Espn’s First Take opened up their show on Thursday morning talking about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers firing of head coach Lovie Smith. Was it just? I believe so. You go 8-24 in two years as a head coach, there is a really good chance you’re going to lose your job. Should they have fired him over the phone? Definitely not. If you’re going to fire someone, you should at least give them the common courtesy of doing it in person behind closed doors.
Now out of all the coaching firings that took place this year, this one seemed to rub Stephen A. Smith the wrong way. He went on to make this firing a race issue in a way only Stephen A. Smith can do. You can check out the video here.
Now in his first point, he totally disregards the fact that Tampa Bay was 8-24 with Lovie Smith as their head coach. I don’t care who you are, you’re going to lose your job with that record. Let’s just take a look at the head coaches who lost their jobs in the NFL this year. Chip Kelly, 7-9 this year, fired. Tom Coughlin, 6-10 this year, fired. Mike Pettine, 3-13 this year, fired. Jim Tomsula, 5-11 this year, fired. Joe Philbin, 1-3 this year, fired. Ken Whisenhunt, 1-6 this year, fired. Even the coach of the Buccaneers right before Lovie Smith, Greg Schiano was 11-21 as head coach, three more wins than Lovie Smith in the same amount of time, but he still got fired. If you don’t win, you’re going to get fired. Period.
His second argument is more absurd than his first. Smith goes on to say that their are 12 minority offensive or defensive coordinators in the National Football League. He claims that they get overlooked and don’t receive any of the credit for what they do as coaches. He claims that the head coaches who coach the same side of the ball as their coordinator get all the credit. He goes on to state that the coordinators, because they are African-American, don’t get any credit. But he only mentions the situations that align with his point. He fails to mention all the other cases where the coordinators are white and they still get none of the credit. Case in point. Everyone when they talk about the New England Patriots give Bill Belichick all the credit for the defense. No one gives Matt Patricia, the defensive coordinator, any credit. In fact most of you, before you read that last sentence, didn’t know who Matt Patricia was and most likely never heard of him. The coordinator doesn’t get fired when the team has a poor record. The head coach does. The truth of the matter is that the head coach gets all the credit, and even all the blame, all the time because that is what happens when you’re the head coach.
Stephen A. Smith needs to get his facts straight. He needs to stop all the race baiting. He needs to start using some common sense. And he needs to drop the whole act.