Tony Sparano & Todd Haley Get Fired – Right Solution?
Tough day for two NFL coaches. Tony Sparano of the Dolphins and Todd Haley of the Kansas City Chiefs were told to pack their bags and get out. Let me say upfront unlike 98% of the football fans in America, I have other answers then just 'fire the coach'.
I have called it the dumbing down of American sports fans. Today's sports fans so it seems to me grasp for the easy answer. Team is bad, fire the coach. Team loses a game well it's the coach's fault or the refs screwed us. Now ask yourself how many times have you heard the average fan utter these 2 phrases, maybe you reading this are 1 of them. Ho hum is what I say. Let's take Sparano 1st. Anyone who has heard my show knows I am the biggest Dolphin hater anywhere on the radio. hated them since 1982 and will hate them when my dirt nap comes but putting that aside exactly what should Sparano have done to make this aweful team better then the 4-9 they are? He has very little offensive talent, A vastly over rated secondary, Not much of a pass rush and really not much talent. A great coach could possibly coax 8 wins from this squad. Was it Sparano throwing pick after pick in the 1st 6 games of the year. Oh wait that was Chad Henne. Was it Sparano that couldn't open a hole for a mouse to run threw let alone Reggie Bush or Daniel Thomas? No. I am thrilled the 'Dull-fins' are losers again and frankly I don't care who coaches them until they get an owner with a clue and some offensive talent. Bill Walsh couldn't coach this group to more wins then losses.
That brings me to the really outrageous firing today. Todd Haley is a great offensive mind and play caller yet when you are saddled with Tyler Palko and you throw the ball no further then 7 yards. It's hard to keep a defense honest and from packing the line of scrimmage with those results. I have said many times injuries could be an excuse (most of the time) or a reason (this time). The Chiefs lost their all pro DB Eric Berry, their top running back Jamal Charles and then their QB Matt Cassel for the season and for this Haley was shown the door. Last year the Cheifs exceeded expectations by making the playoffs where they lost to Baltimore. Even with these crippling injuries they went on a 4 game winning streak and were in 1st place in the AFC West before their QB went down. Somehow though the fans said Haley has to go and so did the organization.
I can't speak for all markets but for my market that being NY I made this case the other day in regards to Tom Coughlin the great head coach of the NY Giants who fans are saying needs to go. Look at all the great coaches this city has lost cause fans and management are small thinkers and determined the coach was the problem not the players or other factors. NBA-Larry Brown and Don Nelson to name 2..2 hall of famers but the fans demanded the coach be fired. MLB- Joe Torre, Lou Pinella and now Joe Girardi is under fire. All solid if not great at what they do. Throw in the Mets tossing aside Bobby Valentine and Willie Randolph to name 2. Yeah both of those guys were aweful..NOT! NHL-Mike Keenan,Fred Shero,Craig Patrick. Herb Brooks to name 4..fans demanding their head. NFL- Dan Reeves, Walt Michaels, Jim Fassell to name just 3. I could list more but you get the point. Notice only the Yanks have sustained long term success.
Don't get me wrong some coaches need to be shown the door. Either they can't coach, don't lead, aren't prepping the team well or just don't fit. Example Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni who I believe is a solid coach for certain teams but not for a team that thinks they can win it all because he doesn't teach defense or doesn't preach defense enough. I can name 5 coaches in the NFL who I think should be canned right now if I were the judge and jury. Start with the vastly over-rated Mike Shanahan, Norv Turner, perhaps Gary Kubiak (10 wins this year thanks to Wade Phillips).
I love talking to sports fans but am bored with the "it's the coaches fault" or refs fault take. Yawn. Boring. Worn out. Teams lose mostly cause of the players and front office and yes coaching but not just coaching. Look at the teams with long term success like the Pittsburgh Steelers they never change coaches and have an NFL high 6 Lombardi trophy's.