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Friday, January 23, 2009

Scott Linehan, Who Cared So Much for His Family He Couldn't Bear to Bring Them to S.F., Accepts Job in ... Detroit?

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 10:53 AM

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We recently wrote about how Scott Linehan was just the latest NFL coach to trot out the ridiculous "It's all about my family" excuse to cover up why he really doesn't want/got bounced from a job.

You'll recall that Linehan, the former head coach of the St. Louis Rams, flew to San Francisco and engaged in multiple job interviews with the 49ers before being offered the job of coordingating  the team's underperforming offense -- before suddenly realizing that he has three young boys and a wife living in the Midwest, and San Francisco is, like, far away. 

Reports surfaced today that Linehan has accepted the job of offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions -- yes, the team that lost all 16 of its games last year and plays in Detroit, the city that inspired this masterpiece of cinematic repartee:

Dr. Klahn:

The CIA thinks they can infiltrate the Mountain of Dr. Klahn!

CIA Agent:

You can't scare me, you ... bastard.

Dr. Klahn:

Take him to -- Detroit!

CIA Agent:

No! No, not Detroit! No! No, please! Anything but that! No! No!

Look, citing the needs of one's family and then taking a job in Detroit is like looking out for your prize canaries by opening up a feral cat shelter in your garage. It puts the lie to the "Spend more time with my wife and kids" mantra regurgitated by every coach forced to resign from a job (or, in Linehan's case, not take it in the first place). Locally, it also gives notice that something is very rotten in the park of Candlestick. If Linehan spurned the Niners at the altar in favor of a team that didn't win one damn game and plays its home contests in a city where you require Arctic-grade winter clothing and stands a good chance of being hit up for cash by a desperate automotive CEO -- well, you've got to wonder about his real motives.

Speaking of desperation, let's get back to the 49ers. In discharging former coordinator Mike Martz, they've once again fired a perfectly respectable coach with no clue whatsoever who will fill the vacancy -- and if that eventual successor is even an improvement. The competition could well now be down to two guys named Jagodzinski and Chudzinski -- either of whom may or may not have had a disastrous marriage with Aglaia Epanchin at the conclusion of Dostoevsky's The Idiot.

It was Malcolm Gladwell who most recently emphasized that tense, desperate situations often induce people to make rash, unfortunate decisions. Let us hope that the 49ers don't follow this predictable course in their hiring choices.

UPDATE: It appears the 49ers have taken a shine to NFL graybeard Dan Reeves for the job. Reeves, incidentally, did not marry Aglaia -- but is old enough to have known Dostoevsky.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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