Once upon a time, there was a general who led an army that had lost many, many battles in a row. Under the general, they had their ups and their downs, and at the end of a war in which they won more battles than they lost, the president took the general out back and shot him.
What a crappy end to the story.
This isn't just Eric Mangini's story (abridged). This is the story of countless coaches in many sports. Romeo Crennel also lost his job today. Crennel and Mangini's firings have one common denominator:
Both inherited losing teams.
I realize that this isn't really an excuse, and I'm not making excuses for these guys.
I'm just saying that I don't believe they deserved to be fired.
I also feel for these guys. I feel for them because they remind me of another guy who will most probably lose his job; Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.
Mangini in particular brought Lewis to mind because of a certain detractor I've heard against him. I've heard him called "smug" and "emotionless", especially towards the media.
"Smug" and "emotionless" are two adjectives that I hear a lot here in Cincy about Coach Lewis.
The truth is, I don't see how that can seriously be a reason for Mangini's firing. Frankly, I believe that the Jets organization made a huge mistake with Brett Favre, and now refuse to admit it.
This is a sad trend in sports. Too often, a front office will place the blame on the coach, rather than on themselves, where it belongs. I realize that this is a generalization. I realize that there are situations in which the coach is honestly to blame.
I just think that it's more often done to cover the front office's collective ass.
I don't think this'll change anytime soon, I just feel bad for guys like Mangini, Crennel, and Lewis.