For the Green Bay Packers and coach (for now) Mike McCarthy, this is starting to feel like one of those star-crossed seasons that teams and coaches have during which things just seem to go wrong at every turn.
A story in yesterday’s Journal-Sentinel provides yet another example, and honestly doesn’t make a damn bit of sense from the Packers’ perspective.
A longtime Packers employee, Mike Wood, was fired by the Packers because McCarthy claimed that Wood told him not to “lay an egg” a couple of days before the epic Packers-Vikings game at Lambeau. Wood claims that he said nothing of the sort and merely told the coach to have the team ready to “kick some butt.”
I wonder why the hell it even matters, especially in relation to the employment of a loyal, 22-year employee.
Of course, this is the same coach who famously pushed for another longtime Packers employee to leave…but I digress.
Here is an excerpt from the story in all of its absurdity:
Longtime Packers employee Mike Wood fired for alleged comment to Mike McCarthy — (Journal-Sentinel)
Wood said he was sitting in a maintenance cart in a stadium tunnel when McCarthy was talking with members of the grounds crew.
With the season’s most-hyped game only three days away, Wood said he yelled to McCarthy, “Hey coach, let’s get the boys ready to kick some butt this weekend.”
Wood said he was told that McCarthy thought he heard him make a comment along the lines of “don’t lay an egg” in the game.
Reached for comment, the Packers released a statement: “The organization has standards of conduct that apply to all employees, full-time and part-time, in order to maintain a respectful workplace. Mr. Wood’s supervisors determined he made an inappropriate comment, and he was relieved of his duties.”
If there is not more to the story, like say Wood trafficking Packers’ playbooks to opponents or something, then this is just an asinine move by McCarthy and the Packers.
Florio has a great take on the firing of Mike Wood by the Packers over at PFT that echoes most of what I thought immediately after reading the story. In addition to wondering why McCarthy was even worrying about something like this during such a pivotal week for the franchise, it sounds like it was a snap decision with no due diligence whatsoever:
And here’s the most obvious question the native sons and daughters will be asking: Why not meet with the guy and hear his side of the story? Maybe Wood is telling the truth. Maybe McCarthy, his blood pressure likely sky high as his plan to nudge Favre into retirement was about to explode in his face once and for all, didn’t accurately hear what Wood said.
I think a 22-year veteran of the organization — which, it should be noted, is a hell of a lot longer than McCarthy has been there — deserves to at least face his accuser.
As reported, this story makes McCarthy look like a petty jackass on a power trip. Even if the guy did say “don’t lay an egg,” I don’t see why it would bother McCarthy that much. (This is especially true in hindsight, considering McCarthy and the Packers did lay an egg against the Vikings, and then laid a whole carton of them last week against Tampa Bay.)
Seriously though, if you’re a head coach and you can’t handle someone telling you not to lay an egg, you might want to get into another profession.
Anyway, it’s a good thing I don’t work for the Packers because I’d surely get fired for this:
Get a clue McCarthy. Firing loyal employees for no good reason is not the way to make fans forget about the fact that you’ve turned the Packers into nothing more than a mediocre franchise while Brett Favre has helped to turn your division rival into a juggernaut.
At this point I think it’s safe to say that Mike McCarthy’s tenure with the Packers has been, at best…scrambled.
Update: I didn’t catch this earlier, but Mike McCarthy has responded, and it was actually more than just “Cluck, cluck, cluck,”…although not by much.
Question: Can you talk at all about the story in this morning’s paper?
McCarthy: “Well, really, I haven’t seen the story. I’m not really abreast of what was in the paper, so I don’t really…I’m not in charge of the maintenance department, I can tell you that.
Question: It concerned a comment this maintenance worker supposedly made to you and then a couple days later he got fired.
McCarthy: “Well, I did not fire anybody in the maintenance department, I can tell you that.”