People in Sports Who Totally Didn't Deserve Their Jobs
From a very young age most of us are told that if you work hard, try your best and pay your dues, success will inevitably follow.
No one loves the parts about hard work and dues paying, but that's the long route most of us have to travel in life.
There are few things more irritating in life than someone who is woefully terrible and/or unqualified for his job. The one thing that can make it even worse is when that terribly unqualified person ended up in the job because of something other than hard work and dues paying.
Often time it has to do with a name. Either a name that was first made famous by a more qualified parent who forged the path for less-talented offspring or a name made famous on the individual's own merit for something other than the job he landed but doesn't deserve.
Here are 10 people in sports who totally didn't deserve their jobs.
There's no denying that Charlie Weis enjoyed some success as the Patriots' offensive coordinator early in the Brady-Belichick era in New England. So it wasn't really a surprise to see him jump ship when Notre Dame, his alma mater, came knocking in 2005.
The Irish did well enough with Tyrone Willingham's players in Weis' first two seasons, but then things went off the rails. Weis's teams went 16-21 the next three years, and he was, understandably, fired. It only cost the Notre Dame program $19 million, which will be done being paid out in December…2015.
What's most fascinating about this is that Weis was immediately snatched up by Kansas. He just wrapped up his second season with the Jayhawks and his record is currently 4-20. Naturally, the basketball university has decided to retain him.
In mid-November Kansas got its first Big 12 win since 2010; Weis was rewarded with a Gatorade shower. Is it possible the Jayhawks football standards are a tad too low?
Kyle Shanahan is currently the offensive coordinator of the Redskins. Mike Shanahan, his father, is currently the head coach of the Redskins.
Kyle Shanahan previously served as the Texans' wide receivers coach in 2006, quarterbacks coach in 2007 and offensive coordinator from 2008-09. Current Houston head coach Gary Kubiak, a long-time assistant of Mike Shanahan's with the Broncos, was responsible for Kyle's rapid advancement.
Sorry to all you Kyle Shanahan fans out there—taking a huge leap in assuming any exist—but a more clear cut case of sports nepotism you will never find. Nothing about his performance in Houston validated his yearly promotions and the same holds true in Washington.
Recently Marshall Faulk said, "Let's just say that guy's first name was Kyle, and he didn't have a last name? He'd be fired." And he's right. These two are, for better or worse, obviously a packaged deal.
Fox's Joe Buck, quite simply, isn't the type of person that would be on television talking about sports if he didn't have an in. He's smug, dismissive and wholly unpleasant.
Oh, and he doesn't like sports that much.
His father, Jack Buck, was the legendary broadcaster of the St. Louis Cardinals. He's been recognized by the Baseball Hall of Fame for his esteemed career.
Let this be a lesson to the less talented offspring of industry giants: It's better to buy new shoes than wear the ones you'll never grow in to.
When Auburn decided to hire Gene Chizik as their head coach in December 2008, nobody was more outraged than their most outspoken alum, Sir Charles Barkley. At the time Barkley noted that, "Out of all the coaches they interviewed, Chizik probably had the worse resume."
And he was right about the unimpressive nature of his resume. Chizik hadn't stayed in a position or at a school for more than three years in over two decades as a coach, and his success was marginal, at best.
He lasted just four seasons with the Tigers.
Chizik inherited a very capable Auburn team from Tommy Tuberville that went 8-5 in his first season. Then he stumbled into glory with Cam Newton, winning a national championship in 2010. Chizik went 8-5 and 3-9 in his final two seasons before being fired in 2012.
Apparently he was the only thing standing in between the Tigers and success. In 2012 Auburn was winless in SEC play and lost 49-0 to Alabama in the Iron Bowl. In 2013 the Tigers lost just one game and defeated No. 1 ranked Alabama in the Iron Bowl.
I'm not sure how popular this opinion is going to be, but I actually think Eric Mangini's tenures as head coach of the Jets and Browns weren't entirely terrible and that both franchises may have been too quick to pull the plug on him.
That being said, I'm not all that surprised those teams had limited patience for a former Division III player, promoted by Bill Belichick, who liked the moxy Mangini showed as a ball boy in Cleveland—particularly given the overall uselessness of Charlie Weis on his own.
Mangini was first made a public relations intern before being promoted to a defensive assistant and later defensive coordinator. Considering he had no business being called up from ball boy to begin with, you wouldn't have thought he'd be so eager to cut the cord with Belichick.
Formerly funny comedian Dennis Miller was definitely an outside-the-box choice to join Monday Night Football as a color commentator. At the time he was still hosting Dennis Miller Live, a topical comedy talk show on HBO.
Miller's particular brand of humor didn't mesh too well with the broadcast and was met with almost universally negative reviews in his first season. He was hired to "spice up broadcasts," but they asked him to spice it down in his second season.
Miller's questionable football knowledge was glaringly apparent and his comedy didn't come close to fitting the tone in the broadcasting booth. He was never able to turn it around and was canned after just two seasons.
The real question is why the network ever thought that would work to begin with.
When things skidded into the gutter for the Colts during Peyton Manning's much publicized absence in 2011, the bulk of the blame ultimately seemed to rest on the shoulders of two men.
The first being general manager Chris Polian. The second being vice chairman Bill Polian, who hired his son for a job he wasn't remotely qualified to do.
In November of that year Chris was labeled a "toxic force" by the Indianapolis Star's Bob Kravitz, which pointed out that "he started moving up the organizational ladder in the early 2000s for no apparently reason other than being a Polian."
Kravitz claimed that Chris had systematically disassembled the organization from within, noting that he was "instrumental in hastening" the exits of a number of assistant coaches and scouts. Both Polian men were swept out, along with Manning, shortly after the season.
Dad now works as an analyst for ESPN and his baby boy was hired as the Jaguars director of pro personnel in June 2013. That actually makes a lot of sense—Chris is just perfect for what they've been doing down in Jacksonville.
In July 2013 the Knicks were able to re-sign free agent J.R. Smith, who they signed to a four-year deal worth $24.7 million. It was the maximum contract allowed under the early Bird rights.
We didn't find out until months later that signing J.R. also meant signing his little, substantially less talented, brother, Chris Smith—which they did in order to sweeten the pot and prevent J.R. from signing elsewhere.
Six months later and Chris now is the most expensive player in D-League history—their first $2 million man. The signing has become a luxury-tax nightmare for the Knicks, who really don't need another nightmare.
Has anyone ever failed upward more impressively than Lane Kiffin? He was 5-15 as coach of the Raiders, the highlight of which was definitely the hilariously stupid 76-yard field goal he had Sebastian Janikowski attempt against the Chargers in September 2008.
Something he did, seemingly, for no reason whatsoever. Maybe because he was on the verge of being canned and F*** YOU, that's why! Considering the way in which the late, great Al Davis—decked out in a bandaid—condemned Kiffin, it was hard to tell who was really at fault.
Count the University of Tennessee among those who found Davis' accusations less than credible. The Vols hired Kiffin in January 2008, and he rewarded their belief in him by bolting for USC when the Trojans, inexplicably, came calling a year later.
Why the Trojans wanted to replace Pete Carroll with a guy who was fired from the Raiders, went 7-6 with the Volunteers and was willing to walk out on his Tennessee team after 12 months…well that's anybody's guess. But considering how all that turned out, it's safe to say both USC and Kiffin got exactly what they deserved.
You'd think the Lane Kiffin lesson would've been learned by now, but not so much. Apparently Fresno State is considering hiring him.
Yeah...that should end well.
I'm not going to pretend I know all that much about the path to becoming an NBA coach—I'm a casual fan, not a student of the game. But if it's anything like football, it usually involves paying your dues as an assistant at various levels and slowly growing into the job.
It almost never involves a retiring athlete coming back the very next season as a head coach, as is the case with Nets and Jason Kidd. The team took a pretty big risk messing with that formula this year and, thus far, it looks to be an abject disaster.
Said ESPN New York: "Kidd, not Knicks, is laughingstock." (Actually, they both are, but whatever.)
Said the Daily News: "Jason Kidd may have ruined Knicks and Nets for this season." So yeah, maybe he wasn't the best hire.
Also…I think we know which team the N.Y. media favors!