Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here the Journey Ends, Eric Mangini...

But first, you must greet the last men who have come before you. You've met Ewbank, Winner, Holtz, Michaels, Walton and Coslet. Now meet the most recent spirits that haunt this place. Some of them, I believe, are old friends of yours.

Kind of.

Hey, kid. Pete Carroll. Can't talk long. Gotta run off to another fun night in the life of a USC Head Coach. Gonna recruit another kid from the inner city to play for what might prove to be a great pro contract someday. Trojan pride, baby!

Hell, this is living. California sun. Los Angeles ambience. Minus the traffic, this is definitely the American Dream. Oh, heck, who am I kidding? Even the traffic is special. Whatever Lou Holtz and that other guy said about college football is true. It's the life. Kids love you on the sidelines. You're their coach, for Chrissake. You're God. And you don't have to pay them anything beyond the secret, occasional second-hand automobile loan for the weekend and the answer key to the Rocks for Jocks class. Whereas my 1994 Jets were 6-5 going into that nightmarish home game against the Dolphins, and Dan Marino threw the Fake Spike. We didn't win another game all season. I couldn't bribe those bastards to win. Then I spent a couple of years in Foxboro. God. I'll never do that crap again. No way. I think. Nah. Probably not. 

Oh well. Gotta go. Hey, look, isn't that Alan Rachins? I loved him on L.A. Law. And on Dharma and Greg. He's so versatile. You never know who you're gonna see in Hollywood.

(Sigh.) Sorry to disappoint you, kid. I'm no actor. It's me. Rich Kotite. Yeah, yeah. Big time coach once. I coached in Philly. Had a great team there. Leon Hess brought me to the Jets and said that he wanted to win now

Yeah, yeah. Real funny. Here's my legacy - some two bit web site my grandmother could have made, dedicated to how much I suck. Great. Guess that's not going to happen to you, is it? Listen, pal. Better you get out while the going is good. Do you know what it's like to stand on the sidelines for two seasons when your squad goes 4-28? I'd rather have a root canal. Let me give you some advice, pal. Put your money away, join the witness protection program, take golf lessons, and live as far away from the East Coast as you can. You'll thank me later. Believe me.

But, uh, hey....

You really think I look like an actor?


Who dares summon Bill Parcells from my underground Floridian lair? Who distracts me from my latest scheme? Is it you, Mangini? Well, this is a surprise. Have you been cast out of the Meadowlands already? Did I not lay a solid foundation for generations of Jets fans to come? No?

HA, HA, HA, HAAAAA!! Fools! I laid it all to waste! I left them after a disappointing 1999 season.

And you. Bill Belichick was your mentor, but he was my creature first and foremost. Which means you would have been nothing without me. I tried to keep Belichick under my watchful eye, but the minion eluded me! Ungrateful wretch! Once Belichick was out of my grasp, I had to perform my vanishing trick! You see how simple it is, Mangini? Now you see me, now you don't! Dallas! Atlanta! Miami! Who knows, maybe if someone buys out my contract I will be your replacement! Fool! A-HA, HA, HA!!! (chortle)

Imagine, Mangini! Imagine what could have been had Belichick stayed! Naiive Jets fans. So trusting. So foolish.

Hello there, Coach. My name is Al Groh. I am the Head Coach of the University of Virginia football team. I am also the same Al Groh who coached the New York Jets for one season in 2000. Al Groh is a pretty common name, so I don't want any confusion between the two. We're the same guy.

My Jets won the Monday Night Miracle against Miami, 40-37, mostly because I ripped 'em a new one at halftime. I thought we were bound for the playoffs, but then they lost six of the last nine. You know why? Cause those bastards don't know the meaning of the word discipline. They don't want it bad enough. Fancy pants. But don't feel bad, Coach. Like those other fellas said, go back to college. Kids will work for nothing. Go back to Wesleyan, where you went to school. Does it even have a football team?

Well, whatever. Just keep plugging away. Just like Al Groh did when he left the Jets and became me.

Well, it's about time. I've been waiting around for like eight hours for you, Mangini! Well, anyway, pick up a headset and let's play pretend. That's right. I don't know how much more time I've got in my job, either. Remember me? Herm Edwards - the man who opened the vacancy for you. I left the Jets because I'm a good man, a player's coach and a middle American kind of guy who reminds people of Tony Dungy. No room in the big city for people who can turn an incoherent rant on winning into a book deal. Smarty pants New Yorkers sniff that kind of stuff out pretty quickly. I'm a good Christian, my nickname's the "Preacher," I'm coaching on the boundaries of a state where it's practically illegal to teach evolution. Shoot, maybe I should coach college. Maybe we'll just end up following each other forever, Eric. So, I guess the only question left is...

how do you like Kansas City so far?




Down here.



I am your father.

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