Black Monday Could Be the NFL's Hit Drama

01/01/2013 12:41 EST | Updated 03/03/2013 05:12 EST
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SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 09: Head coach Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals looks on in the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 9, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Kevin Casey/Getty Images)

It's altogether unlike the perpetually poised, polished and professional National Football League to fumble the ball and miss such a golden opportunity. Marketing, publicity and promotion -- incessant self-promotion (or, Kardashian-ism, as it's known) -- are what make this league larger than life, and by far bigger than baseball, basketball, hockey, etc.

Not convinced? Consider: the league has somehow managed to magically transform its so-called "NFL Player Selection Meeting" -- that is, its springtime draft of newly eligible players -- into a broadcast bonanza with what seems like thousands of hours of torturous televised chitter-chatter spliced between riveting visuals of young men being selected, and then (wait for it) pulling their new team's jersey on over their hulking frames. Be still your beating heart.

Oh, and pre-season -- you know, the dullest time in any sport, the time teams spend whipping their charges into playing shape, weeding out the slugs, and crafting the club that will take the field once the season starts for real. Well, the NFL, in cahoots with HBO, turned this onetime snoozefest into a reality show called Hard Knocks that follows a team through training camp with embarrassing invasiveness. Broken dreams. Curb-stomped hearts. Call it, Train Wreck TV.

And yet, every year on the Monday after the last Sunday of the regular season, the league unofficially holds its annual (seemingly drunken) firing fest -- canning coaches, jettisoning general managers, offloading administrators -- as the wise people who hired all these apparently inept people in the first place, conclude at once not that they made horrible hiring decisions, but, rather, that their team has decided "to move in a different direction."

Yeah, not backwards.

Alas, this year's version of Black Monday, as it has come to be known, saw nearly one-quarter of the league's head coaches axed within scant hours of each other. Say goodbye to Pat Shurmur in Cleveland, Norv Turner in San Diego, Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona, Andy Reid in Philadelphia, Romeo Crennel in Kansas City, and Lovie Smith in Chicago -- three of whom have Super Bowl coaching experience (Whisenhunt, Reid and Smith). To boot, five GMs and assorted executives were all told to not let the door hit them on the backside on their way out.

Happy New Year! (Cue creepy Donald Trump voice): "You're Fired!"

And yet, oddly enough, the league seems to do little to capitalize on all this inherent drama. Seriously, the NFL should turn Black Monday into a wild and wooly reality show: Spring Cleaning Comes Early. Or, better still, a game show: Off With Their Heads. Or, bare minimum, just make the day even more of a ghoulish spectacle than it already is. How about this:

Position the head coaches for every single NFL team in a long lineup. Then, have an announcer -- I'm thinking Ryan Seacrest -- say: "All those men who think they still have a job as a head coach in the National Football League, take one step forward..." Then as they all naturally step forward, Seacrest would chime in with something like, "Ah, not so fast, Lovie..."

That's right, Lovie's out. He squeezed double-digit wins out of a team that has a sieve for an offensive line. And injuries galore on both sides of the ball. But, he's out. And because he's such a crappy coach, four teams are reportedly knocking on his door, less than 24 hours after the Chicago Bears showed him the door.

Yeah, let's turn this manic Monday into must-see TV. And let's borrow the motto from another inane reality show, Big Brother. That is, "Expect the unexpected". And, oftentimes, the nonsensical. Change for the sake of change.

Black Monday 2012: Who Got Fired?