The front page of the 05-JAN-2010 edition of The Washington Post had two stories of farewell and greetings.
First, we say good-bye to Jim Zorn, the ex-coach of the Washington NFL team, who was only around for two years. Personally, I wish him the best and hope another NFL team picks him up quickly. During the disgraceful way that the owner treated him (the prime example being taking away his play-calling duties), Mr. Zorn acted with class and poise. I never read any disparging remarks from him about his treatment, the owner, or the players (although he certainly would have been justified if he had).
To the incoming coach, Mike Shanahan, I have this three-letter message: RUN!
You are stepping into a buzzsaw that has obliterated the likes of Norv Turner (gee, isn’t his team in the playoffs this year?), Steve Spurrier, and the legendary Joe Gibbs (a winner of a few Super Bowls). A coach is only as good as the players around him. You are only as good as the players around you. You won two Super Bowls with John Elway and company. Without John, you only won one playoff game. You do the math!
Unless you are given powers and responsibilities that differ radically from all those who have come before you, you will suffer the same fate and have your polished reputation tarnished.
There is an exchange from the movie Dune which sums up your predicament:
Paul: “Many have tried and failed?”
Reverend Mother: “Many have tried and died.”
Lastly, we say hello to Northrop Grumman which is moving its headquarters from Los Angeles to the DC metropolitian area. As a former refugee from the southern part of the Golden State myself and as someone who has been living in the Old Dominion for over a decade now, I have some tips for you fellow Californians moving out his way:
1) When encountering black ice, steer into the skid.
2) Be aware that the Super Bowl starts at 6pm over here. (Corollary: West Coast baseball games start at 10pm).
3) The Inner Loop of the Beltway goes clockwise. The Outer Loop of the Beltway goes counter-clockwise.
4) Californians refer to highways as “the 495”; People in the DC area drop the “the” and simply refer to highways as “66” (i.e., “I was driving down 66 today”).
5) Do not be surprised when you radio commercials that sound like they are lobbying campaigns to Congress (i.e., “please pass House Bill 3366…”), because that’s what they are.
That’s all I have for now…thanks for coming…and don’t forgot your long-johns because it can get quite cold here.