Thursday, December 29, 2005


Harder to fire a black coach? Are you kidding?

By DinoCosta



So an email arrived today from Cheyenne, Wyoming, which is a place that has every Cowboy in the town looking over their shoulder for that Brokeback duo.

Jim asked me: Is it harder in this day and age to fire a black head coach once that coach has been hired in the NFL or at a college?

What a question.

What nerve this guy had to make such an inquiry.

Jim obviously was well aware of the fact that I live for questions like this one.

Where others would run the other way as fast as Reggie Bush does carrying a football - I on the other hand run toward a question like this as fast as a fireman does running into a burning building.

If it is hard to hire a black coach that will satisfy those in every politically correct corner of the world, then make no mistake that firing that black head coach is almost twice as tough.

Since there is often an agenda attached to a minority candidate hire, that agenda is one that never seems to go away, and it rears its ugly and misguided head throughout the period of time that the minority hire is in place.

Should I stop at this juncture just to qualify my inner most thoughts on this a little bit more?

I shouldn't have to - but I will just to placate the dumb and dumber out their.

Here it is; I could care less what color the coach is so long as that coach is qualified for the job.

Good enough?


You want more I guess?

Okay, then how is this; Color should never enter into the equation for any coaching hire in America. Then again skin color should never matter for any job anywhere, anyplace, at anytime.

Unless of course we're talking about being a television personality on BET...then I believe that color does have a place in the pecking order.

For further consideration of how a coach can still keep his job with the right skin color, but the wrong results, all one needs to do is to look in the direction of New York Jets head coach, Herman Edwards.

Edwards is well thought of across America by those who haven't a clue about his less than impressive coaching ability.

They have seen the Edwards video clips the last few years on ESPN, "you play to win the game", and all that pretty talk.

What those who advocate Edwards as a good coach don't realize, is that Edwards is routinely outcoached by those on the opposition sideline, is bereft of any game management skills, allows the players on his teams to dictate the direction and procedures of his franchise, throws players under the bus by being the anonymous source in many newspaper stories, is not a coach who hold players accountable, is reactive versus being proactive, and generally has no sense of how to "coach" a football team.

But he is a nice guy to the media contingent who covers the Jets for the NY newspapers.

How nice?

Have you ever heard of any coach in the NFL, addressing the media in a collective sense during his daily media briefing - and then meeting with reporters for a good hour afterward, providing them with juicy morsels of information, all of them mostly off the record? Sound kosher to you?

Is this what Mike Shannahan does? Bill Belichick? Brian Billick? Bill Parcells? ANY coach of substance in the NFL?

Wonder why the New York press has been so hesitant to criticize Edwards as they should have over the past few years? Ever hear of not biting the hand that feeds you?

Sure Edwards has been dealt a less than good hand with injuries this season - but even with the injuries (and never failing to mention them as often as he can) he's done a horrible job this year...and others.

Meanwhile the good coaches in the NFL never mention injuries as an excuse and in fact many of them find the suggestion an insult.

The New England Patriots are playing their way back to the playoffs this year with guys on their defense they accumulated off the street for crying out loud.

What are you saying Dino...are you saying that Edwards is being treated with kid gloves in New York because he's black?

Without question.

Edwards has had the audacity during moments this year to complain to those who listen to him that the New York media hasn't been fair to him.

This is simply delusional thinking.

Edwards should check the microfilm out at the New York Library sometime soon, to see how "fair" former Jets coaches like Joe Walton, Bruce Coslet, and Rich Kotite, had it, during their times coaching the green & white.

By the way, Walton, Coslet, and Kotitie, each have forgotten more about football than Edwards will ever know.

Edwards is glib, he's personable, he appears to be the kind of guy you could sit in your living room with and talk over the game of life with.

That's all fine and good - but it doesn't make him a good head football coach. Edwards may be the best football coach in the world (according to the media) Monday through Saturday...but on Sunday he is dreadful.

So the Jets should fire Edwards?

I've suggested this going back three years ago as I have maintained that any success the Jets have had with Edwards as a head coach was in spite of him more than having anything to do with being because of him.

It won't happen. Unless Edwards leaves of his own accord to go someplace else, then Edwards will be back again next year even though he is one of the worst coaches in the league.

The New York press (an extension of the Herman Edwards public relations department) has their heads so far up Edwards rectum, they are so in love with this guy, they feel such an allegiance to Edwards, that if Jets owner Woody Johnson ever pulled the trigger and fired Edwards, the press would make everyone think that the Jets just let go of Vince Lombardi.

Yes, much of it has to do with the fact that Edwards fits the New York press like a glove - as a feel sorry for minority coach in a state that is a bastion of Liberal thinking.

A few weeks ago I had the head of the Black Coaches Association, on my program. When I asked their director Floyd Keith to list for me some capable candidates that he felt were worthy of consideration on both the pro and collegiate level, he refused.


I can only deduce that Mr. Keith was at a loss to identify anyone who made actual sense.

Some have made a case for of all people Ted Cottrell.

Ted Cottrell is the defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, and has coached a defense that makes him the last person who should be considered for an NFL head coaching vacancy.

Prior to his defense in Minnesota, Cottrell coached the Jets defense in New York (before getting fed up with Herman Edwards), and prior to that he coached the defense in Buffalo.

In none of Cotrell's stops has he exhibited anything that should make him serious head coaching material.

If I'm wrong about Cottrell then by all means please write me with your thesis on why Cottrell desrves to be an NFL head coach...other than the fall back excuse, okay?

By the way, my NFL coach of the year is Bengals coach, Marvin Lewis.

Just so you know.

Hiring a minority coaching candidate is always a dangerous sort of a trap for any team or college that wants to make that move.

Now you can huff and puff all you want to, call me a racist if you would like to, tell me that I myself have an agenda (and I do), so long as you are not stupid enough to not believe that my point concerning getting out from underneath a black head coach is more difficult than making the hire itself in the first place sometimes.

Oh, what's my agenda you're asking?

Simple really.

I want qualified people to get qualified jobs on the merit of being able to do the job - with an organization that has decided to make that hire and with an organization that stands behind that hire because they are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the coach they got is the coach they wanted...for no other reason(s) than they believe that coach to be the best man for the job. Period.

But what about when a franchise says that the minority coach they hired isn't the best guy for the job anymore? Uh-oh.

In explaining this as a reason for firing a black coach the reasons become too fuzzy for the media of course.

Especially those overweight lilly white columnists who like stand on their stools of everlasting repentance - while always inferring that the minority is kept down by the evil white men that own NFL teams and run major universities.

Organizations are put to the grinder, they have their motives questioned, their front office personnel is put under a microscope, agendas and cries of racism are certain to surface...this is ridiculous and it's insulting.

But its a fact too.

Lets say for a moment that I'm the owner of any old NFL team, and lets say that I decide for my own personal reasons, that come hell or high water, I'm going to hire a minority coach. I admit to myself (as many people will) that I am doing this because I want to further the black head coaching agenda - and because I know that this hire will bring my franchise positive public relations, as well as compliments from Floyd Keith and Jesse Jackson.

The coach then goes five years with my club, three of those years are under .500,one year we secured a wild card berth - and just this year we missed the playoffs by a game.

Now as I sit in my home sipping Cognac and puffing on a Monte Cristo Cigar, I decide that this particular coach has brought my team as far as I think he can take it.

I decide to make a change.

Pete Carroll is out their and I'm prepared to turn over football operations to him with a 30 million dollar five year contract.

But wait!

I then come to remember that the media loves my fictitious head coach. I remember that just last week my team was hailed in Sports Illustrated, not for being a Super Bowl type of a club, but for being a leader in minority coaching hires.

This coach has done a lot of charity work around the city, his wife is a nice women too, he has kids that have appeared in commercials with him on TV...I begin to re-think my position on firing this coach.

I'll get crucified if I make this move. Then there's Floyd Keith to think about. Jesse. Al. The NAACP. The Black Caucus...and I haven't even gotten around to thinking about how BET will view this move.

Hard to hire a black head coach.

Harder yet to fire a black head coach.

Truth, as they say.

Thanks for the note, Jim.


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