Monday, January 03, 2011

Hello McLean: Turner is doing it right

Greetings, it's your old pal McLean Stevenson here, the king of career choices. Being the king allows me to make fun of other people who are making bigger mistakes than I ever did. Or praise the ones who are getting it right.

This is the part where I would link back to my own personal blog. But I don't update my own blog because I have a life.

Just kidding. It's because I'm dead, people. How do you still not get this?

Chargers coach Norv Turner is smarter than all of us. This is his world, and I am just a part of it.

It is Black Monday in the NFL, with many coaches losing their job. Some call it a tragedy. Yes, a tragedy that these coaches making millions will be paid to not work, and then resurface in the NFL as a coordinator down the road.

NFL coaches have a safety net. Not like actors. To be a great actor, you need to take a risk. That will rise you to greatness. When I took a chance on a pilot called M*A*S*H , I was rewarded for being on one of the greatest sitcoms of all time. The Packers of television if you will.

Although, that willingness to take a risk can also cost you, too. Something I learned when I left M*A*S*H to star in my own vehicle, Hello Larry.

Which was the Lombardi to the Redskins of television.

And people wonder why I got into weekly fist fights at the Brown Derby.

The point is, Turner has figured this all out. He knows that being a risk-taker is for suckers. All you have to do is be as banal as possible, and you have a job for life. At least in San Diego.

That kind of (rhymes with bit) gets you fired in Cleveland. If you ask me, struggling with the rebuilding Browns for two years is far less serious than taking a Super Bowl caliber team and missing the 2010 playoffs.

Yet, Turner has survived Black Monday.

Turner was brought in because the Chargers were not content with just making the playoffs, owner Dean Spanos wanted the team to win games in the playoffs. Turner led the Chargers to the AFC Championship Game in 2007. Since that time, the Chargers have reached the postseason twice in the last three years, and have lost three of their last four playoff games.

That is progress?

Even if you think that Marty Schottenheimer was not the answer (and if losers like Tony Dungy can win a Super Bowl, you can never convince me that Marty would not have), Turner certainly is not, either.

That exam is over, Chargers fans. You did not pass.

Spanos has said that he places a value on his coach and general manager getting along. So the Chargers have gone from wanting a coach to win games in the playoffs to just having a coach who the G.M. likes? Good luck selling this to public as you try to get your new stadium funded.

But give credit to Turner, who is almost the perfect coach. His offense is certainly fun to watch. Turner doesn’t call out his players. He doesn’t feud with the owner. His players don’t get arrested.

Well, two out of three isn’t bad. At least his wife isn’t making soft-core porn.

The point is, if you dare to be mediocre in the NFL, you have a job for life in San Diego. If the Chargers were a TV show, they would be According to Jim. A rather milk toast, non-offensive, non-descript team that does not offend white people.

Sitting here, I wish I would have taken the Turner career path. Or at least not let them kill my character off M*A*S*H

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