Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Hammering Hackett one more time


I woke to the news of Paul Hackett's resignation as offensive coordinator for the New York Jets. (Yes, I tend to sleep late.)

When is the parade? Are tickets on sale? Will it be in Manhattan or East Rutherford? Down the Canyon of Heroes? Please, Mayor Bloomberg, make the announcement quickly so I can schedule the day off from work.

How could the day go wrong now? I no longer cared that the cold water pipe in my apartment was frozen. Nor did I give much thought to the two soda cans that exploded in my car trunk last night because of the below-freezing temperatures and likely ruined my clean laundry I left in there.

If the snow started falling from the sky earlier than it did, I'd have run outside and made snow angels.

As us Italians are wont to do in moments of extreme emotional disturbance/elation, I cooked. Some ziti, some sauce, some meatballs, some bragiole, some saw-zeech (that's sausage for those not fluent in broken Italian).

Watching the water boil, my blood began to approach the 212-degree Fahrenheit level. It was a race to see which would steam first, the pot of water or my head.

Hackett RESIGNED. He was NOT FIRED. That's a bunch of hoo-hah! Sure, it's semantics and I should be ecstatic that "Mr. Draw Play on third-and-6" no longer has Chad Pennington's helmet on speed dial on Sunday afternoons, but I was seeking much more degradation for Paulie.

I was hoping for some public humiliation, perhaps a flogging. Or maybe make Hackett run draw plays by himself in Times Square during rush hour.

I feel like a Red Sox fan right now: I got what I wanted but still find a reason to complain and suffer internally.

By resigning, Hackett can be perceived as a sympathetic figure, a man who knew his time was up and bowed out gracefully. Basically, he did what Evander Holyfield should have done seven fights ago. He'll be forever mocked by Jets fans, but even Mike and the Mad Dog talked more about the Jack Johnson PBS special than they did about Hackett during the first few hours of their WFAN radio show. Has hammering Hackett fallen out of favor that quickly?

This guy was awful and he deserves his time in the spotlight of Hades. Jets fans are still twitching at his 5-yard pass plays on third-and-6, and his 2-yard quickouts on third-and-18. Just because the man is down does not mean we cannot kick him. It happens all the time in professional wrestling, which was less farcical than Hackett's continued employment.

The nicest thing that can be said about Hackett's four-year stint in New York was that he stuck to his guns the whole time. He came in loving the draw play. He went out loving the draw play. It's somewhat admirable, but not too much. My favorite thing about Hackett is this: As soon as he left USC as head coach in 2000, the Trojans won two national titles and produced two Heisman Trophy quarterbacks. Through this guerilla math, Pennington will win the MVP next season and the Jets will at least reach the Super Bowl.

I'm of the belief that Herm told Hackett he was going to be fired, but allowed him to resign and save face. I can't fault Herm for being a class act, but still, maybe Hackett deserved in a kick in the patoot on his way out of the office.

January 19, 2005: A proud moment in Jets history. It should definitely be listed in the "Memorable Moments" section of the Jets' 2005 media guide.

Special shout out: Props to Graphic design friend Rich for that gem at the top of this blog. See more of his work by clicking here.

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