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.