Congratulations To Jay….Gurden?

Nicely done by Washington’s NFL team on their own website:


So when who I can only presume is Jay Gruden is announced this afternoon as the new head coach of the team, it’ll shift the list of the 100 NFL Head Coaching Hires I talked about the other day.

So with Gruden’s hiring (he was Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator), 65 of the last 100 NFL head coaching hires have been NFL assistant coaches (17 promoted from within). The average age of the last 100 has been 48.76, and the median age has been right on 48. (They’re getting slightly younger – the last 50 averaged 48.04 as of their date of hire, the previous 50 were about a year and a half older.)

60 of the last 100 have been fired, and in an average of 3.49 years. The trigger is getting quicker, too. The most recent 30 firings happened in an average of just 2.8 years, while the previous 30 lasted 4.1 years.

These numbers will shift a bit again when the last few remaining openings are filled, but the takeaways are these: Being an NFL assistant coach is far and away the number one way to become an NFL head coach and you’d better win pretty quickly because owners have little patience.

Oooh, I Know This One!

Syracuse soccer fans
Syracuse Silver Knights president Tommy Tanner, who famously said his MISL team would “sell out every game” before it played one, is perplexed about why they haven’t actually sold out every game. Or come close, even.

“We’re still not where we need to be,” said Tanner, who vowed there will be, at least, a third campaign for his bunch. “We got about 2,000 a game last year and we’re getting about 2,000 a game this year. It’s almost exactly the same. And I can’t explain that. I really can’t.”

Well, I can explain it: you seem to think tickets just sell themselves. You seem to have two people charged with selling group tickets, which is great, but you need a lot more people selling all sorts of tickets if you’re going to average more than the 3,424 announced that is ahead of only Wichita and Chicago in the seven-team MISL.

Team G Total Average Median High Low
Rochester Lancers *11 68,546 6,231 5,365 10,320 4,191
Baltimore Blast 12 65,697 5,475 6,248 7,060 3,038
Milwaukee Wave 11 51,303 4,664 4,934 5,602 3,733
Missouri Comets 11 47,204 4,291 4,518 5,481 3,026
Syracuse Silver Knights 11 37,664 3,424 3,376 4,567 2,617
Wichita Wings 13 37,318 2,871 2,600 4,500 2,200
Chicago Soul *10 23,659 2,366 2,212 3,488 1,572
MISL TOTAL 79 331,391 4,195 3,919 10,320 1,572
*=Missing one game

What’s really strange is Tanner’s assertion that they were getting “about 2,000 a game last year and… about 2,000 a game this year.” The Silver Knights announced an average of 2,951 per game (sixth out of seven teams) last year and have announced an average of 3,424 this year (an increase of 16 percent). So they appear to be growing.

Unless you’re going to tell me that indoor soccer teams aren’t entirely truthful about their attendance figures. Which, come on.

(All this said…I don’t know who he is, but Syracuse’s play-by-play announcer is really good. REALLY good. Great description of the game, just the right amount of enthusiasm, knows the terminology, keeps up with the action, good voice. I don’t know how he got good, but he’s good.)

Yeah, No Kidding

The future starts now, all right. Thursday, February 7, 2013 is next Thursday. This announcement comes to you from the local USL Pro team, the Phoenix FC Wolves, who have their first home game in less than 60 days, and are kind of behind the 8-ball. They haven’t announced ticket prices yet, haven’t hired anyone in sales and marketing yet, have no one in the organization who has ever actually sold a ticket, and have six home games by Memorial Day. I hope they do well, but everything I’m hearing (except from local fanboys) is head-scratching.

Our Situation Has Not Improved

You may member an indoor soccer team called the Phoenix Monsoon (the one that listed me as its play-by-play announcer despite not actually, you know, consummating a deal with me). This was its maiden season in the PASL, and they had big plans for it. Well, the original owner was out before Christmas and the new owners have changed the name of the team to the Arizona Storm.

The above is what you see when you go to the team’s new website. So, yeah.

“Storm” may be the single most-used name for a soccer team ever. Just off the top of my head, I remember the St. Louis Storm, the Memphis Storm, the Chicago Storm and now the Arizona Storm indoors and the New Orleans Storm, Seattle Storm and Sacramento Storm outdoors. I’m sure there have been others.

Oh, and after winning their first game ever, they’ve lost their last nine and are now on their third home field since Halloween. Surely, things are trending upward.

EDIT: They’ve now noticed their typo.