Tip O'Neill said all politics is local. So is all sports interest.
Local disaffection at the Washington Redskins' season is pervasive in these parts. No one else has our problems, right?
Hold your horses, cowboy. Fans of the New York Giants are outraged that head coach Tom Coughlin is still on the payroll...after so poor a performance that the 10-6 team missed the playoffs.
Wallace took issue with Giants owner John Mara's decision to stick with Coughlin.
"'We don't do that here,' says the son of Wellington Mara. 'He's going to be our coach.'"
To Wallace, that means the Maras don't operate like the late George Steinbrenner. Then the zinger, "since when was being like the Yankees such a bad thing, anyway?"
Wallace launched into the description of the Giants, that is the reason Andy sent this story to me.
"Like his father before him, John Mara's only job is collecting money from New York football fans. All his father did and all he does now is set ticket prices and wait for the checks to roll in.
"In return, this is what he gives you: the same old excuses. The same old lack of accountability and absence of consequences. Worst of all, the same old coach."
Ah! That sounds familiar. While the Mara description parallels Daniel Snyder who patterned his ownership ideas after George Steinbrenner and Jerry Jones. There are, however, three important differences:
- Steinbrenner had an eye for baseball talent. With no salary cap restraint, the Yankees would spend any amount of money to get them. D.Snyd spends any amount of money to sign any player from other teams with name recognition while devaluing talent already on his roster.
- Dan churned coaches and players when he should NOT have done so.
- In the face of fan revolt, Dan did not stick to his guns to hire Jim Fassel as Mara is doing for Coughlin.
The salary cap forces good NFL teams to get good at evaluating the best talent that fits their offensive and defensive schemes and properly allocating dollars to them. The Patriots excel at this. The Eagles, Ravens, Colts, Steelers and Giants are real good at this. The Chargers are marginally good at this. Snyder is clever with the salary cap. In pro football, evaluating talent is the strategic competitive advantage. Managing to the cap is merely a tactic.
I'm going to go through playoff rosters and count how many ex-Redskins are alive for the Super Bowl. I'm still burned up about Antonio Pierce.
Washington should have had two or three head coaches over the past decade: Marty Schottenheimer for 3 or 4 seasons, Joe Gibbs for four seasons, and Gregg Williams, the slam-dunk choice when Gibbs walked away.
OK. So Williams would not have worked out with Snyder or Vinny Cerrato. Dan mined for Jim Fassel for football and staffing ideas and then fired Fassel before he hired him in the face of fan revolt. Shame on Snyder for not having the courage of conviction and shame on us fans for not giving Fassel a shot. Whatever your opinion of him, Fassel was the architect of the Redskins 2008 strategy. He was is head and shoulders above Jim Zorn whom the Seahawks, his own team, did not see as coordinator or head coach material.
Maybe Steve Tisch and John Mara can run a coach search. Snyder botches the job and that's why the 'Skins are 10-22 over two years. A coach search is the last thing we want him to do now.
Perhaps the groundswell against Coughlin is only funny to me; Andy is beside himself. It's a nice reminder complaints are local, even when they are the same complaint. Every team has its problems satisfying a fan base that expects to win every game. Our frustrations about our team are shared by everyone everywhere.
New York has a higher quality of frustration than we have. Perhaps Bill Cowher will fix that, whenever the Giants hire him.