A Hand Soccer Life Vol. 1: Jack from the River
In this series your humble narrator analyzes the life and times of Oakland Raider's head coach Jack Del Rio. For brevity's sake, the focus of this will be (mainly) on Del Rio's performance as a head coach and how that translated into his homecoming in the east bay. *Author's note: There will actually be in depth analysis on the advertised subject in the coming days. It's called foreplay people!!!
Prelude: From The SkyDome to The Gridiron- 1999-2003
Jack Del Rio will become the 9th head coach of the Oakland Raiders since the Y2K scare. Hiring a coach is an all too familiar occurrence in the front office of Alameda. Since the year 2000, the the Raiders have employed nine different head coaches, including the rehiring of Art Shell who donned his old school clipboard an age of digital electronics and Spy Gating.
According to The USA Today, the average NFL head coach's lifespan lasts around 4.2 seasons (The Raider's second to last coaching causality, Dennis Allen nearly hit that mark).
The NFL cycles through players and coaches quicker than Skip Bayless cycles through his nonsensical analysis of what he interprets as sports coverage. Occasionally, NFL players and coaches are given a chance to redeem themselves. Some professional footballers have parlayed their failure into a success. Michael Vick turned in his prison uniform in 2009 for a $100 million dollar contract with the Eagles in 2011. It just goes to show you that animal abuse can turn into a huge payday.
It will be interesting too see how big of a contact a player can get for cold cocking a woman in an elevator. For now we are stuck with lesser comeback stories like in September 2014 when Bleacher Report listed former quarterback Peyton Manning as #5 in their 'Greatest Second Chance Athletes'. I am not exactly sure when he lost his first chance but maybe Manning achieved redemption status after being a horrible playoff quarterback for the Colts and then redeeming himself by doing the same job for the Broncos. I suppose digital tabloids like Bleacher Report are too busy covering which football team is in need of Tim Tebow's services.
On the coaching side, former Brown's coach, Bill Belichick replaced fellow NFL reject Pete Carroll in New England for the 2000 season. Now both have Lombardi trophies to show for their second chance coaching efforts.
I am going to place my Super Bowl bets on the newly dubbed "Retread Coach Bowl" coming up. The Patriots will beat the Seahawks. This way, BeliChancellor Palpatine gets one last victory so he can hand over the reigns to Pete Vader. Robert Kraft can then can relinquish his stranglehold on The National Federation League and The Force will be restored once again to the football universe.
Like all media outlets, I began this article with the intention of an west coast bias sports report and ended up rambling on about the east coast golden boys. This is what I get for watching countless hours of Sports Center. Let's try this again.
At the dawn of the new millennium, Jack Del Rio was a linebackers coach for the Super Bowl Champion Clevtimore Bravens. (This Super Bowl actually belonged to the REAL Cleveland Browns, but I will digress). ESPN ranked Del Rio and the rest of Baltimore's the #3 defense of all time. Mr. Rio then became the defensive coordinator for John Fox's Carolina team and coached the defense to the second best in the league.
*Sidebar* ESPN is officially The Rolling Stone Magazine of "Top 100 Lists" They come out with these lists once a month and switch the rankings around a bit just so they can sell advertising.
The 2000 Raven's Super Bowl winning defense, (not the team as a whole, just the defense) was so good that he landed a job in Carolina in 2001. Hopefully learning from history is not always beneficial. Shortly after coaching the league's #2 defense, Jack Del Rio left John Fox's coaching staff and became a head coach the next year in Jacksonville.
NEXT TIME ON... "JDR, not as good as FDR but better for you than KFC"
- George Seifert went 1-15 before Mr. Rio arrived in Carolina. If only someone had promoted quarterback Jim Harbaugh to head coach mid season.
- Jack Del Rio was the last person to take Tom "Methuselah" Coughlin's job
- JDR was an All American who played alongside HOF mustachio Randy Johnson
- JDR was drafted ahead of Hershel Walker. But DID trade used VHS in a Blockbuster in Minnesota.
- JDR contributed to a Baltimore defense that gave up 165 points all season
- The 2014 Oakland Raiders gave up 452 points...and someone out there says Jason Tarver showed improvement.
- The title of the article makes sense. Jack Del Rio was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays
Your humble servant and never deviating friend,
-Nick Danger Garrison