Decisions in my life range from preferred Pop-Tart flavor to favorite Boise State football shirt, so you’ll excuse me if I do not properly grasp the weight of the decision facing Mike Holmgren.
On the one hand, I can see how choosing whether or not to completely change one’s direction in life and give up the only thing you have known for the last several years could be a tough one. On the other hand, I have never heard of any man taking so long to make a decision. Other than Brett Favre, of course.
Holmgren has players, executives, staff, and an entire fan base waiting patiently to hear what he has decided, but all that anyone has received so far is silence and rumors. Matt Hasselbeck needs a decision so he can know if he’ll be audibling under threat of personal harm or not. Tim Ruskell needs to know what is up so he can start selling Seattle fans on Maurice Morris: feature back. And the 12th man needs to know because the 12th man has had nothing to talk about now that Patrick Kerney is no longer a part of their lives.
What’s it going to be, coach?
I can tell you from personal experience that I have never spent more than eight minutes making any decision, and that includes my college and career choice, my friends, and my decision to rent Hot Rod at my local RedBox. Any more than eight minutes is just too long.
So much can happen if we stop to take time to think over our decisions. We could have second thoughts, we could get input from others, and we might even be able to take a step back from the situation and approach it in a sensible, discerning way. Who wants that?
If I was seeing things sensibly, I most certainly would not have majored in accounting, but I can’t say I would trade those four years for anything (unless, of course, trading those four years was actually possible, in which case I would do it in a heartbeat).
Making decisions off the cuff is a much better way to go than taking one’s time. There is certainty in a quick decision that eliminates all doubt and hesitation, and picking quickly leaves plenty of time to talk yourself into your decision.
But I guess Holmgren is more content in dillydallying, although I can’t imagine it is easy on him or his family. I’m sure he has had the following discussion with his wife at least three times a day since the end of the football season.
Holmgren: I sure miss coaching football.
Holmgren wife: Then why don’t you go back for another year?
Holmgren: Well, I’m just not sure. I mean, on the one hand, I love football, but on the other hand, I don’t want to watch Shaun Alexander fall down in the backfield on third and short ever again.
Holmgren wife: Aw, honey. Why don’t you come over here and have some double-stuffed Oreos? I’ll let you have two percent milk.
Will this conversation repeat itself ad infinitum? Until someone invents triple-stuffed Oreos, I would have to think so.
Holmgren’s problem might be that he is not seeing this situation as plainly as I am, so let me help out by listing the Pros and Cons of coaching another year in Seattle:
Pro: a supportive fan base, provided you are winning and not handing off to Shaun Alexander ever
Con: a declining offense that may or may not grasp your West Coast system any longer
Pro: staying close to family, many of whom you will not see due to responsibilities with the team
Con: more off-hand references to similarities with Craig Stadler
Pro: a guaranteed division title with little effort or planning
Con: losing in the Divisional round of the playoffs is inevitable
There are, of course, several other factors that Holmgren is considering, but perusing this list above nearly maxes out the eight-minute limit. Besides, his decision should come down to something that is painfully evident to everyone who sees him: that awful, tortured look on his face throughout most Seahawks games. He often looked furious, mad, inconsolable, or a combination of the three that I like to call furmadolable. Every time TV cameras caught him, he was fuming at something the refs had done (blown a call) or something Brian Russell had not (made a tackle). Football was killing him, with generous help from Alexander and poor pass protection. Would he really want to come back and let it finish the job?
See, when decisions are phrased that way, the choice is pretty obvious. Retire from football or die? I had a similar choice between strawberry Pop-Tarts or death by toaster pastries, and I made the right call…in under eight minutes.
Clock is ticking, Holmgren. You have seven and a half minutes left.
For a review of Friday Night Lights, visit www.kevanlee.com.