I know there’s something inherently awful about Black Monday, the moniker given to the first day following the NFL’s regular season, when every year a handful of coaches are corralled into the owner’s chambers, then ceremoniously told into which body cavity their head currently resides while being handed a red slip (because pink is for pussies and October, men). A privately employed security officer with mercenary training may or may not be present—depending on whether or not said team is trying to rid itself of a SCHIANO MAN. Tears are never shed, pleasantries are never exchanged, letters of recommendations are never given, because feelings never existed in the first place.
I know this is a terrible tradition, and yet that didn’t stop me from refreshing Twitter every twelve seconds yesterday to see who was next. This year, five Black Monday casualties will join the previously axed Gary Kubiak in the NFL’s unemployment line, meaning six teams will need a new head coach for next season, meaning the rumor mill will be a-buzz for several weeks—and there’s nothing worse than rampant, unsubstantiated coaching speculation.
So let’s do some rampant, unsubstantiated coaching speculation, shall we? To the RESUME BOARD.
The Smart Choice: Bill O’Brien, current-possibly-former Penn State head man via the School of Belichick, who’s already speculated to be in contract negotiations with the team.
The Sexy Choice: Jon Gruden. “THIS GUY. I CALL THIS GUY ARIAN FOSTER’S BECAUSE HE’S AUSTRALIAN FOR GOOD, HARD NOSED, RUN-IT-UP-THE-GUT FOOTBALL MIKE”
The Throwback Choice: Kevin Gilbride. Looking for a job, plus he’s not afraid to go toe-to-toe with his #haters.
The Longshot Choice: Jon Gruden
The Fan’s Choice:
@HTC_Morgan Mack Brown should be the next Texans coach!
— matthew gold (@mvg830) December 30, 2013
Fuck yes he should, because the NFL needs someone with enough balls to sign Jay Cutler as a defensive back.
The “Let’s Play Boggle With Your Team’s Name and See if That Gives Us Any Ideas” Choice: Hans Stone. You could do worse than hiring an ex-German rubgy player who’s currently in-between poorly funded action movies. Scoop him up, or The Expendables 3 will.
The Realistic Choice: O’Brien
Sophie’s Choice: You’ve already shown Kubiak the door, so might as well let Wade Phillips stick around as OC. Plus he doubles as a formidable sparring for Gilbride, should it come to that.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Smart Choice: Mike Zimmer, longtime Bengals defensive coordinator.
The Sexy Choice: Joe Maddon. Rays manager, wine aficionado, and the only man in Florida without any priors.
The Throwback Choice: Jon Gruden. “THIS GUY. I CALL THIS GUY DOUG MARTINI, BECAUSE SHAKEN, STIRRED, OR MIXED WITH BOOTLEG HORSE TRANQUILIZERS THIS GUY WILL FIGHT FOR EVERY INCH MIKE.”
The Longshot Choice: Mike Sorrentino, because what this situation needs is a SITUATION, amirite?
The Fan’s Choice:
I should be the Bucs next head coach. Like I have won the Super Bowl twice so far in Madden 25 — Jared Barclay (@JaredBarclay) December 30, 2013
He’s already more credentialed than Schiano. Plus, eschewing a team photo for a #TEAM #SELFIE would be a first.
The “Let’s Play Boggle With Your Team’s Name and See if That Gives Us Any Ideas” Choice: Crabby Santa. Florida mall parking lots are filled with opportunistic job seekers this time of year, so long as you’re cool with looking the other way while he builds a shed outside the weight room that totally isn’t being used to cook krokodil.
The Realistic Choice: Lovie Smith
Sophie’s Choice: It’s better to part with a toe than risk that MRSA spreading.
The Smart Choice: Mike Zimmer
The Sexy Choice: Nick Saban, Roller of Tide. Did I mention my third cousin’s wife’s great aunt’s neighbor gets her hair done by a gal who’s friends with a realtor in greater St. Paul and she totes showed a million dollar listing to Saban’s wife last week, you guys? I TRACKED THE FLIGHT ONLINE AND EVERYTHING!!!1!!
The Throwback Choice: Denny Green
The Longshot Choice: Jack Morris, because that fella sure was a gamer, DOH’N CHA’NOH.
The Fan’s Choice:
Very amused that people, via comment sections online, think Brett Favre should be considered as the #Vikings next coach.
— Michael Nelson (@mike_e_nelson) December 30, 2013
The “Let’s Play Boggle With Your Team’s Name and See if That Gives Us Any Ideas” Choice: Sven Tangskii. The Swedish adult film industry has been doing some groundbreaking work with scatback formations.
The Realistic Choice: Jack DelRio and the Infinite Sadness
Sophie’s Choice: Locking all the rostered quarterbacks inside an abandoned Metrodome, just to evaluate who’s willing to do anything to survive, isn’t the worst idea.
The Smart Choice: Mike Zimmer. Seriously, will someone give this man a shot already? I WATCHED HIM THRIVE ON “HARD KNOCKS” DAMMIT. TWICE. I KNOW COACHING.
The Sexy Choice: Kevin Sumlin. An offense with Megatron and Mike Evans wouldn’t be street legal anywhere but Detroit.
The Throwback Choice: Wayne Fontes, because Thanksgiving turkey used to taste so much better after watching a grown man eat shit all afternoon.
The Longshot Choice: Gunther Cunningham. Speaking of “Hard Knocks”, he just so happens to be the star of my favorite non-Rex Ryan moment of the HBO series.
The Fan’s Choice:
My mom should be the next Lions coach, she’d do better than Schwartz — Chris Bradbury (@Chris_The_Big) December 30, 2013
If Gunther gets canned and the ban on families is lifted, she might just get a shot.
The “Let’s Play Boggle With Your Team’s Name and See if That Gives Us Any Ideas” Choice: Soline Diot. What she lacks in creative branding, present day Mowtown’s finest lounge singer makes up for with work ethic and poise.
The Realistic Choice: Matt Millen
Sophie’s Choice: You love freedom, but you also love the Lions, and regret is easy to live with when you have the YouTube clip of you trying to tackle Matt Stafford—while wearing nothing but a jock strap and a smile—to keep you company under house arrest.
The Smart Choice: Bankruptcy
The Sexy Choice: Bill Simmons. Sports Theorist, Pop Culture Lord, and Mike Lombardi’s little buddy.
The Throwback Choice: Bernie Kosar, the missing conveyor belt to the Factory of Sadness.
The Longshot Choice: LeBron James. It’s the most Cleveland way possible he could come back to Cleveland.
The Fan’s Choice: Cyanide
The “Let’s Play Boggle With Your Team’s Name and See if That Gives Us Any Ideas” Choice: Sleevd Crown. If nothing else, it’s been getting Browns fans through Sunday afternoons for years.
The Realistic Choice: Norv Turner. Then a subsequent 35,000 word longform piece from Simmons about the time his buddy Slouchy once backed Norv down at a black jack table, which is why Bill should be coach of the Browns, because he’d only let players watch films made before 1989 until Ryan Gosling reaches pantheon status.
Sophie’s Choice: It’s too late for choices. What the Browns haven’t already taken from you, the desolation of Cleveland eventually will.
The Smart Choice: Sell the team, Dan Snyder.
The Sexy Choice: Sell the team, then donate some of the proceeds to charity, Dan Snyder.
The Throwback Choice: Seriously, sell this once proud franchise and never set foot in D.C. again, Dan Snyder.
The Longshot Choice: Dan Snyder selling the team.
The Fan’s Choice: Sell the team or we’ll sink your yachts with burning effigies of you, Dan Snyder.
The “Let’s Play Boggle With Your Team’s Name and See if That Gives Us Any Ideas” Choice: Kindo Rasist. Well, it is.
The Realistic Choice: Owner/coach Dan Snyder.
Sophie’s Choice: A true fan never quits on his team, so just remember that maritime law becomes less stringent once you cross into international waters.