Sunday, December 8, 2013

HE VERY NEARLY, VERY LITERALLY WORKED HIMSELF TO DEATH FOR THE BENEFIT OF HIS EMPLOYER:  Mike Tanier did not care for the Houston Texans' firing of coach Gary Kubiak on Friday, just one month after he suffered a transient ischemic attack in the middle of a football game:
Football is a business, and the Houston Texans have a responsibility to win football games, so there was little chance Kubiak would coach the team beyond this season. But there are ways of acknowledging Kubiak’s efforts — not just the health risks Kubiak took in the name of team and career, not just the conscientiousness he showed by rushing back to work, but the eight years he spent building a team that, as recently as January, was a true contender. 
Kubiak was the most successful coach in franchise history, such as it is. When things went south, he worked to solve the team’s problems until he collapsed. Under contract through 2014, Kubiak could have been shuffled off to a “consultant” position for a year, a de-facto health severance and recognition that his shortcomings arose from just the opposite of a want for trying. If nothing else, he earned the right to play out the season with dignity, to give a final press conference and shake hands with Bob McNair on Dec. 30. 
Instead, the Texans fired Kubiak on Friday afternoon. Thanks for the playoff appearances, coach. Thanks for devoting yourself to our organization until you grew so dizzy on the sideline that you could not stand up straight. Now get the hell out of the facility.


  1. Kubiak apparently took out a full page ad in the Chronicle to thank the organization, fans, and the city.

    My assumption is that there were two reasons to can him early:

    1. To quiet the (quite loud) Houston sports media that have been calling for Kubiak's head since early in the season.
    2. To be ahead of the curve in terms of hiring a new coach. Given that there's a decent shot at two big head coaching vacancies in Texas this year (after yesterday's loss to Baylor, Mack Brown would seem to be facing longish odds of keeping his job), the market may be a little tight.

  2. Nigel from Cameroon10:40 AM

    This column reeks of entitlement. It's a win now business. Kubiak and all coaches know and understand that

  3. Benner10:47 AM

    not sure they'll go with a defensive-oriented coach, since they'll probably take a quarterback with the first pick.

    Does Kubiak take time off or go to Austin?

  4. Joseph Finn10:48 AM

    But there's also the Texas job for Smith to be considered for.

  5. The difficulty for the Texans is that while everybody agrees they need a QB, there's a fan relations issue with either taking or not taking Johnny Manziel (assuming he opts out of coming back to A&M).

  6. Everyone in Washington is assuming Mike Shanahan wants the job.