A year ago, Peter King trotted out this ridiculousness:
Two thoughts: NFL's a meritocracy. America's the land of opportunity. Adongo gave up a huge rugby career to try the NFL. Good for him.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) December 3, 2013
It was as stupid then as it is now.
The NFL isn't a meritocracy. Not everyone gets a fair shot. And that's ok. The NFL isn't an arm of the government that breaks the law when it plays favorites.
But as a Rams fan, it stuck a chord with me only because we've seen meritocracy buried in the interests of nepotism under Jeff Fisher.
In his first year, Fisher employed the sons of big coaching names in both of his coordinator positions: Brian Schottenheimer, son of Marty Schottenheimer, and Blake Williams, son of Gregg Williams. Brian Schottenheimer is still the OC. Blake, fired after the 2012 season, had his spot filled by his father two season later. Fisher's special teams' coach? John Fassel, the son of former New York Giants HC Jim Fassel. John Fassel's deputy on special teams? Paul F. Boudreau. Where did Paul F. develop his football acumen? Alongside his father, Paul T. Boudreau...the Rams' offensive line coach.
Jeff Fisher has an inner circle. And it's sanctified.
Fisher has carved out a now 30-year career as a coach in the NFL by building trust. Trust among his peers. Trust among his players. Trust among his associates. And yes, trust among ownership and referees.
So taking a shot at his circle is taking a shot at him. And that, he does not forgive.
Fisher w/a little sense of humor. He sent Jenkins, Brockers, Stacy, Bailey, Robinson, Ogletree out for pregame coin toss at FedEx.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) December 7, 2014
What's the meaning of all that? All six were acquired as result of the RGIII trade.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) December 7, 2014
Fisher sent out six players that are on the Rams as a result of the Robert Griffin III trade. Michael Brockers, Janoris Jenkins, Zac Stacy, Steadman Bailey, Greg Robinson and Alec Ogletree all came out.
Yeah. Not normal. I would almost say this was really low class, and perhaps it was but you have to remember the politics at play.
Fisher's top assistant Gregg Williams was dumped by Dan Snyder after interviewing four times to be the Redskins head coach following the 2007 season and just for icing on the cake, Fisher and Allen have a strong dislike for each other that was quietly a part of the negotiation of the trade back in 2012.
The other element at play? Mike Shanahan and Fisher are very good friends and make no mistake about it - Fisher was trying to do everything he could to flip the Redskins upper level management the bird.
That's from ESPN980, a Dan Snyder-owned property, so it shouldn't shock anyone to read their take that the move was hinging on low class. That's pretty ludicrous since we're talking about Dan Snyder and low class is his MO (exhibit A, B).
Is it a big deal? No. Is it even a deal? Nope. It's just a reminder of how Fisher rolls.
Don't poke the bear.