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NFL Draft

With Black Monday Looming It’s Important To Keep Perspective

  • The Draft Network
  • January 1, 2021
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By Jake Arians

A great lesson to learn in life is: “The grass isn’t always greener."

Whether it’s replacing the aging quarterback with a promising new star or replacing your current coach and staff with the excitement or promise of something new, that lesson applies. Sometimes the grass is greener and sometimes change is unavoidable and necessary. But, as another football season comes to a close, don’t be so quick to assume your team is better off with that new promising rookie or new coaching staff.  

With Black Monday—the Monday after the final regular-season game—looming next week many organizations, possibly a quarter of the league (and fan bases), will find themselves in this situation. Black Mondays are just that, a very dark day for coaches and their families that get let go. Most people that work will not get fired just because their boss does, and most of us will never have it announced on every major news outlet around the world. 

From my experience being a coach’s son and personally experiencing the darkness of Black Monday many times, you have to remember coaches are people too. One thing that makes football so great is that it’s coached by regular men and women just like us. Men and women with wives, husbands, and children. NFL coaches work twice as many hours as most of the working world, seven days a week, for months on end. And one day they show up for work and no longer have a job. Remember, it is not just the head coach that gets fired, it’s the 20-30 staff members (in most cases) that get fired with them.

I want you to remember, you can be the best offensive line coach or running back coach, if your head coach gets fired, chances are you're fired right along with him. A tough schedule, too many injuries, and countless other reasons can lead to too many losses, resulting in coaches getting fired. It’s a performance-based business and wins and losses are all that matter—there is no doubt about that. However, those wins and losses are never a reflection of the effort of those coaching staffs. To say it plainly, a team doesn’t win more because their coaches worked harder than others. Everyone works hard and for long hours. Sometimes the circumstances of those losses are out of those coaches’ control.

The NFL stands for “not for long” and change is inevitable, but the life of an NFL player and coach is a lot harder than most people realize. I understand that some coaches are definitely better than others, but change isn’t always for the best. For those teams firing their coaches on Black Monday, the excitement and promise of something new is what they want and are looking for. Although it doesn’t make it any easier for those affected in the process.

It’s important to realize that up to a quarter of the coaches in the NFL that are preparing right this very second for Week 17 will be looking for jobs on new teams in 2021. Their families will be looking for another new home and another new school for their children in another new city. This is just the life of a coach’s family. Coaches know what they have signed up for and for the most part their families understand it as well. It doesn’t make this time of year any easier.

This isn’t a pity party. But in a world filled with negativity, I hope after reading this you will have a better understanding and maybe even a little compassion for the human beings and their families that are involved as Black Monday sits just over the horizon.

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