in the words of steelercooz:
An employee named Joe walked into his office in the morning of a sweltering July day, the kid where your coffee is freshly poured but is still at the temperature of the air outside. He flips open a paper quietly, as he already knows the front-page news. Everyone does. You'd have to be living in Ryan Leaf's shut-off wilderness world to not have heard about it.
The Chief Operations Officer of Joe's company was officially charged with embezzlement, which will all but destroy the company's ability to succeed over the next year. It's all over the front page of the daily paper. The shock D.J.s talked about it non-stop on his way to work. Even Phil the janitor knows it, and has logged his opinion about the boss.
Joe knows he was brought in to provide the company some managerial security. He knows it's his role to keep cool despite the temperature inside and out, because he wasn't brought in to be at his best when the company was succeeding; he was brought in to keep it afloat in case of crisis.
It's just not fair, he muttered to himself. The COO may be close to sitting in the slammer, and the other guy they brought in for leadership is brand spankin' new. Joe starts to realize all the anxiety on the faces of every employee who walked in the room while he read his paper and had his coffee is somewhat directed at him. It's not malicious, but everyone seems to have a lack of confidence when sizing up Joe's ability to gain control of the situation. He was the guy they were looking to, right or wrong, good or bad.
Joe stood up suddenly, and took the newspaper with him as he told his staff to organize an emergency meeting. He stood up in front of everyone, and, without saying a word, tore up the newspaper. He paused for effect, and told everyone he's in charge now. He reminded them that while it's easy to think selfishly, because that's what their boss has done, but Joe is their boss now, and everyone still has a job to do.
The employees realized their duty. Their boss may have been the guy everyone expected to lead them. He let them down. Now it was time to rally around Joe. Not because they thought Joe had the same ability as their boss, but because damn it, that's their job. If they fail, then so be it. But they are going to fail with their heads held high. They weren't put in this situation fairly. That's the rallying cry Joe will use over the next year.
The Falcons are the true Darkhorse team of this coming NFL season. Joey Harrington was only brought in to stem the tide of a disastrous injury to Michael Vick. They likely wouldn't have gotten rid of Matt Schaub had they known of a dogfighting indictment that is probably the worst black eye an active player has taken since Rae Carruth.
Harrington has the lost difficult job in all of sports right now. He has to get the Falcons to rally around him despite the insanely high levels of public and media scrutiny surrounding the team. He has to replace the face of the franchise, clean up the image of a destroyed franchise and play on despite the worst scandal the sport has seen in over a decade.
None of it is his fault. Granted, sympathy alone doesn't get a team into the playoffs, but Harrington has the opportunity to get this team to unite and tell the rest of the league they are bigger than one player. Unity is a powerful motivator.
And if they win six games after losing Michael Vick for an entire year, adjusting to a new coach brought in to coach Vick, not Harrington, and put up with a crippling amount of negativity from the fans, league and media, he's done a fantastic job.