Why No, I Won’t Cry for You, Mike Shanahan

By the time you read this, heck, by the time I’m finished writing this, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is likely to be out of his job.

This has become a macabre ritual on the Monday following the end of the regular NFL season: the Black Monday head coach death watch. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski, already received his pink slip, after less than a full year on the job and a 4-12 record. Reports are that Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has suffered a similar fate.

I see smatterings of “this is people’s lives” talk on Twitter, but sorry, I’m not going to show a whole lot of sympathy for their plights. For one thing, this is the life they have chosen, and that their families have bought into. If they wanted job security, they could have gone into accounting or something. Or at least coached high school.

And with high risk comes high reward. If/when Shanahan gets his walking papers, he’ll do so with $7 million for a year in which he won’t work. From someone who’s been laid off a time or two in her life, that’s nicer severance than I’ve ever seen.

I only have slightly more empathy for players who get cut because their contracts are not guaranteed, unlike coaches. Even still, many NFL players make more in one game than most Americans make in a year.

This is not a Justine Sacco situation. I don’t delight in waiting for my team’s head coach to get his pink slip, and heaven knows I’ve seen enough of these days. But NFL owners are, with few exceptions, a fickle lot, and we all know that Dan Snyder has fired coaches who’d done better jobs than Shanahan (Norv? Marty?)

Still, Mr. Shanahan, or any other NFL player and/or coach looking to get out of this topsy-turvy lifestyle, there are alternatives. Take some courses on Treehouse and learn how to code. I’d be happy to forward on a few of the dozen or so LinkedIn emails I get in that case.

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