Ken Whisenhunt has followed Joe Philbin into the ranks of unemployed NFL coaches fired in mid-season 2015. In 23 games as the coach of the Titans over the past season and a half, the record was 3-20 which seems to be a reasonable basis for “taking things in a different direction”. You may remember that Whisenhunt was the coach of the Arizona Cardinals the year the Cards went to the Super Bowl and lost to the Steelers in the final seconds of the game. You may be wondering how a Super Bowl caliber coach can have had such a bad run with the Titans…
As I often try to explain here, coaching – and managing in baseball – are overrated in 90% of the cases. Yes, there are some inspirational leaders as coaches who create winning attitudes that flourish on the field; yes, there are some coaches who create some new wrinkle on offense or defense that translates into wins on the field. In most cases, the effect of coaches and managers is “Meh”.
Ken Whisenhunt did indeed take a team to the Super Bowl one year. Nonetheless, his overall NFL record in head coaching positions is 48-71. I think that record reflects that Ken Whisenhunt is a typical NFL head coach:
Give him mediocre or bad players to coach and his teams will lose.
Give him a set of players having better than average years in their careers and his teams will win.
Mike Mularkey will take over the helm for the Titans. If history is any indicator here, Mularkey’s record as an NFL head coach is hardly awe-inspiring. He coached the Bills and amassed a 14-18 record there; then he coached the Jags for a year and went 2-14. His overall record of 16-32 is actually worse than Ken Whisenhunt’s 48-71…
Over the weekend, I read reports that Skins’ WR, Pierre Garcon has filed a class action lawsuit against FanDuel claiming that the daily fantasy sports website has misappropriated his name and his likeness – along with the names and likenesses of all other NFL players on any NFL roster since 2013 – for the profit of FanDuel and without compensation or permission from Garcon or the players. To my untutored eye, this appears to be a pro-sports action akin to the one that Ed O’Bannon is pursuing against the NCAA. If I am wrong in that thinking, I am perfectly willing to be corrected. Here is a link where you can see the entire complaint that has been filed in the US District Court, district of Maryland.
At the end of the complaint, it expresses its “prayer for relief”. Two of these prayers caught my eye:
“An award for disgorgement of all profits earned by Defendant from
promoting its daily fantasy sports contests using Plaintiff’s and Class
members’ names and/or likenesses.”
If that prayer is answered in full, that would effectively award profits to NFL players made by similar misappropriations of the names and likenesses of MLB and NBA players. That does not seem fair…
“An injunction enjoining Defendant from the future use of Plaintiff’s and
Class members’ names and likenesses to promote its daily fantasy sports
I suspect the effect of an injunction forbidding future use would merely give time for the players individually or in concert to negotiate a deal with FanDuel wherein the players get a share of the profits without an investment risk.
I have no dog in that fight; I have no interest in daily fantasy sports and I remain unconvinced that pro athletes are an oppressed class of people. However, it will be interesting to follow the progress of this action. It is also interesting to note that the suit is only against FanDuel and not Draft Kings. The cynic in me says that the reason for keeping Draft Kings out of the action is that the NFLPA and Draft Kings have a contractual relationship and FanDuel does not. This might get interesting…
Speaking of things getting interesting, here is the headline from a report on CBSSports.com the day after the Ravens lost to the Cardinals in Arizona:
“Ravens say headsets went out during final drive in loss to Cardinals”
Please note that this did not happen in Foxboro. Please also note that even with the NFL in charge of the communications equipment(s) that link the coaches on the sidelines with the “coaches upstairs”, these things continue to happen. Moreover, they always seem to happen to the visiting team and not the home team. Strange, no…? Even stranger is when the malfunction occurred according to the CBSSports.com report:
“Trailing 26-18 and with just under two minutes to score a touchdown and pull even on the 2-point conversion, the Ravens’ headsets went out.”
I got a note from a friend just after the Royals had taken a 2-0 lead in the World Series beating both Matt Harvey ad Jacob deGrom. It is an amazing stat:
“I saw a great stat today – of the 84 fastballs Harvey and deGrom threw the Royals hit or made contact with 82.”
Finally, Dwight Perry caught this line and included in in his column in the Seattle Times:
NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, on a study claiming that David Beckham and his wife Victoria Beckham are richer than Queen Elizabeth: ‘In other words, Posh Spice is doing better than Old Spice.’ ”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………