D.C. is America's Coaching Graveyard
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Eddie Jordan's recent introduction as the 76ers head coach got me thinking. There are so many ways to measure D.C.'s recent futility in the so-called Big 4 sports leagues. (I say "so-called" between D.C. United partisans object to the phrase, but that's an argument for another day).
You can look at draft position; the Caps and Nats each have recently earned a No. 1 overall selection, and the Wizards, by rights, should be No. 2 this season. You can look at titles; of the 13 metro areas with at least one NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL franchise, only Minneapolis has a longer title drought, and that by a matter of months. You can look at ownership; SI.com recently ranked both the Nats' Ted Lerner and the Redskins' Daniel Snyder among the five worst owner in their respective sports.
Well, here's one more measurement, which might be the most damning of all. Even with Manny Acta still somehow refusing to land on the hot seat, D.C.'s Big 4 coaches have the lowest combined tenure of any of the 10 cities with one team in each sport. If Manny ever leaves us, the combined tenure rankings won't even be close. (If you're wondering whether I did this research late Sunday night under the theory that there was no way Acta would last until today, well, that would just be disrespectful.)
Acta, with something like 931 days of service (about two and a half years), is our quartet's senior member. The other nine cities with one NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL franchise? Only one has a senior member with fewer than three years of service. (Miami, with Fredi Gonzalez.) Many have double Acta's tenure.
Oh, and D.C.'s four current head coaches combined tenure? Call it 2,008 days, or something like five years and four months. Bobby Cox has more than three times that amount, by himself. Two of the teams in question--the Wizards and Caps--have canned coaches mid-season within the past two years. A third, the Redskins, has gone through six coaches in the past nine seasons. That leaves Acta, he of the league-worst record and the 15 losses in 17 games, as the area's pillar of coaching stability.
And so, damned if we don't have a complete lockdown on the "Graveyard of Coaches" title. Yay us.
Combined Coaching Tenure, Big 4 Cities
(Interim coaches are treated as head coaches for the purposes of this list. Increments of less than 30 days are not included. New York, Chicago and San Francisco/Oakland were all excluded, since they have more than one team in at least one of the Big 4 sports)
1. Atlanta, 26 years, 0 months
2. Boston, 21 years, 9 months
3. Philadelphia, 16 years, 5 months
4. Minneapolis, 13 years, 11 months
5. Dallas 12 years, 9 months
6. Detroit, 8 years, 8 months
7. Phoenix, 6 years, 4 months
8. Miami, 5 years, 11 months
9. Denver, 5 years, 8 months (2,110 days)
10. D.C., 5 years, 4 months (2,008 days)
Most Senior Coaching Member, Big 4 Cities
(New York, Chicago and San Francisco/Oakland were all excluded, since they have more than one team in at least one of the Big 4 sports)
1. Bobby Cox, Atlanta, MLB. Hired June 22, 1990.
2. Andy Reid, Philadelphia, NFL. Hired Jan. 11, 1999.
3. Bill Belichick, Boston, NFL. Hired Jan 27, 2000.
4. Ron Gardenhire, Minneapolis, MLB. Hired Jan. 4, 2002.
5. Dave Tippett, Dallas, NHL. Hired May 21, 2002.
6. George Karl, Denver, NBA. Hired Jan. 27, 2005.
7. Mike Babcock, Detroit, NHL. Hired July 14, 2005.
8. Wayne Gretzky, Phoenix, NHL. Hired Aug. 8, 2005.
9. Fredi Gonzalez, Miami, MLB. Hired Oct. 3, 2006 (973 days).
10. Manny Acta, D.C., MLB. Hired Nov. 14, 2006. (931 days)
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