I've taken my shots at Jeff Fisher, but when all is said and done he is still a top tier head coach. He is also someone who very much cares about the NFL and the integrity of the game. His comments about Bill Belichick getting caught cheating in 2007 were brave, honest, and most importantly appropriate. I'm glad he said them. He and Tony Dungy were one of the few coaches who denounced Billy Boy and his video taping gag back then.
Speaking of Tony Dungy, recently he was the guest speaker for a Rally in Rocketown luncheon. At the luncheon, he was introduced to the crowd by Jeff Fisher, whose record against Dungy when Dungy coached was, let's just say, really bad. However, Fisher is not a vindictive prick, and actually has this thing many coaches today lack, often referred to as a "sense of humor."
Prior to introducing Dungy, Fisher decided to inject a little humor into the event. He proceeded to unbutton and remove his shirt. Underneath the shirt, Fisher revealed that he was, in fact, wearing a Peyton Manning jersey underneath.
When he revealed the Manning jersey, Fisher turned to the crowd and jokingly said:
"I just wanted to feel like a winner."
It was funny. The crowd laughed. Dungy smiled. Yay.
Problem is, Tennessee Titans fans are most certainly not laughing. In fact, Fisher's Manning jersey joke fest pretty much has Titans Nation demanding owner Bud Adams serve up Fisher's head on a burning stick:
Danno: The guys is actively sabotaging his career.
He’s practically ASKING to be fired.
Can we PLEASE have a new coach now?
Drubaru: I lost complete faith in Jeff Fisher.
smashville: I don't find it funny
when he’s the coach of a winless team and he’s making jokes.
Jimmy: I hate the fact that he did that
It seems that at this point he would just want to lay low and not draw more attention to how bad HIS team is. I am not saying don’t do the event. I am just saying that it might not be the best idea to incite a fan base that is already on fire.
Now, for me personally, I think Titans fans are going a bit overboard on this. It's a joke. It's meant to introduce and appreciate Tony Dungy, a legendary coach who Jeff Fisher is friends with. Nothing more than that. I know doing this two days after the Titans were Tecmo Bowled by the Patriots in Foxborough 59-0 is probably not the best timing, but in the grand scheme of things it is really no big deal.
When the Titans get back to their winning ways, after they've benched all the schmucks who quit on the team last weekend, people will forget about this silly little "incident."
Now, I know the typical response from Fisher haters will be "Imagine if the Colts lost 59-0 and the next day Tony Dungy showed up at a luncheon wearing a Tom Brady jersey."
One, I wouldn't care. Tom Brady is a great player and if Tony Dungy wants to make a joke using a Brady jersey as a prop, whatever. Second, the act does not suggest, in any way shape or form, that Jeff Fisher is "happy" or "okee-dokey" with being 0-6. Jeff Fisher is a fierce competitor. He works hard. His teams are often well-coached. He's not happy being 0-6.
But what do you want him to do? Sit in his office all day and cry on the sleeve of his throwback Houston Oilers hoodie?
You'd think after a billion years of this guy coaching Titans football, fans would know this, cut him a little slack, and see the thing for what it is: A joke for his friend, Tony Dungy. Sadly, some Titans fans are looking for something to point a finger at as they try and make sense of their 2009 season, and Fisher's joke only provides more gasoline for a fanbase raging collectively like a man on fire.