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No Black History for You but Alex Smith will do?

We put out another great podcast a couple of weeks ago where we dove into different trade scenarios in the NFL, the Game Stop fiasco that may have started a trade revolution, and Eric Bienemy is just not good enough. Here is what we learned:


1. The Rams have a 5-year window to win a Super Bowl with Matthew Stafford. 2 years at best.

2. Gruden would piss off Aaron Rodgers if he was his head coach.

3. Alvin Kamara is off limits in all trade scenarios with the Saints.

4. Transparency is the hope after the Game Stop trading week.

5. Car dealerships hate cash.

6. Gin is the Devil.

7. Folks need to get serious about the stock market.


While there are multiple trades looking to take place in the coming weeks this NFL offseason, only one has had the most fanfare. Deshaun Watson has no desire to continue to be the QB for the Houston Texans. Just 5 months ago, he signed the 2nd highest contract in league history to be the Texans QB. So, what change? It has been reported that Texans owner, Cal McNair’s politics, his allegiance to special advisor, Jack Easterby, his refusal to hire the best candidates available for GM and head coach, and the last straw was the neglecting to include Watson on the hiring process for these positions has led to his demanding a trade from the team.


The thing that I never understood about sports franchises is how come coaches and GMs aren’t looked at as labor as well? The only constant in a sports franchise is the owner. The consensus on why the Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl in 25 years is because of owner Jerry Jones. Coaches and QBs have come and gone during that time frame and Jones has been the constant. Coaches have earned their right to have a seat in the front office board meeting, why not the franchise player as well?


The NFL has proven that no matter what they put on the field, it will have a high number viewing audience. This year, they proved that they don’t even need a crowd to play in front of. At the end of the day, the players need to shut the fuck up and stay in their lane. The owners pay the players to play and their opinions on team business is not required, nor is it invited.


Hall of Fame QB Brett Favre came out and said while he played in a different era, these QBs are getting paid a lot to play. Deshaun should just go out and play and let the chips fall where they may. Meanwhile, Favre held the Packers hostage for 3 years while he dangled flirtations of retirement in front of their faces. Super Bowl winning Head Coach Dick Vermeil expressed his disappointment in Watson for wanting to be traded as well. It has been documented that Vermeil as a college coach didn’t understand why his black athletes would elect to be involved in Civil Rights when they were making a difference themselves by receiving a scholarship. It is these differences that not only exposes the hypocrisy of the criticism on Watson, but there is a lack of willing to understand why labor and ownership should always be on the same page.


The most successful sports franchises are the ones that are led by their players. The GM can put the team together, the Head Coach can create the perfect scheme for his players to execute, but if the players aren’t on one accord, that team will go nowhere quick. The Texans in the last few years were building something that was heading in the right direction, and just like that, one bad offseason sent them on a nosedive. We shall stay tuned to see how this plays out.


*****


Alex Smith was drafted #1 overall in 2005 to the San Francisco 49ers. During his 1st 6 years with the team, he had 5 different offensive coordinators. He finally saw success when Jim Harbaugh became the head coach of the 49ers. In Harbaugh’s first season as the Head Coach, Smith led the 49ers to the NFC Championship where they loss to the Giants. The next season, he lost his starting job to Colin Kaepernick, and then was traded the following season to the Chiefs to start for their new Head Coach, Andy Reid.


Under Andy Reid, Smith saw his most successful years as a QB, going to the Pro Bowl 3 times (as an alternate), and winning 3 Division titles. But Smith just couldn’t turn it on in the playoffs to get the Chiefs to the Super Bowl. In 2017, the Chiefs drafted Patrick Mahomes, and Smith was traded to Washington the next season. I bring up Alex Smith because there are couple of coaches that were able to get jobs because of his play. At no point in his career has Smith been associated with being an elite QB, nor has he ever been in the MVP conversation. Smith, if I’m being nice, has only achieved being a mid-level QB for his career.


The now former Head Coach for the Eagles, Doug Pederson, was the OC for the Chiefs from 2013-15. Alex Smith made the Pro Bowl in 2013, the next season, he achieved something that hadn’t been done before in league history. Smith did not throw a touchdown to one receiver the entire season. You read that right! Oh, now you remember! Not one TD to Dwayne Bowe or Jason Avant, who were their top receivers at the time. The next season was just as lackluster, but just enough for Pederson to impress the Eagles to hire him as their Head Coach.


When Pederson left, Matt Nagy took over as the OC from 2016-17. These 2 years Alex Smith made it to 2 straight Pro Bowls with decisive exits in the playoffs to the Steelers and the Titans. Smith’s play was enough for Nagy to impress the Chicago Bears enough to hire him as their Head Coach. The following season Eric Bienemy was promoted to OC.


The past 3 seasons, with Bienemy as the OC, Mahomes has finished in the Top 5 in the MVP vote, winning the award over Drew Brees in 2018. The Chiefs have gone to 3 straight AFC Championships, losing the 1st one, and winning the last 2. They have made 2 Super Bowl appearances, winning one and losing the other. For some reason, the last 3 seasons of hiring rounds, Eric Bienemy has NOT been hired.


The knock on him was that he didn’t call the plays for the offense. Historically, Andy Reid has called every offensive play of every game and every season where he was the Head Coach. So in the 2019 season, Reid handed the reigns to Bienemy and one Super Bowl win later, Bienemy was still not a Head Coach.


Let’s get the obvious factors out of the way, these white owners don’t want to be told that this black coach is the right man for the job and there is no reason you shouldn’t hire him. If Cal McNair has taught us anything this offseason, the owners will do what the fuck they want to do. Despite, the high praise from Chiefs’ offensive players, Bienemy has been left out of the Head Coaching fraternity yet again.


I know it’s Black History Month, but the failure to hire Eric Bienemy is White History repeating itself. You have 2 white coaches in Pederson and Nagy who were able to get hired from the play of an average QB like Alex Smith, while the elite performance of Patrick Mahomes, and finishing each of his seasons no less than the AFC Championship, is not enough for Bienemy to be the perfect fit as a Head Coach in the NFL. While the product of the NFL excites us all as an audience, its business should sicken us. Like all good meals, we love a good steak, but we object to how the cow gets slaughtered.


Tony Love

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