80-20 Miami = 100 Percent Awkward – The Jeff Fisher Negotiations

Watching the TV late Friday afternoon when the words came scrolling across the ESPN ticker…Breaking News…Jeff Fisher to be the new HC of the St. Louis Rams.  Fair enough.  I did wonder if he might sit out this year considering he might want to be in SoCal…maybe having an eye on the job Norv Turner should have lost…but didn’t.  Then again, if Turner wasn’t let go this year will he ever be?

Obviously, the Miami Dolphins would now be greatly disappointed they did not land Fisher.  Reports were money would be no issue for their ownership.  Since the words passing along the bottom of the monitor indicated Jeff had settled on the Rams, all of us would now logically conclude the job descriptions were different.  Ultimately, Fisher must have chosen the job he felt most comfortable with.  In almost every case, such comfort comes with as much control as you can get on personnel decisions.  The job Arch-side must have included that; the job Beach-side did not.  Both teams made their presentations.  Jeff Fisher did his due diligence in negotiations with each.  Decision made.  Done.

Then, a few moments later…new words.  Words indicating ESPN NFL reporter/”insider” Adam Schefter had a “source” indicating as recently as a couple of days earlier it was“80-20” Jeff was going to choose Miami.  More words shortly thereafter…to the effect the Dolphins wanted GM Jeff Ireland to remain as the #1 man in the decision-making department and that is what tipped the scale towards St. Louis.

Yet again in the sports world we find “news” delivered via an unnamed “source.”  You might have heard earlier in the week a number of other unnamed “sources” made “news” in their sharp criticism of New York Jets’ QB Mark Sanchez.

Back in the day when I was pursuing a degree in Journalism it was universally accepted unnamed “sources” would be utilized if national security, government corruption or law enforcement abuse was taking place…but the sports world pretty much stuck to reporting results, facts and quotes…certainly sprinkled in with salty opinions as to who might go where and play or coach for whom.  But as I recall, everything said was pretty much owned up to.  Everything had a name.

Now, it is all about the Internet/Twitter/Facebook scoop.  The speed to the “news” is often the most memorable aspect, even if it ultimately isn’t much “news” at all.

I’ve long ago stopped being disappointed in sports journalism’s use of unnamed “sources” to make “news.”  We’re all grownups here.  This has happened many times before and will many times to come.  Sports is big business now…but please consider in this one instance…just for a moment…the initial “reaction” one might have regarding Fisher, the teams and the teams’ fans because of this additional “news” from an unnamed “source”:

1. The Rams (and their fans) – They’re hiring a guy who allegedly had them as his second choice.  A great way to usher in a new era of football in St. Louis.  Throw in the fact the competition for his services wouldn’t give him the master-key to their organization…and Rams’ fans can start wondering what Miami allegedly was so hesitant about.

2. The Dolphins (and their fans) – Whomever they eventually hire will now allegedly be – at least – their second choice…due to their alleged rigidity in letting Fisher have more control.  If Jeff does well in St. Louis, Miami looks bad.  And if that happens…and they don’t swim to the surface with who they eventually hire with Ireland’s role still intact…they look even worse.

3. Jeff Fisher – He’s accepted a position with a team that was allegedly his second choice.  Also, there’s at least one team out there who wasn’t willing to give him total decision-making authority.  We shall logically wonder why.  His off-the-field moves will be eye-balled with even more scrutiny as his coaching moves from the very second he learns where the restroom is at Rams’ HQ.

In the instance of these negotiations, does the report from this unnamed “source” make anyone look any better?  What is the point?  Do we know it is even true?  Perhaps all of this would be stated by Fisher and/or the teams eventually…but why go there now with an unnamed “source?”  Even if it is true, maybe as Hall & Oates sing…some things are better left unsaid.

Especially if you’re not going to tell us who allegedly said them.

I saw across the same ticker the next day there was now only a verbal agreement for Fisher to coach the Rams.  Details to be finalized. Oh, OK.  Now it is not a done deal after all.

Well…my unnamed “source” tells me Fisher told St. Louis he would coach there…and then had once of his people tell Schefter about the organizational issue in Miami with final control on decisions so the Rams – who also originally had no intention of giving him ultimate power on decision-making – would now be intimidated to do so since it was now reported he would be coaching there and they would look bad if they did not close the deal.

See how easy it is to be a sports journalist these days?

I know this may come off as a very naively written piece but if I got you thinking for just a moment…mission accomplished.

I don’t feel awkward.  Everything I wrote here is in my name and I own up to its accuracy…except for my unnamed “source” conversation.  Never happened.

But it got your attention.  Sometimes, that’s all that matters in sports journalism today.


About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside the City of Brotherly Love. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen of our United States and Canada (twice). Addicted from birth to Television/Movies/Sports. Took three years of French and got credit for two of 'em.
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15 Responses to 80-20 Miami = 100 Percent Awkward – The Jeff Fisher Negotiations

  1. Excellent piece Bruce. One of the main reasons that I don’t pay attention to ESPN and other sports news sources is because of this and the rush to be first in breaking important or seemingly important news. The sensationalism and fluff clogs the airwaves and is a waste of time and brain activity. Another thing I hate about the Four Letter is their “confirming” other individual’s story as to not give credit to others. BS.


    • Much appreciated, SG. I love your use of “Four Letter.” Don’t copyright that, OK? Want to use that one, alternating with the “Worldwide Leader.” And indeed, they claim to “lead” the way on many reports when simply robbing others’ leads.


  2. Blog Surface says:

    Great one Bruce. Nowadays, you’re right. You hear something there, you hear something here and all of a sudden it’s legitimate news. Social media plays a great part now that you don’t even have to be a good journalist anymore, you just have to know who’s saying what.

    Jeff Fisher will join Brian Schottenheimer from the Jets as coach/Off. coordinator of the Rams..Woohoo.. what a tandem. NOT!


    • Much appreciated, B-Surf. The irony is Fisher has so many years in the books without winning it all…and he’s the guy these two franchises felt they just had to have. I like Jeff but…Brian Schottenheimer? Are. You. Kidding. Me?


  3. chappy81 says:

    All I can say is my buddy who is a lifelong rams fan loved the hire. It’s hard to imagine there are lifelong rams fans isn’t it!?!


  4. tophatal says:


    Fisher is better off with the Rams as Dolphins’ GM Jeff Ireland isn’t the most astute of general managers within the NFL !

    tophatal ………….


  5. Ya’ know, man. It’s the very lack of quality sports journalism that led to all our blogs popping up, so I’m perfectly okay with it.


  6. tophatal says:

    Job security in the NFL isn’t so bad unless you happen to be a coach with either the Colts or Raiders ……….. nough said ! Back to you Jim Irsay and your reason for firing Jim Caldwell ? I wonder what fate now awaits Peyton Manning ?

    Does the Colts’ owner still self medicate with a mixture of booze and alcohol ?


    tophatal ……


    • IMHO Peyton is done, Tophatal. I’ve been calling that ever since the little bit of medical info trickled out. I rarely offer predictions on anything but on a limb with this one because my own situation sounds similar to what I guess he has going on. He’ll simply never legitimately pass an NFL physical to play football, not in this era of safety first. Not in the prior era of…if you can see my hand you can go back in either. Don’t see him taking another snap.


      • tophatal says:


        Peyton is now better off retiring , where he’ll then be lured into covering the NFL an analyst by one of the big four broadcast networks ____ with both HBO and Showtime perhaps throwing their hat into the bring to acquire the player.

        Better yet he could simply sit back and spend some of that est. $ 115 million fortune of his . Making hay while the sun shines as they say .

        At what point did it not occur to Polian that the player’s health concerns were taking a turn for the worse ? Three major surgeries in the space of 18 months and they were of the belief that he would be back to his very best ? The front office of the Colts should have been planning for this situation at least four years ago to say the very least .

        tophatal ……..


  7. Troy says:

    15-65 since 2007… being a Rams fan cannot be described in any amount of words, really.

    I don’t know what to make of Fisher. As the saying goes, or something like it, I’ll prepare for the worst but wish for the best. The games probably won’t be pretty (let’s face it: have any Rams games been ‘pretty’ over the last few years?), but as long as Fisher can fuel the competitive fire that was missing from the Rams the last 4-5 seasons (asides from their semi-competitive year in 2010), I’ll be pleased as a fan.

    Hope you have been having a nice 2012 so far, brother.


    • Brother Troy, miss your posts. Thanks for commenting. Wouldn’t be right to post on the St. Louis Rams without you checking in. I like Jeff Fisher. I’d like him in Philly. Hell, I’d like anybody (else) in Philly. He will bring fire and passion. I think for the most part he made the most of what pieces he was given in Tennessee…but of course the many years invested with only one Super Bowl appearance are a big concern. 2012 finds me in good spirits and trust you are as well. Stop back when you can.


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