Why can't anyone just be fired these days? Why can't an owner or a college athletic director simply have the cojones to pull a Donald Trump or Vince McMahon and look someone in the face and say "You're fired!"
I guess it's probably not politically correct so we're often left with ill-timed resignations, mutually agreeable partings and the ever popular being "relieved" of one's duties. As if anyone is ever relieved to lose their job.
It's like talking to a couple after a break-up with both saying they mutually decided to part ways when someone clearly dumped the other one. Sure, you can mutually agree it's over after one of you gets dumped, but that doesn't change the fact that someone still got dumped.
Who does this protect anyway? Unless you're a vilified quitter like Bobby Petrino, no one really believes a head coach who constantly professes loyalty and sticking it out when times are tough ever willingly leaves a team during a season. Yet time and time again, we're served up news reports of resignations that are simply sugar coated firings.
Consider it sports' version of "it's not you, it's me."
The latest example of this may be the most laughable. Not because Tyrone Willingham lost his job as Washington's head football coach, but because he apparently didn't get the memo that he was resigning at season's end. During a news conference Monday announcing his resignation, Willingham was asked if this was his decision.
"No," he bluntly answered before adding, "No, it's just not in my makeup."
So if you're resigning at season's end, but it wasn't your decision to resign at season's end, aren't you simply being fired at season's end? By the way, I've never understood a coach staying with a team after he gets fired, er, decides to resign during the season. How can you expect him to coach up to his abilities for a school that has lost faith in him and how can you expect his players to sell out for a coach that is already looking for another job?
If that isn't bad enough, Washington athletic director Scott Woodward said he has begun looking for a new coach and wouldn't rule out announcing a replacement during the season while Willingham was still the coach. You want to talk about awkward. Can you imagine your wife filing for divorce and telling you to move out in December while hooking up with a new man in your house in November? All the while you're still hanging around like some loser while she's introducing him to her friends and family as much better version of you when you finally move out.
I'm sorry, if that's supposed to be a dignified or politically correct exit, I'm not buying it. Give me Trump or McMahon screaming "You're fired!" in my face any day of the week.