It didn't take long for National Football League teams that had suffered disappointing seasons to take the one action virtually every losing franchise employs -firing the coach.
If it only were that simple, which it isn't.
Yet, the coach always becomes the target of the fans' frustrations, no matter what sport or whether we're talking professional, college or even high school.
Yes, there are bad coaches who deserve to be fired. But more often than not the reason a team loses is simple -lack of talent.
In professional sports, it's up to the ownership to purchase enough talent to be competitive.
In college football, it's both the level of commitment of the university's athletic department as well as the coach's ability to attract recruits.
In high school, it's simply luck of the draw. Every school goes through cycles where the talent level is high and where it is low. When it's low, rather than understanding that fact, many fans are quick to blame the coach.
That's even more true today than ever before. Why? Because fans feel entitled to have a say in such matters, because they believe they are part of the ownership through their donations and support of the team through special fundraisers or boosters clubs.
Ever wonder why that team that had been so good for so long suddenly fell flat on its face? Do you really think the battle-tested, award-winning coach got dumb all of a sudden? Of course, that didn't happen. No matter how great a coach is, they must have the material with which to work in order to be successful.
Yet not a day goes by -especially when a local team loses -that I don't hear that old so and so ought to be fired. It gets old. Yet, it has become the modern way. I accept that, but I don't have to like it.
* PHS-South: I recently penned a column praising the athletics directors at Parkersburg High and Parkersburg South for moving the annual city rivalry football game to the last week of the regular season.
I felt it was a creative move and would make the last game meaningful, no matter what the records.
One thoughtful response I received noted that by moving the game to November, it will take place after the cross country season concludes, and thus end the tradition of running the annual dual meet before the football game, the one time each year the cross country runners performed before a large crowd.
While there may not be a solution to that, there is a way to make every sporting event between the two schools take on added interest and significance.
Why not start a year-round City Cup competition with each sporting event between South and PHS?counting toward a point system that would decide the final standings and the winner?
It would be easy to find a sponsor for such a competition and would draw more attention to sports that take place in virtual anonymity.
It's at least worth discussion.