RIP Marty Schottenheimer

Marty Schottenheimer died on Monday after dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease for more than 5 years.  He was an NFL player and coached 4 teams (Cleveland, KC, Washington and San Diego) over a 21-year coaching career.  His teams only had 2 losing seasons in that time and his regular season record was 200-126-1.  His teams underperformed in the playoffs and Schottenheimer never made it to the Super Bowl but – ironically – coaches from his coaching tree made it there including Bruce Arians, Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy and Mike McCarthy – – all of whom won a Super Bowl game.  He ranks seventh in the NFL all time in wins as a coach and I believe he should be in the Hall of Fame.

Rest in peace, Marty Schottenheimer.

Yesterday, I received an email from Gregg Drinnan, formerly the sports editor of the Kamloops Daily News and currently the author of the Taking Note blog you can find here.  It contained a link to a report on the status of a CFL team undergoing a name change akin to the one underway here in Washington.  The Edmonton Eskimos are no more; the team joined other teams in various sports that now eschew names that have racial/ethnic overtones.  The helmet logo for the team over recent times has been a pair of the letter “E” and that seems to be driving the search for a new name.

The team sought fan input for the new name and got 2,047 suggestions.  The team has narrowed it down to a list of seven new names and it is now asking fans to rank the seven from first to worst.  Here is the list; it is a Sesame Street list brought to you by the letter “E”:

  • Eagles
  • Eclipse
  • Elements
  • Elk
  • Elkhounds
  • Evergolds
  • Evergreens

According to one report:

“The team says the group selecting the name will take the results into account after the survey concludes Sunday.”

The Elk and/or the Eagles would be the winners for me – – but I doubt that folks in Edmonton care what I think on this matter.  I do think it is interesting however that a team seemingly mesmerized by the letter “E” recently hired a new head coach named Jaime Elizondo.

Moving on …  It has been 7 months since allegations of sexual harassment and a “toxic work culture” in the front office of the Washington Football Team surfaced.  An attorney has been investigating the matter first at the behest of Danny Boy Snyder but subsequently answering to the league itself.  So far, all we have heard are crickets.  I read recently that the investigation is “nearing completion” – – to which I say, “high time”.  It is not clear what Roger Goodell is going to do with whatever report of findings he receives but various advocacy groups such as the ACLU and the National Women’s Law Center are demanding a full and public release.

Roger Goodell is in an unenviable position here.  If he opts not to release the findings of this prolonged investigation, there will be screeches of “COVER UP” from plenty of sports writers and broadcasters.  As a matter of fact, it would be difficult to come up with an explanation for such a decision that avoided some degree of “cover up”.  After all, if all those allegations were baseless and provably wrong, it would clearly be in the best interest of the NFL and Danny Boy Snyder to get that message out there.

I will not be surprised if the NFL seeks to limit damage here with the release of a redacted report.  Normally what happens with redacted reports is that there is a flurry of anger that “the public’s right to know” is being denied followed by a few speculative reports on what the redacted sections “must be about” and then the matter tends to fade to black.  That would be the easiest way out for The Commish…

His less wonderful scenario would go something like this:  [Remember, this is hypothetical; I am not suggesting any of this is factual…]

  • The findings of the report are myriad and disgusting.  Publicizing them will anger fans and “broadcast partners” and sponsors.
  • The findings of the report make it clear that the firing of several front office folks back in July 2020 was a necessary but not nearly sufficient response to the problems.
  • The source of any additional punishment becomes unclear because the report does not fully identify all the malefactors.

In that case, The Commish risks the wrath of fans, TV execs and sponsors and/or the wrath of at least one of the team owners – – and the owners are the Commish’s boss.  Reports say that Roger Goodell makes more than $40M per year in his job.  He may well earn his money as he finds his way along this thorny path.

Finally, I said here that Roger Goodell faces a dilemma.  So, let me offer him this smidgen of free advice:

  • When life gives you dilemmas, make dilemmanade.

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “RIP Marty Schottenheimer”

  1. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the Braves do about their name. Technically, the name is not about actual native Americans, but white men dressed up as native Americans. The Boston Tea Partiers or the Boston Petty Criminals just lacked the pizzazz the old owners were looking for. As a long time Braves fan I hope the name remains.

    1. Doug:

      The folks in Washington used that same explanation for its now abandoned nickname. Like the Atlanta Braves, the WFTs began their existence in Boston.

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