Monday, June 25, 2007

A look back in incredulity: Marty Mornhinweg

We all remember the defining moment of the Marty Mornhinweg era. Taking the wind, rather than the ball, in OT against the Bears.

Marty did so despite the fact that his defense had been on the field for virtually the entire 4th quarter, and was utterly unable to stop the Bears. Well, there was the one drive they did manage to get a 3rd down stop, but Mornhinweg took a 3rd down penalty called against the Bears, to keep them from taking a 50 yard field goal attempt against that same wind, thus allowing the Bears to convert on their 2nd attempt on 3rd down, then going on to score.

There was one idiotic blunder heaped upon another in that game, cumulating in the infamous decision to take the wind.

Marty Morninweg thus became known as Marty Moronweg, and from that moment on, his days in Detroit were numbered.

Yet Marty Moronweg defends the decision that will haunt him to his grave.

"The people who were there and know all the information ... know that it was the right call," Mornhinweg said. "It was the right call then, it's the right call now, and it's the right call 10 years from now."

Uh...Marty, you know what it will say on your headstone?

"He took the wind."

We shouldn't be surprised of his defending the indefensible, as according to an interview given a little over a week ago, Marty thinks he can still be a NFL head coach. Anyone that lived through his 2 seasons in Detroit knows that is an impossibility.

Could you see what any NFL team's fanbase would say if Marty was brought into town to interview for a head coaching gig?

"The guy that took the wind? Are you serious? Cancel my season tickets!"

Just to show that taking the wind wasn't an isolated occurrence of Marty's stupidity, let's look back, and see just what else Marty thought...

  • That the bar was actually high.
  • That the Detroit Lions head coaching job was worth interviewing for, let alone worth taking
  • That Matt Millen knew what he was doing in hiring him, yet not interviewing anyone else.
  • That Matt Millen knew what he was doing, period.
  • That staging the the premature end of a training camp practice, and riding off on a conveniently parked Harley to show his displeasure was a more than just a asinine, poorly conceived stunt.
  • That riding off on that Harley, and never, ever coming back, was not the better choice of action.
  • That Mike McMahon gave the Lions a better chance to win than Charlie Batch.
  • That Mike McMahon was a NFL quarterback, period.
  • That it was a good idea to allow Ty Detmer to stay in a game long enough to throw 7, count 'em, 7, picks.
  • That going along with Millen and Ford Sr, and drafting Joey Blue Skies despite his gut feelings, was a good idea.
  • That Quintin Jammer should have been the pick instead.
  • That he was a competent head coach for the Lions.

Not exactly the the good decision making you'd want from the head coach of your local NFL franchise.

Yet, in the quoted interview, Marty says that he'll be a head coach again.

"I'll be a head coach again"

Of course he added that it could be in a youth league, but you know the Lions years are gnawing at him. I guess it's just like Jon Kitna and his 10 wins prediction, you say some something enough times, you'll begin to believe it, even if no sane person does.

At least Marty did get in one good jab about the dysfunctional Lions...

"I've been in four [NFL] organizations," he said. "Three have been great, top to bottom."

Good for you Marty, good for you. It's pointing out the obvious, but good for you. Get out some of that venom, just as the legions of Lions fans you pissed off did when you were coach.

I will say this about Marty. His awful press conferences were the stuff of legend, and not to be missed. He could spew catch phrases with the best of them. You know 'em, you love 'em, you'll always remember 'em...

"The bar is high."

"The goal of this organization from this point forward is Super Bowls."

"We have to play at a certain level, a very high level, to win a football game."

"That's hairy high school stuff."

"There's no excuses in this league. Snap, hold, kick."

"The bar is even higher!"

I spent the rest of the season saying "Snap, hold, kick" whenever I got the chance.

Fortunately for the rest of the nation's NFL fans, odds are they won't ever have the chance to quote "Head coach" Marty Mornhinweg.

Just looking at this picture make me twitch uncontrollably

Consider yourselves lucky that your team will never see the immense brainpower that we Lions fans lived with for 2 long years...


  1. That is one heckuva sweater right there.


  2. Yeah, that sweater is from The Cliff Huxtable Collection.

    I don't know if it's true or urban legend, but I love the story of the Bears' Larry Whigham yelling to the Lions after that decision, "Your coach is an idiot, you're gonna lose! You better go tell him that!"

    But the contrived "outrage" of driving off in his motorcycle deserves to be right up there on Marty's resume. That might be a NFL record for a coach losing his team early on the job.