With the few weeks left leading up to the “Big Game” (I have to say ‘Big Game’ because I am legally restricted from using the NFL trademarked name ‘Super Bowl,’ or at least that’s what all the commercials do) I would like to highlight the reason teams get to the Super Bowl (fuck it, no one reads this anyway) and go on to win the Super Bowl. That reason usually starts at the top with the Head Coach and filters its way down to a consistent defense and having a good running game.
With the NFL being a relatively new league around for only a few decades, the best coaches are held in a class of their own. They took America’s favorite sport in their particular region and made Ming Dynasties out of close to nothing. As always, my leaning toward modern era and bias towards and against some coaches will be in effect and all the more reason for you to debate their substantiality with me. Lights please… I give you the Top Ten NFL Coaches of All Time.
1o. Joe Gibbs: is synonymous with winning throughout the 80s and early 90s. He was an offensive minded coach who could come up with schemes that would make the best defenses go crazy. The dude won 3 rings for the Redskins and they have never been the same since he left the game for NASCAR. This alone almost got him kicked off the list. Even though his racing team is top-notch as well, it is still a bunch of hicks driving with their left blinker on for hours upon hours.
9. Tom Landry: Old school! It still gives me the willies putting him on the list seeing as though he is a Cowboys guy and he probably should be higher on the list but #9 is as high as I’m gonna go for a Cowboy. He’s got two rings and was a defensive mastermind. He had a lot of big dudes that were great at stopping the run. He could shove 11 guys in the box and still get away with it because he knew what his teams were capable of and what they weren’t. He knew they weren’t fast but were big and recognizing your abilities is one of the signs of a great coach. Not to mention he looked cool in a fedora.
8. John Madden: Probably had the best post-coaching career of anyone on the list through commentating and Electronic Arts. And kids who play his video games may not even know that he was one of the best coaches of all time. He somehow won a shitload of games for the worst franchise in history of sports and that stands for a lot more than Sean Payton getting lucky and winning one with a lot of under achieving players. However, Madden is not recognized enough for his consulting work done with the Giants, the Little Giants…
7. Bill Bellichick: I feel #7 is a good place for “The Hoodie” right now. When it is all said and done I feel he will easily crack the Top Five but for now I think his quiet ass is probably content with his position. He is soft-spoken but knows how to assemble talent better than anyone else. His coordinators all end up Head Coaches, not necessarily good ones, but Head Coaches nonetheless. This season was cut short but as long as Uggs are still keeping Tom Brady’s toes warm and safe, he has many a rings to fill up the rest of his phalanges.
6. Mike Ditka: Intangibles. He wasn’t the winningest coach of all time but he is one of the few coaches that would kick Mark Clayton’s ass if he had the chance. I can’t stand da Bears but to them, Ditka is as big if not bigger than Jordan in the Windy City. He’s the only guy on the face of the Earth that can make wearing a sweater vest tough and look cool, it was almost as though it was bulletproof.
5. Bill Parcells: “The Big Tuna” was actually given the nickname for his body shape and not his coaching abilities. Whether it is relevant or not is neither here nor there but he could scare the fins out of a player, literally (See he was the GM for the Dolphins and got rid of a lot of players). He knew exactly what to say to a player to get him to do what he wanted. He coached the shit out of my boy, LT, and I bet if he was still coaching him he wouldn’t be picking up 16 year old hookers and smoking crack.
4. Bill Walsh: He just looks like a nice Grandpa. Granted a lot of his success is due to Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott but he not only was a great coach, but he re-invented offense. He is the Founding Father of the West Coast Offense! How many of you have birthed a game-altering idea that wasn’t shot down on The Disney Channel’s “Z Games”? He was a successful player and coach and will forever be a legend in the Bay Area, even if some of their teams actually start winning.
3. Chuck Knoll: No, not Chuck Norris. Chuckie, I feel is, extremely underrated outside the city of black and yellow black and yellow black and yellow black and yellow. He made the Steelers franchise into what I believe is the best franchise in football. “The Steel Curtain” is still imitated but never replicated and all of that credit is due to Chuck Knoll. He preached defense and demanded respect and that is what he got in return, defense and respect. It was almost as though even his offensive players had defensive mindsets.
2. Don Shula: The only coach ever to go perfect throughout the entire season and he has a great chain of steakhouses to prove it. He shares the face of the Phins franchise with Dan Marino and if it weren’t for Shula, Dan Marino would have been just another extra in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.” He exudes what a winner looks like and is full of class. His record of 347 wins doesn’t even begin to compare what he has done for the game and if it weren’t for him South Florida would be just another vacation wi-fi hot-spot, instead of the best football breeding grounds in the world.
1. Vince Lombardi: Jerry West is the logo and Vince Lombardi is the Trophy. Not only is he the namesake for the most coveted trophy in all of team sports but he is without a doubt the greatest NFL Coach of All Time. In a growing era for football in America, Vince Lombardi was the Head Coach, the GM, both coordinators, Groundskeeper, and team Doctor. If anything happened in the city of Green Bay he knew about it. He was known for his stern scowl, chain smoking, and his faith in God as he attended church every single morning before heading to the office (frozen tundra). He will forever be known as one of the best things that has ever happened to football and we all have him to thank for it.