My Teams and their Brilliant Coaching Changes

January 3, 2011 by  

As Kansas City Chiefs fans are all getting pumped up for their playoff game this weekend, I am thinking about the wonderful moves my university (Colorado State University) and my favorite football team (Denver Broncos) have made in the past few years.

Mike Shanahan
Almost two years ago to this day, Sir Patrick Bowlen, owner of the Broncos, decided that consistent winning seasons and playoff appearances was just not enough. And on that day, he decided to dismiss Mike Shanahan as coach and VP of Football Operations. Yes, Mike and the Broncos were failing to advance in the playoffs, and missed several years. But the season the Broncos had before his firing was one marred with injuries, and yet the Broncos just missed out of the post season. But that just wasn’t good enough, and so Shanahan was out and the New England Patriot’s young offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, was in. At the same time, the Kansas City Chiefs were seeking their head coach, and Shanahan was rumored to be in. Instead, the Chiefs took Todd Haley. As an aside, had the Chiefs picked-up Shanahan, I would have finally converted. When they hired McDaniels, I felt like it might be okay…

Fast forward two years and McDaniels was fired mid-season. Despite my love of the Patriots (my 2nd favorite team), I was happy that McDaniels was out. He created more issues and led to the Broncos heading further in the wrong direction. But it all boils down to Bowlen and his idiotic move of crushing his franchise. On that day two years ago, Bowlen turned his investment upside down.

Denver BroncosNow, the Broncos turn to the legend, the man, John Elway, to assume the VP of football operations. While I am a huge Elway fan, I think this move is as much about positive publicity as it is rebuilding a franchies destroyed by the owner. My sis, who lives in Ft. Collins, says rumor is Bowlen has Alzhemier’s Disease setting in, and she swears it’s not a joke. Well, I don’t know if I believe that, but maybe that would give some logic behind his brain-dead moves of the past 730 days.

On the pro-scene, my only comfort is found in thinking about the Chiefs setting a new NFL record… becoming the first NFL team to lose 7 consecutive playoff games. That, following their assistance this past weekend in the Raiders becoming the first NFL team to go undefeated in conference play and not make the playoffs, is something to put a smile on my face.

Sonny LubickA year before Bowlen went nuts, Colorado State did the same thing. Out with the legendary Sonny Lubick (108-74 in his 15 seasons at the helm of the Rams, including 6 conference championships and 9 bowl game appearances) and in with Steve Fairchild. While it was nice that Fairchild was a former Ram, his accomplishments at CSU make that a moot point. Yes, in his three years in charge have yielded a stellar 13-24 record, including an 0-8 conference season in his second year. Yes, Oh and Eight. Hard to do in the Mountain West. CSU offered Lubick a PR position when they forced him out, but unlike Elway, Lubick passed. While Sonny was definitely past his prime (he had 3 losing seasons in his last 4 years), he built CSU football and should have been allowed his final season and to leave on his own terms. Instead, out with the old and in with the new.

The Broncos and the Rams certainly have made it difficult to continue being a fan. But I am, and always will be. I just hope that Elway’s first move will be to bring in a quality coach. I would have loved it to be former Steeler’s coach Bill Cowher, but that won’t happen for sure now that someone holds the VP of Ops title. Instead, it looks like we’ll probably end up with Stanford’s coach Jim Harbaugh. Folks, someday people will learn that with little exception, college coaches tank in the NFL. Yet they keep getting hired (and ultimately fired).

Chiefs Suck
This weekend, I will watch the Chiefs play, and no, I won’t be wearing red. I will be reminiscing of the days of old with the Broncos, hoping for a quick and speedy turn-around of a once great franchise.



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