Saturday, December 16, 2006

Just Keep Your Mouth Shut

Jim Mora Jr. made some headlines yeseterday when he said in a radio interview that he would leave the Falcons head coaching job in a second if the University of Washington spot became open, even if it was during the course of the playoffs. Mora, a Huskies alum, then had to go back in an official press conference, and clarify that he was kidding, apologizing to and reassuring those who might have questioned his desire to the club.

It seems pretty clear to me that Mora was indeed joking when he made the statement - logic dictates that because:

-Current U-Dub coach Ty Willingham isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
-He has already turned down the Huskies position once before.
-No NFL coach in his right mind would play with his job security like that (and not to mention his chances of ever getting another NFL head coaching job if there were actually legitimate doubts about his commitment).

Nontheless, it was an error in judgment for Mora, who forgot one of the cardinal rules of sports PR: if you say something ambiguous that can be construed the wrong way, it probably will be. An NFL head coach is in the public eye unlike 99% of people in this country, and the fans hang on his every word. Whether that's right or wrong, that's a fact of life in today's NFL, and Mora should have thought it through a little more before he opened his mouth.

I guess the foot-in-mouth tendencies run in the family though, as Jim Mora Sr, his father, made headlines a few weeks ago, when he called Falcons QB Michael Vick a "coach killer." Mora resigned from his job at Fox Sports Radio shortly thereafter, presumably due to the media firestorm that ensued.

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