So today is “Black Monday”. This marks the day that NFL teams are deciding on the direction of their organizational future. General Managers and Head Coaches are being fired, let go, relieved of their duties…or whatever other phrase you want to use to say they aren’t coming back.
I can’t remember a day when almost half of the NFL has been impacted by such sweeping leadership change. At the time this posts, 7 teams have already fired either a head coach, general manager, or both. 7 teams and 10 firings…with more likely to come very soon. And this doesn’t even begin to take into account the number of coordinators and other top level assistant coaches shown the door.
So now what?
If you listen on facebook, twitter and in coffee shops, living rooms and new year’s gatherings around the world you will get no shortage of what teams should be hiring what coaches. You will hear why this GM is “a fit” for this place and not for that one. And you will hear almost no one acknowledging THE REAL STORY in all of this.
I’ll give you a hint: It has nothing to do with the fact that teams aren’t winning football games. That is the symptom not the cause.
That is what the mainstream media will paint this as. They will dive head first into what “coaching trees” need to be shaken to get the right coaches to fall out and land on the right places. And they will all be completely misguided predictions.
Here is why.
The millennial generation.
The NFL is made up of more players from the millennial generation than ever before. It is jam packed full of players that don’t hear the way those that came before them hear. They relate differently. They are inspired to act differently. They crave vision. More specifically they crave a vision that every leader in the organization is tied to and willing to run through a brick wall for. It, as much as the world will tell you it does, does not have to do with dollar signs and contracts. It’s about more than titles and rings.
The MilleNFLial players of today want leadership in the three key areas of their team with the same vision. In the owners suite, under the headset, and under center. An owner, head coach and quarterback on the same page, speaking the same language. On the field and off of it. In the end zone and in the community. In their city and in places around the world that lack everything we take for granted.
At the end of the day, many teams are going to hire their “next regime” believing that somehow a steady diet of proven coaching tree shakes will fill the bellies of their fans. They will pin their hopes of bringing a world championship to their city on what was, hoping it rubs off enough to bring them to where they want to go.
And until they realize that the new NFL drives up in $1,300 cars because they care more about who they are and who the organization is, black monday’s will come and go with more of the same. Pundits will make predictions. Some will be right and some will be wrong.
I’m here to tell you why.
Treating team’s front office and coaching staffs like a giant game of 52 card pick-up isn’t getting the buy in from the next generation.
Millennial players are built different, wired different and deserve the respect of someone noticing it.
When I read the article on Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins yesterday (click HERE to read it), I smiled.
For Alfred, and many players like him, the NFL is an amazing opportunity to build a future.
Now whether or not that includes championships for their respective franchises?
That’s up to owners everywhere to decide.
It’s a different time. It’s an incredibly exciting time.
Time to realize that the NFL is more than billions of dollars.
It’s a new generation with billions of opportunities.