Now that the NCAA has dropped a nuke on Pedo St football, Bill O’Brien is saying all the right things about how he expected this and he’s committed long term to the program, blah bitty blah. But I don’t see how that’s even remotely possible. Last night I caught the 30-for-30 about how SMU got the Death Penalty in the late 80s, and it was surreal. Within hours of the announcement, the campus was swarming with literally hundreds of coaches trying to pilfer SMU’s players like hyena’s picking the flesh off a carcass. The school went without football for only two seasons and when they did come back it was with a bunch of no talent, 180 lb runts. Then it took them 30 full years to get back to a bowl. But what O’Brien’s facing now is a fate worse than the Death Penalty. The NCAA did what Westley said he wanted to do to Humperdink. They’re punishing PSU to the pain. So that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, “Dear God! What is that thing,” will echo in your perfect ears. That is what to the pain means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever. And there’s no way the program bounces back from this anytime soon. O’Brien’s jumping on the grenade here because if things get better it won’t be on his watch.
But all this begs the question: Is there some kind of a jinx on Patriots coordinators? I mean, I’m not one for Curse talk (thanks for permanently ruining that, Shaughnessy) but there’s no question there’s some bad juju that follows former Bill Belichick assistants around. O’Brien knew he was walking into a tough situation, and a PR nightmare. But there’s no way he could’ve known when he took the gig the Freeh Report would come out and make his job impossible. Which is typical of how things have gone for all of Belichick’s ex-coordinators. Not the guys he had in Cleveland mind you, since Kirk Ferentz and Nick Saban went on to great success. But his New England proteges’ careers have mostly worked out like they built a practice field on an Indian burial ground or killed a gypsy.
Ranking the post-Patriots careers of Belichick’s coordinators, measured on the Tyree-Manningham Pain Scale:
5. Romeo Crennel – Crennel was the defensive coordinator of 3 championship teams and left on the best possible terms after winning the Super Bowl after the 2004 season. Universally liked and respected, everyone rooted for him to succeed when he took the head coaching job in Cleveland. But he went 6-10, 4-12, 10-6 but missed the playoffs, and eventually was let go after another 4-12. Still, he’d built up enough goodwill to land in Kansas City and was made the head coach in the middle of last season and led the Chiefs to a win over unbeaten Green Bay.
Tyree-Manningham Pain Index: 4 out of 10
4. Josh McDaniels – McDaniels left after directing the 2007 offense to the most points ever scored and an almost perfect season, then getting 11 wins out of Matt Cassel in ’08. The initial reaction in Denver when he took over there was that he was trying too hard to look, sound, act and dress like Belichick and no one was buying it. Things went south in a hurry when word got out he was inquiring of the Pats what it would take to trade for Cassel. Bronco’s QB Jay Cutler got all butthurt, and threw a giant public tantrum that no ride on the 25-cent rocking horse outside the WalMart would calm down. Then when the Broncos hit camp, Brandon Marshall was demanding a new contract. He showed up to practice but refused to try hard, take part in drills, talk to McDaniels or eat his vegetables. It was a terrible start to his head coaching career, but things did manage to get worse. He went 11-17 and was fired in his 2nd season. But he kept on good terms with his old boss and ended up coming back to New England. Granted, it’s a little moving-back-in-with-your-parentsish, but we’re glad to have the McOffense back.
Tyree-Manningham Pain Index: 5 out of 10
3. Charlie Weis – Weis left when Crennel did and carried the same goodwill to South Bend. Plus his spectacularly arrogant Jersey swagger and his “decided schematic advantage.” He was going to bring the glory back to the program a generation of Notre Dame fans (OK, me) longed for. His first year he went 9-2 and would’ve gone 10-1 were it not for some bogus calls in the epic USC game for the ages. He also let a little dying boy call a play- classic Fighting Irish- and won COTY. The next year they went 10-2 before getting blasted by LSU in the Sugar Bowl. Then things got ugly in a hurry. Finally playing with is own recruits Weis went 3-9, 6-6 and 6-6. He’s bounced around a bit from KC to U of Florida until landing the head job at Kansas. But the Irish are still basically contending for the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Tyree Manningham Pain Index: 7 out of 10
2. Bill O’Brien - In the span of 5 months he’s gone from coaching Tom Brady to telling the movers which corner he wants the goddamned statue moved to. And getting sick to his stomach everytime he walks by the shower.
Tyree-Manningham Pain Index: 9 out of 10
1. Eric Mangini – Fredo not only betrayed the man who gave him everything, he’s burned every bridge he’s ever crossed since leaving New England. His first year in New York he was doing Razor phone commercials, and now he’s as popular and useful as they are. Now he’s a disgraced shell of a man, reduced to boring, forgettable commentary on ESPN and teary apologies for Spygate that fall on deaf ears. The inner circle of Dante’s Inferno was for the traitors. And there’s a hot seat with his name on it. In the meantime he’s forced to walk the Earth, wallowing in his freakish misery. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
Tyree-Manningham Pain Index: 10 out of 10.
We all know the next football coach who’ll have offers coming at him from every direction will be new Pats DC Matt Patricia. I’m just saying, he might want to think twice before leaving the nest. @JerryThornton1