Posted: Monday January 8, 2007 3:48PM; Updated: Monday January 8, 2007 3:48PM
It's hard to imagine any coach doing a worse job than Art Shell did this past season?
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
TO: Wayne Huizenga, Dan Rooney, Al Davis, Bill Bidwell FROM: Lang Whitaker SUBJECT: What About Me?
First of all, good morning. I hope each of you had a terrific holiday season and fantastic new year -- at least, as good a New Year as you could have had, considering each of your NFL teams missed the playoffs and saw their head coaching position come open.
Forgive the mass e-mail, but I figured this was the fastest way to spread the word and inform everyone at once: I'd like to take this opportunity to nominate myself for each of your head coaching positions.
To begin with, you must be asking yourselves what kind of coaching experience I'd bring to the position. After all, I've never actually been a football coach before, at least with live players. We've all got to start somewhere, I say. Thing is, I have played weeks and weeks of Madden football and have won innumerable championships there. (I wasn't very good at EA's NFL Head Coach, but that game was terrible.) I also won two church league basketball championships coaching high school kids, so there's that. And honestly, I don't think I could do much worse than Art Shell did this season, standing passively on the sideline as the Raiders burned, waiting until five games remained to change offensive coordinators. From what I understand, being a head coach in the NFL is mostly about being an organizer, and when people like Chan Gailey are getting interviews, it becomes more obvious that skill in evaluating football talent isn't paramount.
I am willing to do my best to adopt the look of a successful NFL coach. For instance, I will become as woefully out of shape as I'm capable of becoming, as this seems to be key to being an NFL head coach: Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Andy Reid, Mike Holmgren, Bill Parcells -- the list goes on and on. Like those great men, I have no problem wearing a forgiving officially licensed NFL sweatshirt. As long as it's free. Similarly, I'm willing to shave my goatee and focus my facial hair cultivation efforts on my mustache. I've noticed many coaches (i.e.: Tony Dungy, Herm Edwards, Reid, Holmgren, Jeff Fisher) have prodigious mustaches. Even though the solo mustache went out of style a few years ago, I'm willing to buck conventional style trends in order to fit in with my soon-to-be coaching brethren.
One aspect of being a head coach that I feel I would thrive at is in dealing with the media. As someone who has been privy to innumerable press conferences the last few years, I've developed a pretty good understanding of the double-talk that NFL coaches speak so fluently: Never say what you mean, never mean what you say. What, the fans might not appreciate feeling like you're being less-than-honest with them? Screw 'em! This is our league, not theirs, isn't it? I'll hold my press conferences the way I like, being prickly and obtuse, hopefully projecting a sense that I know more about football than anyone else on the planet. This is what fans and players want -- leadership and determination. Forget honesty and transparency.