On Tuesday, news broke that longtime NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer had passed away at age 77. Following the sad news, NFL fans caught wind of an insensitive Washington Post headline and bombarded social media with complaints about the newspaper’s poor choice of words.
Schottenheimer spent 30 years in the NFL as a linebackers coach, defensive coordinator, and head coach. He spent 10 seasons as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs from 1989-1998. In addition, he was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, and San Diego Chargers.
In fact, Schottenheimer is one of the winningest head coaches in NFL history. His 200-126-1 career record ranks eighth in all-time wins. Additionally, the head coach is remembered for multiple heartbreaking playoff losses. His career is marked by consistent regular-season success and postseason struggles. In fact, he won only five out of his team’s 18 postseason appearances, and never advanced past the conference championship.
However, Schottenheimer’s failure to win in the playoffs does not define his NFL legacy. For some inexplicable reason, the Washington Post chose to focus on his postseason struggles in a distasteful headline announcing the coach’s death.
“Marty Schottenheimer, NFL coach whose teams wilted in the postseason, dies at 77,” the newspaper’s insensitive headline reads.
The media source faced immediate backlash over their seemingly disrespectful headline. Even though they eventually changed the headline, the damage had already been done. NFL fans quickly called out the Washington Post for their poor choice of words.
As CBS Sports’ Will Brinson pointed out, “Obituary headlines aren’t the place for cheap shots.”
Marty Schottenheimer, Longtime NFL Head Coach, Dies at 77
Numerous news outlets reported that longtime NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer passed away late Monday evening in Charlotte, NC.
Since 2014, the 77-year-old former player, assistant coach, and head coach has suffered from Alzheimer’s. On Jan. 30, Schottenheimer was placed in the care of hospice after years of battling the disease. His family confirmed his passing through former Kansas City Chiefs publicist Bob Moore.
ESPN‘s NFL Insider Chris Mortensen shared further details on Schottenheimer’s death Tuesday morning. He said the head coach “peacefully passed away with family at his side.”
Mortensen also said that his family is holding a private service. A memorial service to celebrate his life will occur at a later date. The NFL Insider concluded by saying that the family will share a full obituary in the coming days. His family will encourage donations in Marty Schottenheimer’s name, which can be made to a list of his favorite charities.