If you follow the NFL, you’re well aware of the fact the New Orleans Saints fired its head coach, Jim Haslett.
Whether or not you follow football, you’re probably aware of the fact the Saints have had an extremely tough road to hoe. Their home venue, the Louisiana Superdome, was heavily damaged after the Hurricane Katrina. “Home games” took place either in San Antonio, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana or, in a case of 11th hour planning, East Rutherford, New York (against the Giants).
After a 3-and-13 finish, how can Jim be blamed for all this? At times, you’ve got to wonder if the players’ hearts were even in the season after the storm. All this and lingering rumors the Saints would move elsewhere permanently certainly didn’t help matters.
Thanks about this for a moment. Let’s pretend a legendary coach such as Tom Landry or Vince Lombardi were with us in the here and now. Then let’s say one of them had to coach a team that had to be essentially nomads due to circumstances beyond their control. End result: a three-win season. You’re the owner of the team. Do you give everyone, the coach especially, a “free pass” and start hoping and preparing for better days ahead? Or do heads roll for a pathetic season â€“ natural disaster or not?
Ummm … he should have been fired after last season. His players support him, but they won’t win on Sundays. Sure, there are personnel issues with the Saints, but the biggest has been Haslett’s dogged unwillingness to kick Aaron Brooks to the curb when he pulls his Jeff Blake routine.
Haslett forced Benson’s hand with the “give me a five-year extension or cut me” run.
Your analogy fails because Haslett is merely an average NFL head coach.
I’ll concede Jim was “on the bubble” going into the season. By my math, he had a slightly than better .500 record going in to ’05.
But, with a season of nightmare after nightmare, I still think it should’ve been obvious to everyone they weren’t going to make the playoffs — all thanks to that darn hurricane.
Beside, record-wise, Haslett did *much* better than Ditka.
Interesting blog. And i found your post searching who got the domain name. However i do want to comment on Hasslet. I think his release was not a fair choice. The team really had tons of distractions resulting from all the drama of Katrina. Maybe not an excuse but on helluva reason. That’s my 2 cents.
Great how we’re thinking alike — whether or not we have the same first and last name. Thanks for reading, Doug.
I think that McAllister’s knee injury did more to the record than the hurricane did. 😉
Comparing Haslett to Ditka and using that as an argument to keep the former is really the definition of “damning by faint praise”, though. 😉
Here’s hoping the new guy will bring some discipline to a team that really needs it. [Oh, and that the Saints wake up, decide to trade for Steve McNair, and draft Vince Young at QB.]
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