Did Mr. Blackwell Get Mike Nolan Fired?

Justin October 21, 2008 2

There should seemingly be no connection between the death of a bitchy fashion icon from the olden days and the firing of a middling professional football coach whose team did not live up to their over-hyped expectations. 

And yet, follow me as I present evidence to the contrary.

In this Oct. 19, 2006 file photo, acid-tonged fashion critic Mr. Blackwell, 

Richard “Mr.” Blackwell passed away at a Los Angeles Hospital Sunday. He was a sub-par fashion designer who, nonetheless, became famous, due to his famous worst dressed list. Starting in 1960, he released a yearly register of Hollywood fashion disasters, skewering everyone from Zsa Zsa Gabor to Britney Spears.

Mike Nolan coached the 49ers for 3 and a half seasons. He took over a team in turmoil, and essentially, kept them there.  He was saddled with high expectations, which in hindsight, probably weren’t deserved. Alex Smith is a bust, and probably will go down as one of the worst #1 picks of all time. The defense was supposed to be up and coming. They are not. Nolan coached a team with one standout player, Frank Gore, and lost much more than he won.  In fact, the most noteworthy thing he ever did was wear a suit on the sideline, to honor the memory of his father, who also once coached the Niners.

You may remember that controversy. The NFL originally refused to grant permission for a suit, since it has a contract with Reebok which requires all coaches to dress like 9 year olds waiting for the school bus, in puffy team jackets and dopey hats. But Nolan worked out a deal. Reebok designed an ill-fitting suit for him to wear, thus fulfilling everyone’s needs and wants.

He was clearly the only NFL coach that Mr. Blackwell would ever approve of. Well, Blackwell is gone and, now, so is Nolan. Coincidence? I think not. 

Well, maybe it is.

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