I once paid a lot of money to meet Jeff Fisher and eat dinner with him during a charity event. I can tell you I've never been more disappointed in him or the entire organization after seeing this Peyton Manning jersey stuff.
Some people out there are saying "lighten up, this isn't that big of a deal." Um, what would everyone be saying if Vince Young showed up somewhere wearing another team's jersey? Or Keith Bulluck, who's in a contract year? Fans and the media - AND THE COACHES AND ORGANIZATION - would be all over them, and rightly so.
Fisher was clearly using this as a motivational tactic for his players, understanding that news of this event would spread throughout Nashville. But just hours after a game your owner calls "the low point in franchise history" is not the time to make jokes of any kind, for any reason, under any circumstances. Don't you understand how much disappointment is already out there for this lost Titans season? It's suffocating.
How has Coach Fisher changed so quickly from league coaching idol to laughingstock? It starts with arrogance. I genuinely feel as if Fisher would rather lose "his way," with his own coaching staff entirely intact and his roster choices reflected each and every week, and go 0-16 than make needed changes, fire friends on his own staff, and re-orient the franchise in the right direction.
And now, on his local TV show on WKRN, he told fans they should simply "let this go," and that somehow despite an apology, he would "do it all over again." Fisher is in his own world, where he is mistaking the owner's patience in allowing him to become the longest-tenured coach, with superior coaching performance and unquestionable skill. In his mind, it sure seems like he views himself as untouchable, and if he gets the firing which his performance this year would certainly warrant, he'll just end up on his feet somewhere else, so who cares?
It's a nauseating, surprising place to be in for this long-time fan of the Tennessee Titans. But it's not getting any better from here without Fisher's termination or a complete turnabout in attitude, starting against the Jaguars. Time to ditch all the pretense, put in Vince Young, change/simplify the playbook greatly to suit him better, immediately pull any players during the game who drop passes or otherwise fail to perform, cut naysayers on the roster without hesitation, and actually act like the Fisher of ten years ago that made us proud.
I once paid a lot of money to meet Jeff Fisher. Now it's looking like Fisher himself's got a price to pay, preferably sooner rather than later. No doubt he's a great coach and pillar of the community - you can't throw away all he's done just with one bad season - but the RIGHT coach is more important than the BEST coach for our team.