Most of us have done a bad job at something. When I was working for a control panel factory, still in my pre-journeyman electrician days (which never came), I did a bad job at attaching StaKon connectors to transformers. The boss wasn’t happy, and he used swear combinations that I hadn’t even considered, leaving me both impressed and dumbfounded. I was mostly embarrassed, partly because it was a public verbal lashing on the factory floor, but mostly because I should’ve done better. This was an elementary-level skill that I had competently demonstrated before. This time, for whatever reason, it didn’t work properly.
The difference between me and Brady Hoke is roughly $3,000,000.
No, I didn’t get fired, but I sure do remember how dismal it can get when everyone in the place knows that you’re no good, especially when you’ve been at least moderately proficient in the past.
I say all that as background for my single observation in all of this: I am surprised at how giddy some people are about Hoke’s firing. For many, his release is simply a welcome relief from watching a football program take a nosedive. But some people are… well, I’ll say it again: giddy. I asked Emily why this was. She said that maybe it’s because we enjoy seeing that we’re not the only ones who screw things up from time to time. I think that’s true. I also think people like the distraction of someone else’s fall because it draws attention away from their own. We demonize that which we idolize, and sometimes our successes don’t pan out, leaving us bitter. Seeing it happen to someone else is like a salve. Could that be true of me? Possibly.
I was pretty excited about his departure, too. I don’t think it was a good fit. But I feel bad, because I mixed up and treated a bad fit like it was a bad person. Know what I mean?
When I see that people talk about Brady like he’s some kind of pariah who came into town, stole all our candy, and poisoned the water, it seems like there is more inner tension being released than we might realize.
Anyway, think carefully about demonizing a guy who didn’t do a good job. That was me, only less public and before twitter.
By the way, I’m going to leave the transformer wiring to the pros.