As the NFL season winds down to a close, I would be remiss to not wish a fond and hopefully final farewell to two coaches whom I truly despise. Rat-face and the Evil Elf. Who are they, you might ask? Coach Mike Shanahan of the Denver Broncos and Coach Jon Gruden of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, respectively. Why do I hate them? I am glad you asked.
Shanahan was always a coach of questionable morality, and I was witness to this during Super Bowl 33 in 1998, when the Broncos matched up against the Atlanta Falcons. After he had the game firmly in hand with a sizable lead, Coach Shanahan continued calling in long passing plays to his quarterback, John Elway, as they poured salt into the wound. Oh, how they laughed, cheered and mocked on the sidelines. I still remember it to this day. Yes, they had the Falcons out-coached. But to make it into a mockery is beyond the pale, and transcends the boundaries of good sportsmanship. This year, the Broncos had a three game lead in the division with 3 games left. They lost all three and Shanahan was shown the door. Hey, pal, DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT!
Gruden on the other hand, always matched up well with Atlanta, with his defensive schemes coordinated by his defensive head coach, Monte Kiffin. However, Gruden actively supported players such as Warren Sapp, who regularly took cheap shots at players after the play as well as away from the play. As an example, after a long pass completion, the defensive backs and the reciever were running down the sideline. Sapp took the opportunity to hit a tight end who was not even looking in his direction (they were both near the line of scrimmage, with the completion way down the sidelines.) He injured the guy, putting his playing days in the NFL to an end, permanently, due to the injury.
Additionally, the fact that Gruden always wore a TENNIS CAP to football games really irked me. HIs use of profanity on the sidelines knew no bounds. Hey, Gruden- SEE YA! Hope you enjoyed that Super Bowl victory on the team that Tony Dungy built. I look forward to reading of your future failures.
Now all that I desire for the trifecta to be complete is for the cheating, practice and sideline videotaping, rule-exploiting Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots to be brought low. Here is a quote from the *one* incident he was caught at:
Armed with counter-intelligence from Eric Mangini, the Jets apparently have succeeded in busting the Patriots' spy ring. A former assistant under Bill Belichick, Mangini arrived in New York last year with an insider's knowledge of the Patriots' sign-stealing surveillance tactics and he shared the dirty little secret with members of the Jets' organization, a person with knowledge of the matter informed the Daily News yesterday. It wasn't until the fifth Mangini-Belichick showdown - last Sunday - that the Jets were able to catch the Patriots. Tipped off by Jets security, an NFL security official confiscated a video camera and tape from a Patriots employee at the Meadowlands, and the evidence is believed to be damning.
-Rich Cimini, Daily News Sports Writer, December 10th, 2007
I will smile a great big smile when Belicheat is gone- good riddance!