A Dark Day in the NFL

Norv Turner was one of a plethora of head coaches who lost their jobs. Photo Credit: Dennis J. Freeman
Norv Turner was one of a plethora of NFL head coaches who lost their jobs. Photo Credit: Dennis J. Freeman
Norv Turner was one of a plethora of head coaches who lost their jobs. Photo Credit: Dennis J. Freeman

As of right now seven head coaches in the NFL were ousted from their jobs the day before 2013 comes into fruition. Five general managers have been let go. Happy New Year! And yet, still more are expected to be canned from their coaching and executive positions. It is a sad day in the NFL as not only head coaches found out that their services would not be retained, but their staffs face layoffs as well, creating financial burdens on so many families.

But this is how it goes with just about any business. Business CEO’s make bottom line, financial decisions everyday as it pertains to their company’s leadership, development and growth. The NFL is no different. It’s cool watching all of the hip commercials and advertising that are tied into the league, but at the end of the day, if the NFL isn’t making the right amount of revenue, it won’t be around for us to debate whether or not Andrew Luck is better than RGIII.

The NFL is a multi-billion enterprise, and with all the glamour and entertainment side that comes with the show, there is also a dead-on, cost effective business side to The Shield as well. Like any thriving business, the NFL operates from a dollar line and what have you done lately approach.  It is what it is. And it’s about production and marketability. From a business owner’s standpoint, it is quite difficult to sell a product if it isn’t good.

With so many outside driving forces that can factor into the hiring or firing a head coach, including high-paying season-ticket holders, community influences and alliances with corporations and financial contributors, an NFL head coach has to wear many hats in order to be the face of a franchise. He has to be able to energize the fan base, appease the media, be a humanitarian, and have a wall of steel on the inside to help cope with the stresses that comes with the territory of being a coach in the NFL.

More importantly, the head coach must be able to produce, and produce in a big way. You have to get the job done, and the coaches that lost their jobs, including Norv Turner who coached the San Diego Chargers for six seasons, and Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles, a 14-year staple in the City of Brotherly Love, understand the maddening nature of their profession.

They embrace and welcome the challenge of trying to lead a team to the Super Bowl.

Among the coaches to make it to the Super Bowl, Reid and Lovie Smith, who coached the Chicago Bears for nine years, were among those on Monday’s chopping block. Turner, who has had previous success as a head coach with the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys before taking over the reins in San Diego, came close to a Super Bowl invite, falling short in the 2007 AFC Championship game.

Turner brought a wide-open, exciting offense to the team where quarterback Philip Rivers has flourished, winning three AFC West Division titles and whipping up on rival Oakland Riaders (9-3 record) on a regular basis. Under Turner’s watch, the Chargers went 59-43, including dismantling the AFC West competition with a 25-11 record. But at the end of the day that success may have done Turner in as the team has gone consecutive seasons missing the postseason.

And like any team the Super Bowl remain the ultimate prize. Chargers’ President Dean Spanos stated as such.

“My only goal is the Super Bowl, and that is why I have decided to move in a different direction with both our head coach and general manger positions. I am committed to our great fans, and we will do whatever we possibly can to achieve that goal.”

 

 

 

Dennis J. Freeman
About Dennis J. Freeman 1133 Articles
Dennis covers the NFL (Chargers), NBA (Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers), Major League Baseball (Los Angeles Dodgers) and NCAA sports (USC, UCLA, Long Beach State). Dennis has also covered and written on topics such as civil rights, politics and social justice. Dennis is a proud alum of Howard University.