Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jason Garrett, "Hard Knocks" and giving Stefan Fatsis his due

Last August, when Fatsis reviewed the HBO series about Cowboys training camp, he wrote: "The most compelling stories, naturally, involve people you've never heard of—veterans on the verge of getting released, rookies struggling to adjust, blowhard coaches taking their jobs way too seriously....We want the speechifying, Princeton-educated Garrett brothers, both offensive coaches, to be drowned in a training-room ice tub." That seemed weird to me at the time. Jason Garrett was so golden.

But wow. Fatsis was on it, right? Because a year after entertaining two head coaching offers, Garrett is now everyone's favorite joke and John Czarnecki thinks it's because of a perception created and fostered by Terrell Owens, the player so beloved by Hard Knocks cameras: "back to the Rams and where T.O. flexed his influence. During the search process, columnists and writers for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch started revealing flaws in Garrett's résumé....when the subject came to players, it was voiced that Garrett had a difficult time coaching black players. That is such a ridiculous assertion, but it gained so much steam in St. Louis that the fans accepted it as fact. On the day that Garrett thought he had a shot at becoming the head coach, the final paragraph in a Post-Dispatch news story was that hundreds of fans called the team's ticket office to complain about a Garrett hiring."

When Hard Knocks spent so much time showing T.O. running then, minutes later, followed it with footage of Garrett's elderly father running, the conflict was already there. HBO was already taking T.O.'s side.

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