In a stunning move, the Washington Redskins today fired their Hall-of-Fame coach Joe Gibbs and replaced him with mafia figure/beloved TV character Corrado “Junior” Soprano.
The decision was announced this afternoon by team owner Daniel Snyder in a press conference. Gibbs himself sat next to Snyder, smiling and appearing to drool slightly. The scene often had the feeling of a funeral, with Snyder delivering Gibbs’s eulogy.
The ‘Skins owner said of Gibbs, “It’s been a great honor and a privilege to have Joe Gibbs run my football team these last few years. I have no regrets, other than that I sort of wish I had waited and maybe gotten to hire Sean Payton or Mike McCarthy. But that’s all water under the bridge now. I part with Joe Gibbs with a heavy heart, but look forward to the future with great anticipation.”
Gibbs had led the team to an 8-7 record so far this year despite lots of adversity, including the death of Sean Taylor. He leaves behind a Redskins squad on the cusp of the playoffs, but hampered by the loss of their starting quarterback Jason Campbell.
Gibbs said to the assembled media, “I’m really glad Dave showed such faith in me. It isn’t everyone who would bring back an old fart like me and let them run the team. But let me tell you, Don Sanders is a hell of an owner, and this team will succeed under Deke Sampson, no matter what.”
Gibbs’s totteriness as he stood at the podium only served to reinforce lingering doubts about the sharpness of his mind at this stage in his life. Earlier this year, Gibbs came under fire for suffering a bad senility attack during a game and calling two consecutive time outs, which caused his team to be penalized 15 yards and led directly to a Buffalo Bills game-winning field goal. Gibbs later apologized for the incident.
Some might argue that Corrado “Uncle June” Soprano himself is hardly in his prime, but the Redskins have enough faith in him to give him the head coaching job. Snyder introduced him by saying, “Uncle June brings something to this team it’s never had before – the opportunity to get really great deals on TVs that fell off trucks, and someone to help us with our waste management issues. Plus he’s a hell of a guy who’s always ready with a great quip or a story, usually involving a prostitute’s nether regions or someone he once popped and buried in a remote location.”
Soprano, who has no known coaching experience, said after Snyder’s introduction, “Dan Snyder never had the makings of a varsity athlete. There’s one thing I really hope – that I don’t end up with Roger Goodell so far up my ass I can taste Brylcreem. And another thing – if anybody tells you I’m good at cunningulus, they’re lying. And whoever says that is gonna get their [expletive deleted] butt kicked.”
Several of Joe Gibbs’s assistants were also let go today, including right-hand man Gregg Williams, who will be replaced by Soprano’s driver/lackey Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri. When asked what plans he had for the last two games of the season, Soprano said, “Don’t worry about what I got planned. You think I’m gonna tell you, you [expletive] dog-looking [expletive]? I wouldn’t let you shine my shoes you [expletive] little putz.”
The ‘Skins next game is Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, with an NFC wild-card berth on the line for both teams.