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Rod Marinelli And Rob Parker Give Us An Amazing Lesson

24 December 2008 4 Comments

The NFL’s Detroit Lions are the worst team in professional history.  I can say this and not feel like I will incur the wrath of any die hard Detroit Lions fans out there, because I am a lifelong one myself.  They lost their 15th game this past Sunday and are one win away from doing what no other team has ever done in the modern era – go winless in a season.  Probably the most un-manliness thing in pro-sports.  Good times.rod-marinelli1

Rod Parker of The Detroit News and ESPN’s First Take, who covers the Detroit Lions locally, asked a very tough question to Rod Marinelli, Detroit Lions coach, after their 15th loss of the season to the New Orleans Saints.  READ ENTIRE STORY.

Before we get to the controversy, a little backstory…

Marinelli hired his son-in-law, Joe Barry, as defensive coordinator before the 2007 season.  Joe didn’t have a lot of experience and the locals were bent over the insane cronyism and nepatism shown by this move.  This is an ongoing issue in D-town and a sore spot for many.  Also, Rod Marinelli has not been the best guy to get along with press during his rough tenure as coach.  He has never been a “good guy” in this respect.  A great guy overall most likely, but on this point, not so much.  On to the ruckus…

Parker, after several painful minutes of questions from everyone concerning the apparent history breaking season simply could not take it any longer.  Many have privately questioned Barry’s continued employment after the unquestionably worst defense in history, but nobody has really taken the issue to Marinelli publicly. Until now.

Parker asked Marinelli if “he wished his daughter married a better defensive coordinator.” Nice…

The Fallout

The loaded question didn’t elicit an immediate lashing from Marinelli, but later caused him to lash out against Parker.   Marinelli claimed it was an attack on his daughter and that was over the line.  Parker later apologized for what he called a failed attempt at humor.  He said he was simply trying to bring light to a moment which was obviously painful for everyone involved.

Many big names, like Terry Bradshaw, called Parker an “idiot.”  Others called him a “punk” and being unprofessional. More on this in a moment…

The Detroit News is considering suspending him and who knows what ESPN will do.  The fallout over this is getting quite large and, I say, ridiculous.

Failed Attempt At Humor?  Really?

Truth is, everyone in that room, after hearing that question, either laughed out loud or to themselves.  It was funny and to the point.  Loaded question for sure, but it’s time to man up, Marinelli.  This was not an attack on your daughter and EVERYONE knows that.

Your daughter did not hire your defensive coordinator.  Your daughter is not going to go 0-16 and become the butt of every joke in pro sports.  This was not an attack on her, but simply bringing to light the obvious question of whether or not this guy would still be coaching your defense if he wasn’t your son-in-law.

No, this question was very funny and Rob Parker should not get fired or suspended for it.  An apology was fine and it should be left at that.

I am not endorsing his comments here, but I think manliness is about taking responsibility.  Parker has taken responsibility for his question and apologized for any hurt feelings.  Marinelli should accept the apology and simply say, “we are all very dissapointed by our season” and simply move on.

That being said, Rod Marinelli also has to take responsibility.  He took a HUGE risk by placing his son-in-law as the defensive coordinator.  It has not worked out, people in Detroit are pissed about it, and he has to step up and address the critics.  Also, Marinelli has to take the heat.  He is the guy in charge.  He is the coach and ultimately responsible for putting his team in position to win.  He has failed on this point.  Don’t want the heat, then don’t take the millions of dollars in salary and the position which is coveted by so many.

Finally, people need to lighten up.  It was a joke.  It may have been ill placed but Marinelli using his daughter as cover for his team’s failings (and his unquestionable poor judgment of hiring and keeping his son=in-law as defensive coordinator) is exactly where manliness is breaking down.  Take responsibility and move on.


  • The Common Man said:

    Yeah, I would call that a successful attempt at humor. That was damn funny right there. Marinelli’s reaction seems to be an attempt to deflect completely valid criticism of his performance and that of his son-in-law, as now he can claim that the media has been attacking them unfairly. It’s a desperate move to save his job and his paper is reacting sharply to preserve its access.

    The irony here is that Parker was asking the exact sort of question and displaying the kind of personality that traditional print sports journalists should be asking to retain readers and combat the growing influence of the internet blogger.

    On a completely unrelated note, it’s good to see you back at it, Kevin.

    The Common Mans last blog post..Travel Travails

  • Kevin (author) said:

    Thanks TCM! Glad to be back. It feels good to write again.

    Great point on the cutting edge questions needed to combat the internet. The paper is addressing this all wrong. They need to discipline him for being a goofball, but at the same time, support him and his main point of the question.

    Bad taste? Maybe.
    Good question? Absolutely.
    Massive clock weights for asking the question? He’s a stud!

  • Mak said:

    LOL I never heard of this before… probably because I can only stand watching the first couple of games during the season. Constant failure is not fun to watch…

    I think the question is hilarious. Marinelli is a prideful prick for becoming so defensive over this. And who cares what the media drama-pushers think? Of course they’re going to call Parker an idiot, how else are they going to stir the pot? We all know the Lions suck and, as a Lions fan, I would rather have them make fun of them than try to make excuses and baby them. Losers deserve embarassment, not sympathy!
    .-= Mak´s last blog ..Reading is good =-.

  • masradar said:

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