This afternoon I have spent most of my day watching the epic 6 hour marathon “Vietnam-HD” on the History Channel. Great! So for those six hours I didn’t bother to look at my news ticker, call any contacts, seek information of any kind. I was oblivious today about news in the NFL. After the conclusion of the series I called my military veteran father to ask if he saw the series. ”No but did you see that Sparano is one of the least liked coaches in the NFL?”. This from my dad? Normally when my father informs me of news regarding the Dolphins it’s about a day old or he laughingly regurgitates what he read here. But no, I hadn’t heard about this Yahoo poll.
So up the stairs I went.
Low and behold Sporting News conducted a poll of 111 NFL players and asked them what coaches they would not want to play for. Now I realize that 111 out some 1500 or so NFL players is hardly indicative of what everyone may think. I mean it’s not even a quarter of those playing. Still, the Miami Dolphins head man, Tony Sparano landed second to NY Giants Tom Coughlin. Just behind him? New England Patriot head coach Bill Belichick.
The theme was mean. Coughlin and Belichick are supposedly terrors on the field. We all know the history of Coughlin and the mess he was in with the NFL while coaching Jacksonville many moons ago and we all know that in NE it’s Billy’s way or the highway. But Sparano? If you listen to the players in Miami they love playing for him. Were any of the polled players actually Dolphins players or were they ex-Phins who went on to calmer environments?
Either way, Sparano comes in with 21 votes cast in his favor. 22 went to Coughlin and 15 to Belichick. The next series of votes were six for a slew of head coaches around the league. I would love to get a number from even half of the NFL players but we know that won’t happen. So instead we have to average out the numbers per every 111. If there are 1590 players in the NFL (53 x 30) not including practice squad members or players on IR and that number was divided by the 111 currently polled then the 111 represents 1/14th of the league. So if I multiple that by 21, Sparano would receive 300 votes. If it were a science. It means nothing.
Despite the poll being so narrow in terms of actual players, the nice guy persona that seems to be on the surface may not be what is behind closed doors. Sparano does not throw his players under the bus, something that I would expect players to stand behind which also makes me wonder how many or if any of those polled have ever played for Sparano at all. My guess would be maybe one or two at most, if at all.
Maybe they just don’t like the fist pump.