ton of attention last year when Pederson was on the road to winning the Super Bowl. Pederson, in the book, says Lombardi wrote him a letter during the playoffs last season. “It was written on a typewriter, and was about three paragraphs long,” Pederson writes. “The letter said, ‘The first rule of any informed opinion is to never begin with the end in mind. And I violated that rule. For that, I extend my sincere apology.’ I was appreciative, and at least it showed he was man enough to admit he was wrong.”
Then this: “After the Super Bowl, the possibility of writing this book came up. One of the interested companies thought Lombardi would be a great co-author and submitted an offer. I said, respectfully, ‘No thanks.’ “
Pederson revealing that he turned down an opportunity to have Lombardi co-author his book might seem like the meanest part of this anecdote, but the real burn can be found in his revelation that Lombardi composed his apology letter on a typewriter.
And don’t worry too much about how little sense “the first rule of any informed opinion is to never begin with the end in mind” makes as a rule. Lombardi spends most of his time these days crafting quote cards to promote his book, and he seems to have lost the ability to communicate in any form that isn’t a vague and meaningless platitude:
Thank you, Gridiron Genius.