Thursday, December 4, 2008

Impatient (I)

There’s a little whining here as of late, which is not the intent of Scribe. However, I’m flabbergasted – yes, flabbergasted – by the impatience that has grown by the nanosecond in the sports culture as we know it today.

In 2008, 685,000 head coaches were essentially fired. Okay, more like 684,923.

NBA: Sam Mitchell (Toronto), Eddie Jordan (Washington), P.J. Carlisemo (Oklahoma City), Isiah Thomas (New York), Flip Saunders (Detroit), Avery Johnson (Dallas), Sam Vincent (Charlotte), Jim Boylan and Scott Skiles (Chicago)

NFL: Mike Nolan (San Francisco), Scott Linehan (St. Louis), Lane Kiffin (Oakland), Cam Cameron (Miami), Brian Billick (Baltimore)

MLB: Sam Perlozzo (Baltimore), Jim Riggleman (Seattle), John Gibbons (Toronto), Willie Randolph (New York Mets) and Ned Yost (Milwaukee)

NHL: Damn near everybody in the last two years has been canned at least once – Peter Laviolette (Carolina), Denis Savard (Chicago), Barry Melrose (Tampa Bay), Ted Nolan (New York Islanders), Ron Wilson (San Jose), Joel Quenneville (Colorado), John Paddock (Ottawa) and Paul Maurice (Toronto)

College football: Tommy Tuberville (Auburn), Sylvester Croom (Mississippi State), Phil Fullmer (Tennessee), Ron Prince (Kansas State), Tommy Bowden (Clemson), Tyrone Willingham (Washington), Greg Robinson (Syracuse), Rocky Long (New Mexico), Brent Guy (Utah State), Joe Glenn (Wyoming), Hal Mumme (New Mexico State), Shane Montgomery (Miami of Ohio), Jeff Genyk (Eastern Michigan) and Gregg Bandon (Bowling Green)

College basketball: You know what? There are too many to type. As mentioned the other day, there are six billion D-1 programs, all with the high hopes of winning the national title.

This may make you dizzy, and it should. If these teams and schools could, would the place job opening ads on or Craigslist?

Yet, it makes me wonder why these owners and school presidents are so impatient?

Now, there are a handful of these men who lost the helm who may have well-earned their pink slips. Yet, for the rest of these managers and coaches, it’s as if their bosses have told them “I know I just hired you and all, but it’s been two weeks and we haven’t won a championship, so you’re fired.”

You’re not going to have situations like what we have with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Utah Jazz, Atlanta Braves, Penn State’s football program or Duke’s men’s basketball team where either the owner stands solid with one suited leader or the school made their coach an institution. To have that means that the bosses believe that he is capable of not only finding the right mix of players, assistants and an effective system, but is capable of weathering some storms for brighter days.

However, what some of these folks are doing is beyond rational.

For example, Savard was relieved of his duties just four games into the Blackhawks’ season. Even for the NHL, a league where the turnover of coaches and general managers is akin to fry cooks at McDonald’s, this was pretty extreme.

After one year at the helm and replacing Bernie Bickerstaff for the Bobcats’ 2007-08 NBA season, Vincent, in his first coaching gig, was canned by His Airness for His Flightiness. It’s not as if these ‘Cats were dominating the Eastern Conference; home to a roster that has battled injuries and the typical ups and downs of young players.

Then, there’s Yost, who may have ticked off owner Mark Attanasio so much, that he didn’t see the Brewers capture their first playoff appearance in 25 years. The man was tossed just before the final week of the season.

Finally, there’s Willie.

The next couple of posts will explain a couple of theories why there is so much change with the team lieutenants these days. However, what are your thoughts? Do you think coaches are fired too quickly or not quickly enough?

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