Wade Phillips, coaching records and not labeling tweets

I returned home today from a long afternoon of traversing Indianapolis to find a place to get an oil change and a car wash (the latter impossible in our post-snow storm world) to find I had accidentally started a media storm in Dallas.

Two days ago (March 5) I had been in my sports writing class at IUPUI, taught by Ronnie Ramos, the sports director at the Indianapolis Star. At the end of class Ronnie asked us which NFL head coach we wished we could write an in-depth profile on. My knee jerk reaction was Bill Belichick of the Patriots, because as I said in class, “He’s a mystery wrapped inside an enigma.”

But then I drifted to my cherished Dallas Cowboys, who are coached by Jason Garrett. I would want to write about the kind of personality it takes to be a coach for Jerry Jones  the Cowboys.

I quickly navigated the Internet to look a list of all of the coaches who have graced the Dallas sideline, from Tom Landry to Garrett, who succeeded Wade Phillips halfway through the 2010 season.

Since then Garrett has coached the Cowboys for 56 games, the same amount as Phillips, who was fired after a blow out loss to Green Bay on November 7 of that season. I was sort of surprised to see that Phillips has a better record through 56 games than Garrett had, though that was helped by the Cowboy’s 13 – 3 season in 2007.

I waited until just after noon Thursday to tweet this fact to my 443 followers, not expecting much in return.

I followed that up by saying if Garrett wasn’t fired during the 2014 season, he would become the third longest tenured head coach for the Cowboys behind Landry and Jimmie Johnson.

After that I forgot about it.

Then 24 hours after the initial tweet, I returned home, with a fresh oil change in a still dirty car.

Scrolling through my Facebook feed I noticed this article by ESPNDallas reporter Todd Archer. I read through it and saw the embedded tweets from Wade Phillips. My first reaction: “Wade Phillips is on Twitter?”

But then I realized what I was looking at with Phillips’s first tweet:

With the exception of the added on hashtag, the tweet was verbatim what I had posted four hours earlier that day, right down to the lack of a space between the hyphen and the number 27.

I was shocked and amused at the same time. Curious, I Googled  Phillips and was presented with these headlines:

NBCSports.com: “Wade Phillips: My record was better than Jason Garrett’s
CBSSports.com: “Wade Phillips throws shade at Cowboys, Jason Garrett on Twitter
NESN: “Wade Phillips Trolls Cowboys, Jason Garrett In Tweet Boasting Record

There were many more.

The general consensus seemed to be that Phillips was passive aggressively calling Garrett out and the Cowboys for their lack of success since his firing.

Archer’s article, with the headline “With tweet, Wade Phillips lacked context” was right on two counts.

I don’t believe Phillips up and decide to compare his coaching record to Garrett’s and make a big deal about it to his followers. Phillips might just have a slight Twitter ego, one that leads him or a friend to see what people are saying about him on social media.

He saw my tweet and for whatever reason decided to pass it off as his own interesting nugget, without retweeting it.

A lack of social media protocol was the only questionable action that took place Thursday.


About Daniel McFadin

NASCAR writer for NBCSports.com. Former Sporting News intern. Graduated from IUPUI in Indianapolis with a master in sports journalism in 2014 and from Arkansas State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. Originally from Lewisville, Texas, now in Fort Worth. Ask me if I like Star Wars. I dare you.
This entry was posted in Dallas Cowboys, Football, Journalism, Media, NFL, Sports and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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