Last week, just after the Rams season came to a close with the thunderous sound of sucking like it was 2009, 2nd year head coach Steve Spagnuolo fired Todd Hewitt abruptly closing his 24 year tenure as team equipment manager. Hewitt succeeded his father in the role, and, in total, had been with the Rams in some capacity since 1978.
We’d been ignoring the Hewitt story, also known as, St. Louis sports media’s current fixation, so far because we didn’t know anything about it. No one did, but the sports guys were still all over it: Bernie Miklasz questioned it, KFNS was all over it, 101ESPN didn’t seem to care hmm…well they’re Rams partners aren’t they? It was weird story for sure, but until someone talked, there wasn’t much for us to say.
Hewitt’s finally talking.
We have decided not to retain Todd Hewitt and Chuck Faucette going forward in 2011. We appreciate their efforts in the past and wish them well in the future.
That’s all the Rams would say. It was their official press release and when asked for follow up by anyone, that’s all they reply with. Hewitt had more to say when he opened up to our friends at the Riverfront Times. Let’s just say he doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the head coach.
Over their two years together, the relationship between head coach and equipment manager had grown frosty. To hear Hewitt tell it, Spagnuolo brought a militaristic dysfunction to the locker room. He criticized the way Hewitt distributed socks. He questioned the way he hung wall fixtures. He scoffed at him for loading the team plane too slowly. He warned him never to talk back to him. By the second year, Hewitt couldn’t assign a number to a new player without checking upstairs first. “He made life miserable,” Hewitt sums up.
Spagnuolo has come under fire, like any NFL head coach, for lots of football reasons, like his “lets play football like we really just want a tie” offensive strategy, but as far as personal issues, “Spags” has come out squeaky clean thus far. In fact, he’s gotten people after him for being too tied to his value system, a system Spagnuolo has called the “Four Pillars”, which has led the Rams to pass on more talented, but possibly more troubled players in the past. That being said, high levels of angst, paranoia and micro-managing are the hallmarks for the NFL head coach. Ole Spagnuolo seems to have found a way to raise his game there at least, assuring himself a playoff spot in the critical NFL game of “shit that really doesn’t matter”.
Adding fuel to the Spagnuolo fire is that the last 10 Rams head coaches and respective set of players all loved Hewitt and can’t figure out why you would fire the man. Many have called Hewitt with their displeasure and confusion over the whole thing. Sadly even personal phone calls from Dick Vermeil and Marshall Faulk, hasn’t helped Hewitt stay on the Rams bandwagon:
“To be honest, I’m praying they lose every game next year,” he says, adding that he has vowed never to watch another Rams game with Spagnuolo at the helm.
Tough to find fault with that sentiment.
Thank god though that finally, finally, the Rams will have their socks handed to them and pictures hung in a manner that Coach Spagnuolo prefers. You don’t get handed your socks right, people die, it’s that simple. How could the Rams wide recievers think about catching the ball in Seattle when their minds were filled with “I can’t believe Todd hung that photo with only one little nail. What if there’s an earthquake? Without a properly anchored screw that picture might just fall off the wall in 7 to 12 years! …oh crap, I was supposed to catch that. Damn you Todd Hewitt!!!!!!”
The only plus we see in all of this, is that finally someone has left that Rams that 101 ESPN won’t just hire to put on a 14th post-game Rams report.
via Riverfront Times