(KMOV)-- Steve Spagnuolo's firing of longtime equipment manager Todd Hewitt has made a lot of fans, media members, and former players and coaches angry. Hewitt was very well respected around St. Louis and around the NFL.
He'd been working with the franchise, in some capacity, since he was 11 years old. To be fired by Spagnuolo in such a cold, impersonal and mean spirited way has become a story that won't go away. The internet message boards and chat rooms, and sports talk radio shows have been busy discussing the story and wondering why Spagnuolo... just days after one of the worst coaching performances in recent memory... would fire his equipment manager with no explanation what so ever. He gave Hewitt no reason for his firing, and told him he'd have to gather his belongings and leave immediately.
Whatever happened to Spagnuolo's 4 pillars, one of which was "character"? The coach can no longer claim to follow the pillars himself with such a classless and clueless move. Marshall Faulk, Jack Youngblood and Dick Vermeil are among the former Rams players and coaches who have condemned the move and expressed their anger over Hewitt's firing. I sense that this is really the first time in the two years Spagnuolo's been in St. Louis, that he may be losing the local media.
That's a serious thing. How the local media covers a team and its coach goes a long way toward influencing public opinion, and opinion on this issue seems to be overwhelmingly against Spagnuolo. The firing of Todd Hewitt, a lifelong and dedicated employee of the Rams, reminds me of some of the moves Mike Keenan made as head coach of the Blues in the 1990's. He demanded the Blues organization and their fans "accept change". That might work, at least in the short term, if the team wins and wins big. It doesn't work at all if the team is struggling. A unpopular coach with a poor record won't stay employed very long. Spagnuolo is 8-and-24 in two years with the Rams.