So how did your day begin? Mine began with Merritt Paulson's Twitterstream, his reference to the "GW out mob" and
his mood-killing statement that "GW isn't going anywhere."
Here's why the whole saga bothers me so much, and it's only partially about football.
I'm a middle-aged guy. Did my bit as a sergeant in the Army, had a nice career as a city editor at a mid-sized metro, worked as a consultant for a while. And here's the modern tragedy I've witnessed repeatedly throughout my adult life metastaticizing into a pointless confrontation between the Timbers FO and its remarkable fan base.
Whether it was the Army or the newsroom or the corporate boardroom, the worst organizational failures I've endured were all created by executives who ingratiated themselves to their key peers and higher-ups, created an intimate alternate reality that insulated them from the world the rest of us lived in, and then presided over the inevitable destruction of whatever good existed in the team or organization. These executives were clever and tough, but their primary skill was survival.
Here's how you can spot this situation, and it almost never fails. A manager who inspires little confidence in his employees or peers, yet inexplicably rises above his portfolio. When things begin to fall apart, he dramatically insists on holding his subordinates accountable for the organization's failures, and when that leads to their departures -- either by firing or fleeing -- he makes sure to insult them publicly.
Multiple failures create multiple crises, yet always the fault lies with someone else. And always the one ally he can rely upon is his patron. His boss.
The rest doesn't require an MBA to figure out. When you're in a leadership position and the team fails, you can only blame the team when it isn't your team. Once you've got your people in place and your program is the team program, then accountability doesn't stop with your subordinates. It should end with the boss.
If the players aren't the right players and the coach isn't the right coach, then logic would dictate that we should be focused on the person who acquired the players and hired the coach. Right?
Only in these situations, it doesn't happen. Because he's insulated from reality and accountability for reasons the rest of us cannot see.
I don't hate Gavin Wilkinson. I don't have grudges. I don't approve of people harassing other people in grocery stores. I think people should be civil to each other.
I'm not a mob. I just look at the facts and conclude that John Spencer, for all his flaws, was better at his job than Wilkinson is at his. It's a conclusion that doesn't require special soccer knowledge. Wilkinson would say the same thing if the topic were anyone but himself.
Now perhaps MP is right about GW. Perhaps GW has special talents and insights and character that the rest of us don't see yet, but will in time. I certainly hope that's true.
But I don't believe it. Believing that GW is a gifted soccer administrator assumes facts not in evidence.
It's not because I'm a hater.
It's because I've seen this movie. Like most Americans workers have seen this movie.
And I really, really hate the ending.