If ever the saying of “you are hired to be fired” ever applied to any job, it is the General Managers and Coaches of all professional sports teams. Typically these firings are associated to poor win-loss records. The GM and/or Coach are fired because the business of sport is result orientated and they simply were not producing the desired results. Enter the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.
The only losing season on GM Ed Hervey’s resume was his first season in 2013. A year in which he traded for the then third string quarterback of the BC Lions Mike Reilly and watched him cut his teeth as a starter. In 2014, Hervey hired his first coach in Chris Jones and the Eskimos were back in the playoffs. In 2015, the Eskimos won the Grey Cup. So what prompted the abrupt firing of the GM who was delivering a winning product on the field?
Here’s what former Eskimos star Sean Fleming (username wad) posted in esksfans.com:
Let’s be clear, this move was strictly all about Rhodes’ ego and the negotiations to extend Ed’s contract which were initiated by the organization.
- Ed was looking to be paid market rate for GMs in the league, which is a reasonable ask, given his success and how he handled the staff exodus last season. Rhodes took issue with that since it would mean Ed would be making more than Rhodes, a point he raised with Ed.
- Ed was looking for a bump up in title to President of Football Operations. That didn’t sit well with Rhodes.
- Rhodes didn’t like the fact that Terry Jones was publically calling Rhodes weak by stating that football ops was running the show in Edmonton and across the league.
In the meantime, attendance continues to drop under Rhodes’ leadership on the business side. This coming from a guy who brought you the concert series with Vanilla Ice as a way to increase attendance. To blame that on Ed when he is putting a winning product on the field is an attempt to pass the buck.
All the rest of the excuses Rhodes is trying to peddle is just an attempt to backfill. Why enter into negotiations to extend if you have been looking to replace him since January? A total contradiction.
Len Rhodes, the team President, looks very petty if you go on just the above statements about him. Of course there are always two sides to every coin. The other side to the argument of the sudden firing of Hervey is his callous attitude toward the media.
Hervey not likely fired for his football ops record. I bet his successor opens the Eskimo locker room to media, reconnects with fans
— Chris Cuthbert (@CCtsn) April 7, 2021
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) April 7, 2021
It is easy to find media pundits in the CFL who loudly complain about Hervey’s decision to close the dressing room to the media.The Eskimos now former GM is infamously known for pulling the plug on the TSN force-fed idea of live mics on the coach during the game moments before their game was going to be televised. Now TSN is the television home of the CFL and together with the league are always working on making the league more viewer friendly. To this point, the TV station and the league are doing everything short of becoming the XFL part two in terms of constantly have microphones shoved in the faces of the players.
There is a rumour that Hervey was fired because he was refusing to grant further access to the locker room. More-so there are rumours that Hervey was not willing to follow league mandated rules about team accessibility. Okay, that is insubordination and grounds to be fired.
The question being asked by many though is simple, what the hell does accessibility to players and the willingness to bow down to television producers have to do with winning football games?
You know, the job he was originally hired to do!