Eric Mangini, Why You Love To Hate Him

Chris ScheiCorrespondent IDecember 24, 2008

In the last four weeks, Eric Mangini has made some questionable decisions. His team, the New York Jets, have come out playing flat in a few games. And many people are calling for him to be fired.

Does he deserve to be fired?

At the beginning of the year, I thought the Jets were going to have a good year. They upgraded several areas of their team, and Chad Pennington was healthy and hungry. Not only that, but I took a look at the Jets recent history.

2002- 9-7

2003- 6-10

2004- 10-6

2005- 4-12

2006- 10-6

2007- 4-12

2008- ???

See a pattern there? So did I when I made my 10-6 prediction for them this year. But then, they traded for Brett Favre in the preseason, and released Chad Pennington. Favre missed training camp, and some of the preseason.

The same can be said for Pennington, who went to the Dolphins. I almost wavered on my prediction, but decided to stay at 10-6.

Back to the aforementioned question. Does Eric Mangini deserve to be fired?

One of the arguments I hear from Jets' fans is that with seven Pro Bowlers on this team, there's no way that they shouldn't make the playoffs with that much talent.

Just wait before stating your case, Viking fans. I know you've been in that boat for a few years now.

But I want to look at those seven Pro Bowlers.

One does not deserve, nor should have even been given consideration for the Pro Bowl.

The same player has been playing the last few weeks like he has been playing in cold weather the last few years- horrible.

Of course I'm talking about Brett Favre. (GASP!)

How dare I say that about the Lord Favre? I'm not sure. I must be crazy. But while Favre has had a very mediocre season, the Dolphins' Chad Pennington may knock the Jets out of the playoffs. That's right, Chad Pennington has more passing yards than Favre, and 12 (count every one of them) less interceptions.

But the blame for the Jets late season failings have to be blamed on Mangini. Who else are you going to put some of the blame on? Favre? (GASP!) I don't think so.

Mangini will probably lose his job if the Dolphins beat the Jets on Sunday. But he will be fired for two reasons.

The first reason is because if the Jets fail to make the playoffs this year, fans will look to Mangini. No matter if Favre threw 19 interceptions or 40, Mangini will be taking the heat. After all, he's going up against Lord Favre. If his team plays well, it's all because of Lord Favre. If he plays like he has been playing the last few weeks, it's all because of Mangini.

Eric will never win that battle against Lord Favre.

The second reason, is that he okayed the Packers to trade for Favre, even though the Jets had a better quarterback on the roster. Blame the front office all you want, but just like all other franchises where the front office is the biggest problem, the coach takes the fall.

Eric was never going to win that battle, either.

The Jets didn't trade for a better quarterback. They traded for a name for personal seat licensing reasons.

They thought that Lord Favre would be their savior, and he has been their biggest problem.

But the fun doesn't stop after the season. Jets fans will look forward to the daily soap opera with Favre and retirement.

Favre will call press conferences just to say that he hasn't made up his mind.

But, it's all Mangini's fault. He needs to get the axe. I feel bad for him. He went up against the Lord Favre himself.

Mike Greenberg of "Mike and Mike in the Morning" on ESPN, and a lifelong Jets fan, put everything into perspective on what the Jets should do this offseason.

"I think they should keep Mangini," said Greenberg.

"When it comes to Favre, if he wants to play for the Jets, that's fine. I'll take him. But if he wants to sit and do nothing and play meet the press every day until July, the Packers had the perfect blueprint on how to handle him. At that point, you know that he's retired. He wants to play on Sunday's, but he's basically retired."

I felt the same way last offseason Mike. Enjoy it Jets fans, your team traded for it.


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