“It’s just a fantasy…it’s not the real thing.” – Sometimes a Fantasy, by Billy Joel
It seems clear that, for the time being at least, everything will remain the same at One Bills Drive except for the length of the IR list. Renowned nice man Dick Jauron appears here to stay, despite giving Cleveland the distinction of turning in one of the worst winning performances of all time.
But, there’s nothing wrong with a little fantasizing, right? You’ve got to figure none of the Big Names – Cowher, Holmgren, etc. – are coming to the Bills mid season even if we were to look for a new coach. Not to manage someone else’s problem, and without affording themselves the opportunity to field lucrative, competitive offers, possibly from the Cowboys and Redskins among others.
Who WOULD be the likely candidates if the axe fell on our coach? Here’s my quirky, uneducated take on it, with my own unscientific attempt at odds making.
Bobby April or Perry Fewell – ODDS, 9-1
Make a change mid-season, and you’ll probably look in your own house for a temporary replacement. April’s got a great rep, but do you really want to muck up special teams (more than they’ve already been mucked up recently)? Besides, is he ready? Maybe Fewell is more likely.
Marty Schottenheimer – ODDS, 14-1
Marty comes home to where it all began in 1965. He never wins the Big One (sound familiar?) but his teams DO win. He’d be a good influence, and make himself relevant again.
Mike Martz – ODDS, 17-1
I’m not a fan, but imagine what he might do with our offense? I don’t think he and Bobby April are the best of friends, though.
Jeff Jagodzinski – ODDS, 22-1
A former Boston College coach who got canned for having the nerve to interview for an NFL job…which he didn’t even get! Poor guy needs a break, and must have a chip on his shoulder, right?
Jim Fassell, Jim Haslett and Mike Sherman — ODDS, 23-1
All are former candidates for the Bills job, and all are currently employed (two by the UFL, one by Texas A&M. Don’t know what their contract stipulations are regarding the NFL, but like Schottenheimer, it’d be a chance to get back to the mother ship. As it is, I remain convinced Haslett will coach this team one day.
Ralph Wilson – ODDS, 91-1
The odds reflect his age as of October 17. We KNOW Ralph doesn’t fire Jauron because he doesn’t want to pay his salary PLUS another coach’s salary, right? But Ralph would coach for free – great solution. Ted Turner, the former Atlanta Braves owner, once tried to insert himself as manager. The league put the kibosh on that soon enough. I assume the NFL has rules against this, but who bothers with fact checking?
Ian Osterloh – ODDS, 138-1
Who? The doctor who discovered Viagra! Who else would you turn to when your Dick is failing? And if the commercials are to be believed, he’ll get the team to play hard for four hours or more. Rumor has it Eric Wood is especially excited by the prospect.
Thank goodness I got those admittedly unoriginal jokes out of my system before Jauron loses his job….
Buddy Ryan – ODDS, 162-1
Buddy’s only 75. Imagine the kick he’d get out of coaching against his son? Buddy gets the nod here over the Shula boys for his more impressive record, and the fact he punched Kevin Gilbride once.
Irv Weinstein, Rick Azar and Tom Joles – ODDS, 777-1
Maybe coaching the Bills is a three-man job. Who is more beloved in Buffalo or has better chemistry than these three, the longest-tenured anchor team in the history of broadcast news? Irv could rile up the squad against the Parcels Packaged Punks from Miami, Rick actually knows football, and Tom would help Trent Edwards prepare for inclement weather. Unfortunately, Clip Smith is unavailable to join them, believe it or not. (Sorry for the inside jokes if you’re too young to remember these guys, or aren’t from Buffalo! Believe me, they were brilliant.)
The Obama Administration – ODDS, 700 Billion-1
The Bills are in at least as bad shape as the auto industry and banks, right? Ralph gets to sell the team, and the Obama team will promise to turn the team over to a qualified head coach once its back on track, giving the NFL another contending team. Everyone wins here. As a bonus, Coach Hillary gets to add another cap to her collection of Yankees and Cubs hats, and can impart her calve-building techniques to our linemen. But, please, don’t put Obama on the Wall of Fame yet – let him earn it!