Sure, the Mike Shanahan situation is and has been miserable for almost everyone involved, but the Shanahan Era did have some entertaining moments. Here they are, in no particular order. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
The time he admitted he doesn’t have e-mail.
I’m pretty sure that Shanahan was assigned an e-mail account when he joined the Redskins, but during this year’s training camp, the coach claimed he didn’t have one.
“First of all, I’ve never been on Twitter,” he said at the time. “I don’t even have e-mail. I just learned to text about two years ago, so that’s where I’m at. No, seriously, I don’t have an e-mail. I do text, and I’m not very good at that. I’m NOT getting into the Twitter.”
Either he’s exaggerating, or the Redskins’ servers contain four seasons worth of unread e-mails to Shanahan.
Drafting an eight-year old Make-A-Wish kid.
In June, the Redskins hosted 8-year old Lateef Brock for a day. In a personal call to the boy, Shanahan told him he’d been drafted and offered him a one-day contract.
“We told him he was a first-round pick and that we would give him a play, but he’d have to make it into the end zone if he was going to make [the team],” Shanahan said. “He’s pretty quick, too. I asked Bruce [Allen] if we could sign him to a two-year contract instead of [one day].”
The boy’s one-day contract included unlimited candy.
The time he rear-ended Brian Orakpo in a golf cart.
It was all fun and games when Shanahan accidentally ran into Orakpo from behind during the 2012 Leukemia Golf Classic.
“I think he did it on purpose,” Shanahan joked later that day. “He took off and then stopped short all of a sudden. I think he was trying to see just how good that Geico insurance really is.”
When he apologized for yelling at Niles Paul.
When a slow-motion clip of Shanahan yelling at Niles Paul hit the internets, word got to Shanahan via his wife that perhaps he had gotten a little too intense. So, he stopped Paul in passing later that week and made amends.
“Shanny actually apologized, too,” Paul told me that week. “I didn’t think it was that serious. He was laughing. He said, ‘My wife told me I was pretty upset with you on the sideline.’ And I was like, ‘Honestly, I was so [ticked] off at the penalty that I wasn’t even paying attention.’ I didn’t realize I was getting chewed out that bad until now.”
Here’s the yelling, for posterity. Never forget.
While in Waco for Robert Griffin III’s pro day in March of 2012, the owner and the head coach were photographed mixing it up with the servers and patrons at the local Hooters. Those were the good times.
The time he wore Chick Hernandez’s hat during a press conference.
Happy, relaxed Shanahan didn’t make an appearance often, but it was nice when he did. During a presser in November 2012, Shanahan began the session by grabbing Hernandez’s hat and modeling it for the media crowd. Everyone chuckled, Shanahan smiled and all was well.
Shanhan’s war on double parking.
When he arrived in 2010 there were plenty of things Shanahan needed to fix, so he set some on-field and off-field rules for the players to follow. On the list was the alleged rampant problem of players double-parking at Redskins Park.
“I started thinking to myself, like, did I double park today? I didn’t think I double parked,” then-offensive lineman Mike Williams said when asked about Shanahan’s rules. “I’m dead serious. He asked guys to do the simple things. If he asks you to run off the field, he expects you to run off the field. He’s just setting a standard, and saying hey guys, this is what I’m talking about, and so this is what we’ve got to clean up as a team.”
Shanahan explained his reason for the rules.
“What you have to do as a head football coach is you have to make people accountable,” he said. “That’s my job. It’s also their job to understand what it takes to help this organization be successful. And my job is to make sure that everyone’s accountable to each other….The reason why you do have rules – and we don’t have a lot of rules – is to make them, everybody, beat to the same drum. And if you don’t, usually you’re not very good.”
We all know how his tenure ended. Perhaps the team just needed more rules.
In 2011, Dan compiled a number of photos showing the ever-changing color of Shanahan’s hair, along with years of various media commentary on its composition. Regardless of what color it was on any given day, there never seemed to be a stray hair on his head no matter what the conditions. Good gel? Expensive shampoo? We may never know.