Offseason of change for several county programs

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor

I think the most thankless job in all of sports —next to being a referee— is being the head coach of a program, especially football.

Think about it: You are literally only as good as your last great season, and you are constantly measured on your performance by thousands of people on a weekly basis.

Can you imagine that pressure? If you mess up one thing, you have a stadium full of people not only to witness it, but to call you on it.

It’s the equivalent of having thousands of people watching the product of your work in a real-time setting. It would be like me getting hammered with boos every time I let a typo slip, or every time I misspell a name.

Think about sitting at your place of work, with a roomful of people fixated on what you are producing. Intimidating, isn’t it?

That’s what every football coach faces each week.

Now, I’m not making excuses or anything like that. Everyone knows what they’re getting into when they follow a passion, and coaches are no exception. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you come up short. That’s life, and sometimes, when neither party is getting the results desired, it’s time to make a change.

Two Shelby County schools have already made that call this fall. It’s a tough call to make, and I certainly would hate to have the responsibility of making it.

By the same token, it’s got to be tough to have someone inform you that your pursuit of your passion on their terms is not what they’re looking for anymore. To pick up the pieces of a dream and have to soldier on.

I guess from where I stand, I get to see the humanistic element of sports. I get to talk to the human beings involved with all our programs, from coaches to boosters to town mayors to even the concession vendors.

Everyone’s got a story and a dream, and coaches are no different.

It certainly makes me think twice about what I’m shouting when I’m simply a fan at a game.