Black Monday in the NFL

Thirty years ago, I was fired from my job as the managing editor of a small-town newspaper. It turned out to be a good thing since it propelled me into a new career as a financial advisor. But it was a painful time for me.

When you’re fired from a job, your are branded as a failure. You wear a scarlet letter, “L.” The L is for loser, and you must deal with this stigma and move on with life. After all, just because you fail at something doesn’t make you a loser.

Yesterday was Black Monday in the NFL. One day after the 2018 regular season came to an end, the pink slips were flying. Arizona’s Steve Wilks, Denver’s Vance Joseph, Miami’s Adam Gase and Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis were all fired.

These moves came a day after Tampa Bay canned Dirk Koetter and the New York Jets gave Todd Bowles the ax. There are also openings in Green Bay and Cleveland after  Mike McCarthy and Hue Jackson got pink slips earlier in the season.

Some programs like the YMCA teach children that everyone is a winner and can get a trophy. It’s a wonderful, “feel good” experience, but the cold, cruel reality in the sports world is that most teams fail to win, and some fail repeatedly.

Cleveland hasn’t made the playoffs since 2002. Tampa Bay hasn’t qualified for the postseason since 2007. The Browns are on the right track, improving from 0-16 in 2017 to 7-8-1 this season, and could break the drought next year.

I wish the unemployed NFL coaches best wishes for a happy New Year. Thirty years ago, the end of my newspaper career was only the beginning of a new life. You can’t fail in life – you can only quit. Winston Churchill said it best: “Never give up.”



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