Through tainted lenses: Belichick’s record is putrid, but it’s Tomlin they want coaching college ball?

On Oct 26, 2021, the Tribune News Service posted: “At least two NFL coaches have been asked about the USC opening this fall. The first, Urban Meyer, looked directly at his feet and mumbled, ‘No chance.’ No coach’s denial is worth much, but Mike Tomlin’s [denial] was at least much more enter­taining. ‘That’s a joke to me,’ the Pittsburgh Steel­ers coach said when asked about Carson Palmer mentioning his name on the radio. ‘I got one of the best jobs in professional sport,’ an increasingly ag­itated Tomlin said. ‘Why would I have any interest in coaching college foot­ball?’

In 2021, the Pittsburgh Steelers finished the reg­ular season with a 9-7-1 record. They went 6-2-1 at home and 3-5 on the road. Including the playoffs, the Steelers went 9-8-1. Their final game was a loss in the Wild Card Round to the Kansas City Chiefs.

On Oct. 21, 2023, Isabel Gonzalez posted the fol­lowing on “Urban Meyer declares he won’t coach college foot­ball again. Meyer has a 187-32 record as a college football head coach. Now, Meyer says he is spend­ing more time with his wife Shelley and his four grandchildren. ‘So the first year or so was kind of like, wake up and like I want to go coach a team. No desire,’ he added. Mey­er’s most recent coaching gig was at the NFL level with the Jacksonville Jag­uars in 2021, but it was short-lived as he regis­tered a 2–11 record before being fired.”

In 2021 Urban Meyer couldn’t even finish one season in the NFL as the head coach of the Jackson­ville Jaguars and even he did not have a desire to re­turn to the college ranks. Also in 2021, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin completed his 15th con­secutive season as a win­ning NFL head coach.

Also in 2021, the Steel­ers lost in the Wild Card round to the KC Chiefs: and the great football ge­nius Urban Meyer lost more than just a game. He lost his job as the head coach of the NFL’s Jag­uars.

In 2021, the biased and toothless football press tried as hard as they could to demote Mike Tomlin and send him back to the college football coaching ranks along with his NFL winning record. Please consider the following. In 2023, Bill Belichick cur­rently has a 3-11 record. It is easy to theorize that if Belichick didn’t receive help from the officials in the Patriots’ recent win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, that record would possibly be 2-12. In 2022, Belichick and his Patriots were 8-9. In 2021 the Pats were 10-7. Very few writers were not sug­gesting then or now that Bill Belichick be “traded” to another NFL franchise or go back to the college ranks and find a new gig, are they?

I have issued the follow­ing statement on many occasions: “You can’t take a mule to the Kentucky Derby.” To win in the NFL you must have the play­ers and sometimes cheat or both to win consistent­ly in the world of profes­sional football. Ya can’t take Dusty the mule and proudly parade him to the starting gate at the Preakness. Dusty might be a superstar on the old homestead, but when the spotlight shines bright­ly on him, I “garontee,” as they say in New Orle­ans, Dusty is going to “get ghost.” The Steelers quar­terback stables seem to be filled with many “Dustys.” I don’t see too many “Sec­retariats” in the Steelers’ “farm system” anxiously pacing, waiting to get to the track. However, right in front of me, I see a herd of mules just itching to get back to the field and pull that plow so we all may have some victuals in our future.

Jeremy Brener posted an excerpt on from the 3 and Out podcast quoting John Middlekauff as saying this: “I think that Mike Tomlin should want to be fired at this moment with where they are at. It’s just time. I’ve been fired twice. But that’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Both times went on to have more success and make more money. It’s time for a break.”

But Mr. Middlekauff, you are a White-Ameri­can. Chances are, you are always going to get an­other job. This “stinkin-thinkin” is scary and ee­rily like the 400-year-old logic that maybe some folks of color love to be in­dentured and indebted to power. However, “yinzers” had better beware and be very careful what they wish for. Remember the “Curse of the Bambino?” Maybe they better think twice about firing or trad­ing Mike Tomlin because the “Tomlin curse” might just be, “Comin’ round the mountain.”




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