The Rise to Success… Or the Road To Faliure??

Posted: January 12, 2012 by Puff in Media, Sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

damn again?!?!

The NFL has teams located in 32 cities across the country, many of the teams have a wide variety races who play on a daily basis. Unfortunately that  does not hold true for the coaching staff, and even the next level of general managers. After the recent firing of Raiders head coach Hue Jackson, we got into heated conversation about the league. Now I do acknowledge that many of followers may not keep up with football as much as  WE do; however, I ask for you to focus more on the numbers at hand then the sport itself.  Often the phrase ” men lie, women lie, numbers don’t”  is tossed around frequently, but in this case it’s very well warranted. 

 At the start of the 2011 regular season there were 7 black head coaches out of the possible 32 teams.  We had Lovie Smith with the Bears, Marvin Lewis with the Bengals, Raheem Morris with the Bucs, Jim Caldwell with the Colts, Leslie Frazier with the Vikings, Hue Jackson with the Raiders and Mike Tomlin for the Steelers. With that being said, there were a couple black coaches who were placed in an interim position once other coaches were fired during the season. An interim position is basically when one coach is fired, they give you the position  because your already an assistant coach on the team, but they may not hire you once the season is over.  Sounds like a good opportunity, until you find out you’re not getting the head coaching position when the season ends, and you may not go back to your old position. Once again you are left hanging in the shadows. Since the season ended  Raheem Morris was fired due in part to a 4-12 season, as well as Hue Jackson with an 8-8 season.  Jackson’s firing still raises eyebrows, seeing as how it was first season, he was a game away from the playoffs, and also managed to tie the division champs. Raheem Morris on the other hand in three years his team’s record was 3-13, 10-6, and 4-12. Unfortunately numbers tell his fate, however that team had been very underperforming before he obtained the position. There are many other coaches who manage to stick around the league with equally sub par records.  There are coaches like Chan Gailey who’s career win % is .437, Jim Schwartz at .375, Gary Kubiak at .490, Pete Carroll at .489 and the most despicable of them all Norv Turner at .484 with a 106-113 record. Still blows my mind how Norv continues to land a job, when all of his teams under perform.

In 2003 the Rooney Rule was implemented to assist in the hiring for minority coaches. The hope was that the rule would put more people of color, primarily African-Americans and Latinos in the face of the owners and GM’s making the hiring decisions.  The promotion of black head coaches into the interim position has affected this “Rooney Rule” giving them an opportunity to continue with a losing season. It does not necessarily give them a fighting chance to obtain head coach status. Due to the Rooney Rule that same interim head coach will be interviewed, meanwhile owner’s and general managers are awaiting their WHITE KNIGHT, to come save the day.   It appears that black coaches are only given a  one to two-year window to show progress.  I’m sure many coaches take the chance, due to the position itself not necessarily the opportunity.  Some of these teams black hires step into give them horrible chances to truly succeed.  Black coaches obtain positions fail, AS EXPECTED, and are cut off. Many of whom rarely obtain another position somewhere else.  White coaches on the other hand; manage to get a head coach position get fired, then another organization hires them as a coordinator (assistant coach). Only later to obtain another head coaching position else where.  Since the Rooney Rule was created we have seen two different  black coaches win a Superbowl. This proves that it can be done, just the opportunity needs to continue to present itself. The Rooney rule should apply for all levels to even offer a fighting chance.  On that note, I  wonder is it a leap forward with hopes of success or a set up for professional failure.  There are many positions out there and even more adequate black coaches… I pray that the current black coaches continue to pave the way for the future, while the NFL owner’s open their mind as well as their organizations.

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