Coaches fall as all bounds of sanity are lost

Dec 12, 2000 7:40 AM

We’ve known for a long time what a fragile and insecure profession football coaching is. However, this year all bounds of sanity have been broken. Are you going to tell me that people like Bruce Snyder, Larry Smith, Dick Toomey, Bobby Ross and Norv Turner can’t coach?

Take the case of Turner, who was fired by Redskin owner Daniel M. Snyder. (The M probably stands for Mickey … as in Mouse).

If Snyder owned the team in 1969, he probably would have fired Vince Lombardi. The legend was in his final year of coaching when he led the Skins to a 7-5-2 record. Turner’s mark, when he was let go, was 7-6. Looks about the same as Vince’s record from where I sit!

Even Terry Shea, let go at Rutgers, is a good coach. You know the old story about making chicken salad. If Shea gets another chance, he may prove me right.

I was leafing through the NCAA rule book recently and had to laugh when I saw Dick Tomey’s picture. He’s on the rules committee. Just now I looked again to be able to spell Dick’s name correctly and there on the opposite page is a picture of Jim Caldwell. The fact that they were on that prestigious committee didn’t help either one keep his job. Tomey’s out at Arizona. Caldwell’s out at Wake Forest.

The rule book reminded me of a story you might enjoy. Ohio Wesleyan coach Mike Hollway was on the same rules committee a few years ago. Mike is usually a dignified, quiet coach. (You might remember his father Bob, who coached the Cardinals and liked to brag a bit about drafting Dan Dierdorf).

Well, this day at Allegheny, the referee makes a bad call. He didn’t know the rule. Naturally, Hollway knew the rule and was furious. He called the ref over.

"Do you have your rule book with you?" the usually mild-mannered coach yelled.

"No, I don’t," stammered the ref.

"Well, the next time you look at one, open the inside cover and see whose picture is there!" shot back Hollway, and he walked away.

Unlike the guys on the inside cover this year, Hollway is still coaching.

Georgia coach Jim Donnan has one game left. He could wind up with eight wins and still be out. His team plays in Hawaii on Christmas Eve. Talk about getting coal in your stocking! I get the impression that Santa Claus himself wouldn’t be a satisfactory coach for former Bulldogs coach and present athletic director Vince Dooley.

What really irritates me is that while these coaches (many of whom are very capable) are looking for work, the Oaf of Buffalo continues to coach the Bills. Wade Phillips had to go out of his way to louse up that team. He managed to do it by benching Doug Flutie and by an assortment of stupid kickoffs.

Very simple. Flutie wins; Johnson loses. Don’t give me any more irrelevant statistics. Case closed. Over. Shut. Flutie wins; Johnson loses.

People forget that it was Flutie who saved the franchise when he signed on in Buffalo. Fans bought the tickets. What reward does he get. A seat on the bench!

I don’t know if another coach will hire Flutie. If he wants a win, somebody will. It’s as simple as that.

In Week 14, there were no fewer than three Johnsons starting at quarterback in the NFL. They all lost. If you bet on any of the three — Rob at Buffalo, Brad at Washington or Doug at Atlanta — you lost, too.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be with a winner. Flutie is a winner. And not all of the fired coaches are losers.


A custodian at a Worchester, Mass., vocational school bought a scratch ticket last week. He won $2 million. That’s what you call really cleaning up!

A lucky bettor at Suffolk Downs also cleaned up. The second race trifecta on Wednesday, Dec. 6, paid $29,011.20.

Creel, the winner, went off at 95-1 and paid $192. win. Snake Oil’s Joy (at 6-1) and Speedy Z (at 14-1) completed the tri.

That’s one time somebody is happy to have bought into snake oil!

Onward to victory!