Happy Black Monday! No, it’s not a post-Christmas cyber-sales gimmick; it’s the day after the regular NFL season ends, on which coaches whose teams did not fare well are canned.
Several weeks ago, we saw the Houston Texans Gary Kubiak handed his pinkslip—a disappointing end to a 2-14 season that also included his own mid-game mini-stroke in early November (he has recovered).
Now, the Washington Redskins’ Mike Shanahan has been released after a season so bad I literally forgot we played yesterday (and lost), and a 24-40 record during his four-year tenure. The 3-13 Skins finished 2013 with an eight-game losing streak, and with our quarterback Robert Griffin III benched the final three games, allegedly to let his knee heal from the previous season’s surgery. Shanahan had previously won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998 with the Denver Broncos. The Skins’ biggest win this year? That the Cowboys still didn’t make the playoffs.
Also gone today, so far: The Minnesota Vikings’ Leslie Frazier whose 5-10-1 team (yes you can still have a tie in pro football) gave up more points than any other team in 2013. And the Cleveland Browns fired Rob Chudzinski, considered a promising, bright young football mind, after only one season. Rumor has it the Penn State coach Bill O’Brien, who took over after the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal, is in the running. If anyone has the cojones to take on such a dismal situation, it’s him.