Look, guys, all of you QUIET FOR A SECOND: the New Orleans Saints have a problem. And not that stupid fake “Mutiny on the Bounty” problem — you’re today’s lucky winner if you catch that cultural reference! — but a real, football problem after Sean Payton’s year-long suspension was upheld. THEY DON’T HAVE A HEAD COACH.
Don’t worry New Orleans — all is not lost. You’ve still got Drew Brees, so the offense is good. You’ve still got Jonathan Vilma, so you’ll continue to murder opposing players with reckless abandon. And there are plenty of prime candidates to handle coaching duties for a year. I mean, a year — that’s just 16 games! BIG DEAL.
4. Jack Del Rio
Fired by the Jaguars only last season, Del Rio would be a quick Band-Aid to be peeled off immediately after Sean Payton’s suspension ends. Del Rio would likely jump at a chance to coach again somewhere — anywhere — and certainly a winning season with the Saints would position him better for his next job than sitting on his couch at home.
5. Bill Cowher
The Tuna isn’t the only coach who could be brought out of retirement to babysit the Saints. Netting the Chin himself would mean an instant rehabilitation of the team’s image, and it gives Cowher the flexibility he might be looking for in a comeback job. Plus, let’s face it — no matter how good Payton is, if Cowher wanted to stay, New Orleans would probably let him.
6. Ron Jaworski
Despite his idiotic cheerleading in the Monday Night Football booth, Jaws doesn’t have a bad football mind, and now that he’s been shifted off MNF, he’s probably got some free time. SO WHY THE HELL NOT. “Well, Drew, I mean, you’re a great quarterback, and, well, you just go out there and throw it hard against this New England Patriots defense and I think we’ll be just fine. I’m going to grab a sandwich.”
7. Jim Mora, Herm Edwards, and Dennis Green
Three once-respected coaches — well, maybe not Herm — have all been reduced to yeasty-beer-hawking proto-buffoons, which is why it would take all three of them combined to fill Payton’s shoes at this point. Maybe we could tie them all together and make one three-headed, four-legged coach!
8. Bill Romanowski
Who better to coach a bunch of verified psychopaths than a verified psychopath?
9. Ray Nagin
Former NOLA mayor Ray Nagin would be perfectly suited to leading the Saints through these trying times, considering his past experience with both New Orleans and trying times. And again, when you’re only coaching a team for a year, football knowledge is pretty much the least important ingredient on a resume. What Nagin lacks in Xs and Os he makes up for in INSPIRATION.
10. Isiah Thomas
Maybe Isiah Thomas isn’t bad at coaching. Maybe he’s just bad at coaching BASKETBALL.
This is a terrible idea.
11. Nicholas Cage
With Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Nicholas Cage showed that he gets New Orleans. And with his last five years of work, hes showed that he doesn’t believe in turning down jobs, so you can rest assured he wouldn’t decline like Parcells did. At any rate, Cage would at least bring a creative approach to managing the team.
12. Lil Wayne
Weezy F. Baby — the F is for “FEMA” — knows football, as he he’s shown in his sporadic, and sporadically cogent, ESPN column. Even though he’s a Packers fan, he has expressed affection for his hometown Saints in the past, and I’m pretty sure he’d jump at a chance to coach the team in its time of need. Under Coach Tunechi, discipline would no longer be an issue, and, I don’t know, all the players would take the field on skateboards, or something. It would be great.
13. The Wu-Tang Clan
The Wu-Tang Clain ain’t nothing to fuck with.
If you can’t get Lil Wayne, and you can’t get the Wu-Tang Clan… there’s always God. New Orleans is a city in touch with its religious side — see “When the Saints Go Marching In” — and God is nothing if not pragmatic. Something tells me he’d be able to figure out those character issues without too much trouble.