Hitler and Manson were released from jail. They made All Dogs Go to Heaven 2. George Bush got reelected. Like it or not, we live in a world of second chances. But the rehiring of Norv Turner borders on the ridiculous. The San Diego Chargers tapped Turner to be their new head coach Monday, hoping that the third time will be the charm for the twice-fired coach with a .415 winning percentage over a nine-year career with the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders. In most jobs, failing once in the front office is enough to prevent a second ascension of the corporate ladder, but promotions just seem to keep falling into old Norv’s lap. Turner’s resume has more losses than the French army. The last time a Turner-led team finished a season above .500, Bill Clinton was in the White House. Turner’s tenure in Oakland was so miserable that people started empathizing with Randy Moss. Yet the ink from Raiders owner Al Davis’ signature had barely dried on Turner’s pink slip before Chargers team president, George Spanos, asked Turner to sign on the dotted line of a fat four-year contract. “There’s only one thing we have to do this year, and that’s get back in the playoffs,” Spanos said at a press conference announcing Turner as head man. “Just get to the postseason and win the first game is our goal.” First of all, George, that is two things by my count, but maybe I am splitting hairs. My real question for Spanos is this: Why did you pick Turner to guide the Chargers to postseason success, figuring Turner has reached the playoffs only once in nine years, when the ‘Skins were bounced in the second round in ’99? The practice of picking coaches from the trash heap is nothing new to the NFL. Three head coaches with lower winning percentages than Turner have been hired for a third go-round. Along with gaudy halftime shows and televised preseason games, the business of recycling second-hand coaches is a phenomenon unique to professional football – no other sport ascribes to this nonsensical fire-and-rehire roundabout. Dennis Erickson went 31-33 in four gloomy seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, then spent 2003 and 2004 lost in the fog of San Francisco as coach of the 49ers. Dick Jauron just wrapped up a fantastic 7-9 finish in his first season with the Buffalo Bills. Seven wins is not much, but it is saying something for a coach who lost 10 more games than he won during five seasons with the Chicago Bears in his first head coaching stint. Turner was only available to the Chargers because the Dallas Cowboys passed him over for their coaching vacancy earlier in the month. The decision of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to hire Wade Phillips, he of the pedestrian 48-42 record, looks like a no-brainer when compared to Turner, who was rumored to be Jones’ second choice. But Phillips, the son of Houston Oilers coaching legend Bum, is also making his third attempt to keep a steady hand at the helm of an NFL franchise. Phillips steered the Denver Broncos to a 16-16 record over two seasons, but could not rein in his players. He was sacked as a result in 1994. The Bills gave him a chance for redemption in 1998, and Phillips led Buffalo to the playoffs his first two years in upstate New York. But Phillips sabotaged both postseason excursions by inexplicably benching fan favorite Doug Flutie, a move that made him about as popular in Buffalo as Bermuda shorts. Phillips’ cowboy boots did not kick it in the Rockies or on the shores of Lake Eerie, but surely his aw-shucks demeanor will endear him to his native Lone Star State. But somehow, I do not see T.O and Phillips two-stepping together. After all, saying this is Phillips’ third crack at head coaching does not even count the times he was passed over by the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons after serving as interim coach. Jones teared up twice while introducing Phillips as head coach on Feb. 8, one breakdown for each memory of Phillips’ past failures. No need to cry Jimmy, it is not like you hired Dave Wannstedt. Wannstedt has more lives than a cat named Rasputin. As coach of the Chicago Bears, Wannstedt posted a dreadful 41-57 record, experimenting with cadaverous quarterbacks such as Moses oreno, Steve Senstrom and Cade McNown. Wannstedt was blown out of the Windy City in ’98 after `da Bears posted consecutive 4-12 campaigns, but drifted south like an aimless tumbleweed to Miami where Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga took him in. Wannstedt’s stay on South Beach was a seminar on what not to do as coach. In one game against the Indianapolis Colts, Wannstedt handed the ball to running back Lamar Smith an inconceivable 40 times, leaving Smith unable to rise from bed the following day. Having run Smith into the ground, Wannstedt traded away two first-round draft picks to acquire a perma-stoned, washed-up Ricky Williams. Huizenga issued an ultimatum in 2003 stating that if the ‘Fins failed to make the postseason, Wannstedt would be out of Miami faster than Elian Gonzalez. Wannstedt proceeded to fiddle while Williams burned one down, but somehow kept his job even though the team spent the playoffs at home. Finally, in the midst of a season in which his Dolphins had tallied more arrests than victories, Wannstedt resigned in late 2004 in disgrace. A little over a month later, Wannstedt rose again, this time to lead his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh. Two disappointing seasons later, Wannstedt again finds himself on the coaching hot seat. My guess is that after he loses a few more games to inferior competition, and a couple more of his players get thrown in the slammer, Wannstedt will have worn out his welcome once again. It will be perfect timing for Wannstedt to fill the vacancy in San Diego after his good friend Turner gets canned by the Chargers in a few years. Which will free Turner to return to Dallas, where he was once offensive coordinator, to replace Phillips, who will . Forgive me, I’ve gone cross-eyed.

Harlan Goode is a junior in the College and the features editor of THE HOYA. He can be reached at goodethehoya.com.

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