By Jeff Moss
January 14, 2014
The other night, I experienced one of my favorite things in the world — going to a movie theater to view a new Coen Brothers movie. Unlike the Detroit sports teams I cover on this website, Joel and Ethan Coen NEVER disappoint me. Not even with Intolerable Cruelty.
I spent nearly two hours in a theater watching Inside Llewyn Davis. As the closing credits rolled, a couple of elderly ladies sitting near me started discussing why NOTHING good ever happened to this poor, struggling folk singer.
I responded by blurting out, “Is this your first Coen Brothers film? In comparison to A Serious Man — where the protagonist’s 13 year-old son ends up dying in a tornado as the move fades to black — this was fairly uplifting.”
Well, having learned of the Lions latest awful coaching hire as I was refreshing my Tweets on Tuesday, I finally figured something out. The Detroit Lions are a fucking Coen Brothers production without the T-Bone Burnett accompaniment.
How else can you explain the misery and emptiness of following this franchise? One playoff win in 56 years. The only current non-expansion team to have NEVER made the Super Bowl. Players dropping dead on the field. Players and coaches dying while mowing the lawn. Their best player in the history of the franchise quitting on them because he couldn’t handle the losing.
I could go on forever listing all of the travesties that this organization has suffered, but try to tell me that Matt Millen isn’t the kind of buffoon that would appear in a Coen movie played by John Goodman.
Unfortunately, unlike a Steve Buscemi character in a Coen production, we don’t get out of this so easily. And trust me, I think I’d rather get tossed into a woodchipper or suffer a massive heart attack in a bowling alley parking lot than continue rooting for the shitshow down at Ford Field.
Jim Caldwell? Jim FUCKING Caldwell? Are you kidding me?!??!?!?! Even for a franchise that has employed the likes of Darryl Rogers and Rod Marinelli, this hiring is an ALL-TIME LOW.
Seriously, the Detroit Lions just hired a head coach who, if he didn’t get this gig, was going to be FIRED as the Offensive Coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens. WHO DOES THIS?!?!!?!? A competent organization that has won two Super Bowls this century had enough of Caldwell’s lousy play-calling and were trying to figure out a nice way to show him the door; they were SAVED from that potential awkwardness by the Lions providing him a PROMOTION!!!!!
How do you even explain this to your fan base unless you just don’t give a flying fuck about them?
This is Jim Caldwell’s resume. During eight seasons in the ultra-competive ACC (hahahahaha), the man put up a record of 26-63 at Wake Forest. The season before this dolt arrived in Winston-Salem, the Demon Deacons had gone 8-4. Caldwell took over that team and led them to a 2-9 record.
In his final season at Wake Forest, the Deacons went 2-9. AGAIN. Yep, bookends. After this loser got fired, the team rebounded to a 6-5 record.
You couldn’t make this crap up if you tried.
Jim Caldwell’s career record as a head coach when Peyton Manning is NOT his quarterback? 28-77. A winning percentage of .266. Fuck, Jim Caldwell makes Matt Millen’s NFL record look like Vince Lombardi’s.
This is YOUR football team’s new head coach. Even for the Detroit Lions this is remarkable. They just handed the reins of the team over to a guy who was about to get axed … AGAIN … and who must have the worst head coaching record in the history of sports of anyone to have been given ANOTHER SHOT.
Even when you include his two seasons with a top-five quarterback in league history, Caldwell’s overall winning percentage is still only .379. This is fucking insanity!!!!!
The least embarrassing thing on Caldwell’s resume is that he worked for seven years in the same locker room and shower stalls as Jerry Sandusky.
And Lions fans who will just accept this latest slap-in-the-face with a shrug of the shoulders and a renewal of their season tickets are even crazier.
I suggested on Twitter earlier today that we should round up any Lions fan who actually renews their season ticket package and toss them into an internment camp. I am not even joking. These enablers should be locked up somewhere. I would use the old Silverdome site and force these selfish bastards into some sort of slave labor.
And while they are stamping out license plates or making an iPhone or building the Pyramids of Pontiac, I would FORCE them to watch a “highlight” reel of the Darryl Rogers and Matt Millen Years.
When will enough be enough for these jackasses who continue to spend their hard-earned dough on an organization that continues to give them a golden shower?
Look, if the allure of getting drunk and tailgating eight times a year on a Sunday is so great, can’t you do it somewhere else that doesn’t lead to the lining of the pockets of the Ford Family?
Get shitfaced at The Church of the Holy Redeemer for all I fucking care, but STOP supporting a franchise that continues to let your fellow alcoholic (Tom Lewand) make these types of crucial football-related decisions.
But Moss, Tony Dungy gave this career nothing a huge endorsement. Look, just because Dungy won the bare minimum of Super Bowls with Manning as his QB doesn’t mean he is a guru on the rest of life’s mysteries. [Radio Edit.] This just in …. TONY DUNGY DOESN’T HAVE ALL OF THE ANSWERS!!!!!
Oh, and let me jump up and down and grab my ass cheeks because Caldwell’s CLOSE FRIEND told Bill Ford, Jr. That he would be a great coach. That’s like Ben Affleck telling a director that Matt Damon would be a perfect fit for a movie. What the hell is his good friend going to say? “Did you check out his record at Wake Forest?”
Oh, and Peyton himself supposedly put in a recommendation for Caldwell as well. Well, I guess Manning forgot that we have video evidence of what he really thinks about Caldwell’s awful coaching ….
Yep, the Lions’ new coach — who is awful at clock management and conserving timeouts, according to numerous reports — probably called the WORST timeout in the history of The Shield. But it wasn’t like that asinine decision occurred in a playoff game or anything.
Oh, that’s right. It did.
And that wasn’t even the only horrid usage of timeouts that occurred during that forgetful Colts season. Dummy did something similar against the Jaguars during regular season.
I guess you could look past a couple of timeout blunders when a new head coach comes to town. But when you couple those brain-dead errors with his record at Wake Forest, you ask yourself … HOW THE FUCK DID THIS HIRING OCCUR?
Did I mention that in the dog-eat-dog world of the ACC, this loser had a conference record of 12-52? As DSR correspondent Justin Spiro pointed out, a winning percentage of 19%. And his best ACC result was 3-5. To put it differently, if Caldwell could have stayed another season in Winston-Salem and ONLY lost four of his first five conference games, he would have actually IMPROVED his record?!?!!?!?!!!?
Honestly, when will the people of Detroit FINALLY revolt against this goddamn nonsense? If this isn’t your boiling point, what will be? I’d go as far as to suggest boycotting all Ford products while you’re at it. When your lease is up on your Edge or MKZ, go get a GM or a Chrysler product.
I’d purchase a Toyota or a Lexus before driving around in anything that has The Blue Oval on it at this point. Hell, I still hold the German automakers somewhat culpable for the Holocaust, but I’d lease a Volkswagen or Mercedes-Benz before driving around in a Explorer with “FORD” stamped on the grille.
And yes, I am aware that six million of my people were systematically annihilated by the Nazis and their sympathizers, but the Lions embarrassing performance during my lifetime has hit a lot closer to home.
And do you know why the Lions keep ending up in this predicament? How they are one of only four franchises to have never made make a Super Bowl appearance? Why they haven’t won a playoff game in 22 years? Well, other than the fact they have an incompetent alcoholic for an owner who hired his attorney’s son — who might even have a bigger issue with the bottle than Sr. — as Team President?
[If that last paragraph confused you, I suggest that you watch this informative video: Tom Lewand Had A Few Too Many Breath Mints]
It’s because they are ALWAYS overreacting to their last bad hire. The Lions are like a driver who hits a patch of ice and totally overcompensates by jerking the wheel in the opposite direction, causing even further trouble.
When they fired Wayne Fontes, they HAD to hire a new man who wasn’t a player’s coach. A guy who wasn’t a buffoon who commanded so little respect that his quarterback thought dressing up like the “Big Buck” on Halloween was a good idea.
So they brought in a hard-ass in Bobby Ross, who promptly ran Barry Sanders off to London.
When Ross quit on the team because he couldn’t overcome their stench of losing, the Lions brought in an offensive-minded coach who ran the West Coast Offense.
And when Marty Mornhinweg was canned in part because he sounded like an idiot when interacting with the media, Millen replaced him with a smooth-talking used car salesman in Steve Mariucci.
The only problem with Mooch was he didn’t really want to put the time in any longer as a head coach and was more concerned with racing off to do Local Ford Dealer commercials, so Millen axed him and replaced Mariucci with Rod Marinelli.
Marinelli — a Vietnam veteran who ate, shit and breathed football — was the exact opposite of Mariucci. Unfortunately, like all the rest before him, he wasn’t a good head coach either.
And finally, when replacing Joe Barry’s father-in-law, the Lions hired a young, brash, seemingly intelligent defensive coordinator.
And now that Jim Schwartz has flamed out, the Lions decided they needed the exact opposite of Gym Shorts; a no-nonsense OFFENSIVE coordinator who could tutor Matthew Stafford and who once had been a head coach in the NFL. So instead of opening up the interview process to college coaches, defensive coordinators and anyone who might be able to get this team to the next level, they basically pigeonholed themselves into one class of frontman.
Ken Whisenhunt, Gary Kubiak, Mike Munchak and Caldwell all basically had the same M.O. And when “The Whiz” eased on down the road to Nashville — instead of supposedly taking the “best available coaching position” — the Lions just went down the list to the next cloned candidate.
The ironic part of this coaching search is that Mayhew ran it exactly OPPOSITE the way he handles the draft. Supposedly, Mayhew doesn’t draft for need. He takes the most talented player on the board because that is HIS philosophy.
The same jackass who takes THAT approach to the NFL Draft didn’t think it was necessary to expand his extremely narrow head coaching criteria and maybe fly in Gus Malzahn, Brian Kelly or David Cutcliffe for a sit-down.
Nope. Because he had to have the Bizarro Jim Schwartz and that is what he got. Schwartz is white. Caldwell is black. Schwartz was a defensive coordinator. Caldwell was an offensive coordinator. Schwartz wears his emotions on his sleeve and has killed many a headset. Caldwell keeps everything inside and, for all we know, could be in an Ariel Sharon eight-year coma.
BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT THE LIONS DO. They fight the last war and not the upcoming battle. They are always reacting to the past and never looking to the future, which is why they will never find their Jim Harbaugh or Chip Kelly.
Although, I am not sure why I am taking this Caldwell hire so poorly. So he can’t properly manage the clock. And he clearly has zero clue about how to properly use timeouts. Even in retrospect. Or that one national writer labeled his tenure in Indianapolis “amateur hour.”
How can you not be excited about his new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin????
If those two names don’t get the blood pumping, I don’t what know to tell ya.
When Lewand announced the firing of Jim Schwartz a few weeks ago, he stated that his goal wasn’t to win the next press conference. Well, don’t worry about that, Tom. You have done the impossible with this hire. You’ve awakened the local media out of its collective slumber and even THEY are incredulous.
The Lions can’t win on the field. It would appear — because they are still worried about the bottom line — they couldn’t even win over their top candidate. And hopefully, tomorrow at 4 pm when the team announces this retread as their new coach, there is a bloodletting of epic proportions and they lose the presser as well.
This is all a fucking cosmic joke and nothing is ever going to change while the Ford Family runs this putrid NFL franchise.
This isn’t The Hudsucker Proxy, and Jim Caldwell ain’t no hula hoop.
After writing this article, I think I need a drink. Maybe I will Direct Message my Twitter buddy Tom Lewand and see if he wants to go out for some “Tic-Tacs.”