How Whiteness Works: Why Lovie Smith Can’t Get Jeff Fisher’s Line of Credit

Lovie Smith was fired after going 10-6 for the Bears in 2012. This photo of LOVIE SMITH was taken during the Bears game against the Cleveland Browns on November 1, 2009 in Chicago, Ill. (Matt Quinnan/Wikimedia Commons)


Jeff Fisher and Gus Bradley were both fired in the last two weeks.

Fisher had a losing record for his sixth consecutive season.

Bradley’s streak hit four in his only four seasons as he averaged 12 losses.

Fisher’s streak made me first think of Lovie Smith – and the line of credit he has never received.

Bradley’s firing made me think of Todd Bowles – and the line of credit he will never receive.

Both their streaks made me look up the 17 times an African-American coach has ever been fired.

The results? In 88% of firings the losing streak hit two seasons or less – usually less. Only one black coach has ever lost more than two seasons in a row – Dennis Green with the Cardinals.

Having three straight losing seasons is a common white coach allowance, and, like Fisher and Bradley, a number of white coaches abuse that privilege (see Mike Nolan, Dick Jauron, Dave McGinnis, etc.)

But Jeff Fisher is special. He has had only six winning seasons in 22 years of coaching. (Note to critics: Marvin Lewis is NOT “just as bad” or even close. In last six years, Lewis’s record is 57-35-1. Fisher’s was 37-55. Losing in playoffs is not same as in regular season)

When you bring up Fisher’s well-documented privilege, his defenders like to remind me that he once made it to a Super Bowl in the last season of last century.

Even that occurrence took a miracle.

It was enabled by “The Music City Miracle” in the first-round playoff game – the still-contested fluke win against the Bills.

Fisher’s greatest lifetime credential was about as arbitrary as a winning lotto ticket.

Yet the indelible image of Kevin Dyson falling just one yard short of sending Super Bowl XXXIV into overtime is the plate Fisher will eat off until his shiny new contract expires in 2018.

Fisher will get paid nearly an entire decade without a single winning season.

Finish reading the story at The New York Daily News.

About NNPAFreddie 2369 Articles
Freddie Allen is the Editor-In-Chief of the NNPA Newswire and Focused on Black people stuff, positively. You should follow Freddie on Twitter and Instagram @freddieallenjr.

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