Washington Post accused of dancing on dead coach’s grave

NFL fans have ripped the Washington Post for an insensitive headline following the death of veteran coach Marty Schottenheimer.

Schottenheimer, one of eight head coaches in NFL history to record at least 200 wins, but the only member of that group never to win a championship, died Tuesday due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 77.

USA Today accused the Post of being “petty as hell” and “twisting the knife” by writing about how Schottenheimer’s teams “wilted in the postseason” in their headline on his obituary.

Others noted how the Post had referred to Qasem Soleimani as “Iran’s most revered military leader” and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar” but couldn’t find a nicer way to refer to an NFL great.

Show a little respect ⁦@washingtonpost⁩. Obituary headlines aren’t the place for cheap shots. pic.twitter.com/dYk5kEQTDj

Schottenheimer spent 21 seasons as a head coach with Cleveland, Kansas City, Washington and San Diego, compiling a record of 200-126-1, punctuated by a smashmouth brand of conservative football that became known as “Martyball.”

“Marty will rightfully be remembered as one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, but his legacy extends far beyond his winning percentage,” Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said Tuesday in a statement. “He was a passionate leader who cared deeply for his players and coaches, and his influence on the game can still be seen today on a number of coaching staffs around the league.”

With only two losing seasons, Schottenheimer posted an excellent career winning percentage of .613, better than Hall of Famers Bill Walsh, Tom Landry, Bill Parcells, Hank Stram and Chuck Noll. He was the NFL’s Coach of the Year in 2004 with the Chargers after leading the team to a 12-4 record one year after a 4-12 finish.

Marty Schottenheimer gives sideline instructions to Tim Dobbins during a game against the Chicago Bears in 2006. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Still, Schottenheimer’s teams won only five of 18 postseason games, making him the coach with the most regular-season victories without an NFL championship or Super Bowl title.

In his final NFL game in 2007, the Chargers — who went 14-2 in the regular season behind league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson — committed a series of blunders and lost a home playoff game to Tom Brady and the Patriots.

“I never went into a game with Marty as coach feeling like I wasn’t fully prepared to win,” Tomlinson told ESPN. “He really wanted you to understand every detail of the game plan. I considered him a true All-American man. He was a great father figure, and I was fortunate that my wife and I got to know he and [his wife] Pat beyond the typical player and coach relationship. He was a well-rounded human being. He cared more about the man than the athlete. I will remember him more for the life lessons that he taught me.”

Schottenheimer, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014, had been placed in hospice care last week and died Tuesday surrounded by family near his home in North Carolina. He also is survived by his wife of 54 years, Pat, his daughter Kristen and four grandchildren.

– with New York Post

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