By the time you read this, thousands of fans will have goosed the Thursday night TV ratings and have found out who their favorite NFL team picked in the first two rounds of the annual draft. The league itself devotes copious amounts of time and effort toward publicizing what a few years ago was little more than a little-hyped back-office function.
But the real action at the top of the organization in the NFL starts happening on Black Monday in late December or early January, when the coaching carousel starts up. Fans of unsuccessful teams over the recent year wait expectantly to see whether their team's head coach will soon be looking for work (and many hope he will be) and speculate on who could effectively replace him.
Successful teams watch as the unsuccessful poach the assistant coach ranks on their own teams to fill the vacancies.
This is no surprise. Professional football is the most popular sport in the country, by a country mile. The NFL has not yet turned the annual coach sacrifice into a media event—not yet.
Hired to be Fired
But fans, TV sports pundits, and talk radio hosts speculate on coaches' viability from game to game, from draft to draft, from practice to practice, and from minute to minute. Even the New Yorker pays attention to the remarkably short shelf-life of most NFL coaches. As a coach, no matter your previous success, you're hired to be fired, the saying goes.