“Black Monday” is the term used for the first Monday after the NFL regular season concludes, which marks the start of firing/replacing NFL coaching staffs and front office executives.
Maybe it should be called “Black Sunday” or “Black Monday Eve” since the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers fired their head coaches last evening and beat the crowd.
Nevertheless, as the week unfolds, it is expected that the Colts, Eagles, Dolphins, and Titans will name new head coaches/executives and it is rumored that the Giants and Saints may also make moves.
Before discussing the value of Black Monday, with potentially eight to ten coaching staff moves, let us not forget the families that this affects. IT IS NOT JUST THE COACHES, but their FAMILIES too: wives, children, extended family. It is an emotionally tough time for all involved. Getting to the top of your profession only to be fired and out of the game, temporarily or permanently, is a huge disappointment and takes lots of soul searching for families to maintain their perseverance and faith in the harsh climate of professional and college athletics.
In saying that, let’s ask the value of Black Monday as a useful tool in filling job searhes. Why do other sports not have a Black Monday of their own? Think about it does MLB? NBA? NHL? College football? College basketball? No they don’t.
Does Black Monday have a purpose or is it just another genius marketing tactic employed by the NFL to dominate media coverage on another day that is not Sunday?
I think that there is some merit to both.
In certain regards, it would make those making coaches lives in those sports easier to know the unofficial start of the job opening process. Coaches could tap into social networks, prepare for interviews, contact potential candidates for building a coaching staff. In addition, those who get released get can quickly try to land another position without much time off.
Having a Black Monday is harsh but maybe it would get coaches on the same basic contract dates so it would help to curb the continuous slew of openings, especially in college athletics on a yearly basis. It might just take some of the guess work out of jobs that may or may not be open.
Conversely, it is also hard to argue that the NFL is a media superpower and that the creation of Black Monday is another way for their franchises to boost moral after a disappointing season and the NFL to remain in the forefront of their fans’ minds and consume another day of coverage.
Either way, I think that the other major sports and college athletics should consider organizing similar days so that families getting hired or fired can prepare for the changes that area about to occur in their lives. It would make the transition process much smoother and more organized.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo