The hype and propaganda surrounding Jeff Fisher by his fan boys around the country is bordering on sickening. I haven’t seen this much promotion for an overrated since Mike Shanahan and just ask Washington Redskins fans how that is working out.
I have never been a Jeff Fisher fan. I watched a head coach over the last several seasons come up short every year with excuse after excuse made for him by the national media. I watched a guy given more opportunity to win than any other NFL head coach in history yet I am in the midst of watching a charade produced by the NFL Network and many at ESPN that hasn’t been seen since, well you already know his name.
The Miami Dolphins and St. Louis Rams have each made big plays for Jeff Fisher. In a season where you have analysts and NFL reporters bloviating weekly about the merits of not paying a guy like DeSean Jackson, they are giddy with the prospect of Jeff Fisher cashing in a king’s ransom at the hopes of “selling seats,” in spite of his winning record and rumors of insubordination in his last gig. Shame on them for not giving NFL fans the real story.
Let’s go back to 1999 and take a look at Jeff Fisher’s one and only Super Bowl run…twelve years ago! There was a play, a historic Wild Card play called the “Music City Miracle” which won the Titans the game. Yes I know it isn’t how you win the game it is only about winning the game. But if not for an incredibly fluky play that will probably work once a century, Jeff Fisher wouldn’t have even made it to the Super Bowl!
So in sixteen years the man has one, yes one season in which he went to the Super Bowl and lost. NFL fans are constantly reminded thanks to NFL Films and sound bites about the ultimate prize, the Super Bowl. Winning the Super Bowl is all that matters in the NFL and anything else means nothing. In other words, Jeff Fisher accomplished nothing in 16 years.
As disgusted as I was with the Mike Shanahan hype a few years back, at least the man won multiple Super Bowl championships. Fisher not only didn’t win the Super Bowl, he has a record 5-6 of under .500 in the postseason altogether. Jeff Fisher hasn’t even made it out of the AFC divisional round in 10 years. To put it more into perspective, Fisher was bounced in his first appearances in his last two playoff games, the last one at home. Call me crazy but this guy doesn’t sound like any kind of coaching guru.
This was my recap of his last season with the Titans when I blogged about his firing last year. “We have all watched the Tennessee Titans this season and what about the way their season ended gave anyone a though that they’d be a team to reckon with in 2011? Their defense did improve, but it was hardly at a level to stop Peyton Manning on a consistent basis. Rusty Smith is a nice project but did he show you anything to make you believe he can win games next season in place of Vince Young? The running game which was the calling card of the Titans in 2009 regressed. It should also be noted that the Titans had the worst record in their conference going 2-4 against the AFC South. Can someone please explain how this makes Jeff Fisher a great coach and what owner shouldn’t fire Fisher after a season like this one?”
At least I am consistent.
Fisher’s off the field issues in his last couple of seasons as head coach are also curiously forgotten. He handled his quarterback Vince Young with the maturity of a pee wee football player. He had a locker room split and in chaos his last season in Tennessee thanks to his handling of the quarterback and showing up at a charity event wearing his rival QB’s NFL jersey. Let’s not forget the chaos Fisher caused for his organization with the irresponsible contract extensions he dished out to coordinators. Aren’t these the kinds of mistakes rookie head coaches make? Yes, but this guy was in his sixteenth season!
Did he have some winning regular seasons? Sure he did. But so do a lot of NFL head coaches in a league full of parity and regular injuries. The luck always runs out in the postseason when you can’t duck the elite of the division and that is where Fisher crumbled. He was 27-21 in his last three regular seasons. Is that what Miami Dolphins and St. Louis Rams fans are hoping for? Three seasons with six wins over .500?
There is a big problem here and I thought the NFL media would learn this with Mike Shanahan but they haven’t. Instead of reporting objectively on Jeff Fisher and his coaching merits, they are more concerned about chasing the “sexy” name and creating a story for ratings, interest, and of course the hopes of their good will paying off in getting the exclusive Jeff Fisher interview. Quite frankly it disgusts me as a fan and is one of the reasons I rarely torture myself by watching those carnival NFL pregame shows or newscasts on television.
The other dirty secret here is that the over-hyped head coach hasn’t won a Super Bowl with his new team in years. Not since Jon Gruden (and some will tell you it was Tony Dungy’s team) nine years ago has a former head coach won the Super Bowl with his new team. Yet these former failed head coaches are pushed on the networks and in newspapers over more deserving candidates for reasons I can’t comprehend other than the ones I listed above.
So let’s hope two years from now when Andy Reid becomes a free agent and Mike Shanahan is either gone or coming off another losing season and Jeff Fisher is making more excuses for his Dolphins or Rams that the NFL media take a lesson here and think twice before singing the high praise of an over-hyped failed former NFL head coach looking for a new job.
Something tells me that’s not going to happen.