in the wake of yesterday's 24-17 loss to miami, which capped off an embarrassing late season collapse, the ny jets fired the head coach, eric mangini, this morning. in a swift and unusual move, the team held a 10 a.m. press conference with the team owner, woody johnson, to make the announcement. it's way too soon to speculate on his successor.
from a mid-season high water mark where the jets beat the previously undefeated titans (and new england for good measure), with an 8-3 record, they then lost the last 4 out of five games and found themselves out of the post-season. amazingly, the jets 9-7 record is a dramatic improvement over their 4-12 performance in 2007! under different circumstance, mangini could have been talking about a contract extension!
it wasn't too long ago that an 8-8 tom coughlin in 2006 got a one year contract extension from the giants. that was in the face of wholesale fan sentiment not only against an extension, but for his outright firing! in hindsight, the extension paid off beautifully since the giants proceeded to win the superbowl in 2007! that was a storybook turnaround in the fortunes of coach coughlin (and, of course, the giants).
but the mangini story had a dramatically different conclusion. how else could it end when, however premature, all the talk was that the 8-3 jets would go all the way to the superbowl. with such overblown expectations and such ridiculously poor team play over the last 5 games (and they lucked out against buffalo, otherwise it would have been 0-5 instead of 1-4), the jets didn't even get a wild card slot - much less a division title (which they sat atop)!
the talk, speculation, recrimination, and prognostication has gotten underway. the chatter will be even hotter if chad pennington takes miami to more wins in the post-season! gotta love karma - even when it's a bitch. mangini unceremoniously jettisoned pennington in favor of favre, and now the wheel has turned and the consequences played out.
update: brett favre announced his retirment (2/11/09), thus giving the jets a completely fresh start to the 2009 season.