It’s Norv Turner-bashing time. Once again, a team Turner has led lost early in the playoffs. Talk radio show hosts will have an absolute field day!
If it seems I’ve been on an anti-talk radio show host kick, it’s probably because I’m waiting for some audiobooks I’ve ordered and have had the radio on while I’ve been driving. Anyone who knows me will tell you sarcasm is something I’m fairly well-versed in. Then why is it I get so riled up when I hear talking heads doing it?
While I (immensely) enjoy back-and-forth repartee (if you couldn’t hold your own in my neighborhood, you’d go home crying everyday), I don’t think people should be allowed to make a living doing it. Comedians are great and I love stand up, but I have a hard time with people who make money by humiliating and making fun of others - especially when the person doing the ball-busting couldn’t do in a million years the job of the person they’re ridiculing.
So . . . that means I have no issues whatsoever with someone like Tony Dungy, Bill Cowher or Jimmy Johnson taking shots at someone like Turner. And therein lies my point. Those former coaches (as well as current coaches) never do - because they know how hard the job is and all the factors that go into winning in the playoffs.
Players (current and former) who criticize coaches are a little different story. Granted, they have been in the arena and that alone gives them a great deal of credibility. Before basing a whole lot of credence on what they say, though, what needs to be taken into account is what are/were they like as players? I mean, should Baron Davis (switching sports here to make the point crystal clear) ever get a commentators job, I would expect nothing less than critical comments directed at coaches. What else would we expect from someone whose nickname in NBA coaching circles is “CK” (”Coach Killer”)? Keeping it in the NFL, would you think TO would be impartial when it came to whose fault it was - the quarterback or the receiver?
Yesterday, the Chargers had a field goal kicker who had made 69 in a row inside 40 yards miss three kicks (two that he normally makes). Their QB had three uncharacteristic turnovers. Can you blame those on Coach Norv? Talk radio hosts somehow, in some smart ass way, will.
Now, I don’t know Norv Turner. But, undoubtedly, I feel the way I do because, while not in the NFL, I coached for a long time - and I’ve heard some asinine comments made by people who’ve never coached. Former coaches have opinions I respect because they’ve been there. That doesn’t mean they’re the only ones who should be allowed to voice an opinion. Everyone’s entitled to one. At the very least, however, the criticism should be based on facts. Bring up how many times he’s been there - with his team as a favorite - and his teams have gone down, fine. But don’t make it sound like he’s a total incompetent and . . . that you could have done better.
Count the number of times that he’s gotten teams to the playoffs and research how many other coaches in history there are that have accomplished that feat? Compare that to how many guys have ever coached. Because he’s been in that position that many times means he’s in the top whatever percentage of coaches. Maybe these talk show guys ought to equate that to whether they (or others) consider themselves in that same elite group of talk show hosts.
Many certainly will. Then they need to ask themselves, “If I’m that good, why am I stuck in the market I’m in? Shouldn’t I (since there are only 32 NFL teams) be in the top 32 markets?” If they’re taking shots at college basketball coaches, they only need to be in the top 347. There’s more wiggle room in that group. Yet, when rating their own expertise, they need to remember the line attributed to Emmy Cosell when her husband, Howard, asked her how many truly great sportscasters she thought there were:
“One less than you think.”