Since LeBron James finally won a ring, I believe a major storyline in sports has been lost. So, I want to assess who now takes Lebron's place in the "you need to win a title to validate your career" category -- both players and coaches.
Here are some candidates from the NBA and NFL.
- Derrick Rose
|Photo by: Gary Dineen|
First of all, he's admitted that he isn't a happy person playing in Chicago where his life is so isolated, and second -- he can't win a title by himself. The Bulls always have a good record, but it's deceiving.
They could win a championship like the Pistons did a few years back, but this team is definitely not setup to contend annually for the title. However, that still doesn't keep the fire out from under D-Rose. He needs to show next year that he is just as good as Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook, or else people will look poorly upon his leadership skills and his ability to be consistent.
- Erik Spoelstra
You have to be thinking, how can Erik Spoelstra be on the hot seat when he just won the title? Well, let me start by saying that nobody is giving Spoelstra a lot of credit for that championship. They just assume that anyone could win it with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh in their starting five. The fact that the Heat struggled at times in the playoffs doesn't exactly reflect well on Spoelstra.
If he can have this team just as hungry to win a title next year, then I think he will finally be given some credit for coaching a team full of superstars. However, if the Heat struggle and pull a Dallas Mavericks in the postseason, then I think Spoelstra will be blamed for not having them prepared, which will only validate what his critics think to begin with -- that he's not a very good coach.
He's in an unfair position, but I don't think it's debatable that winning a title hasn't given him that job for life at all.
- Tony Romo
- Tony Romo
I put Romo on this list because ever since he became the Cowboys starting QB, he's basically been surrounded by talent, yet they still underachieve. Every season, the Cowboys appear to have a team that can contend for the Superbowl -- but they don't.
With the label of "America's Team," it's time for Romo to actually take the Cowboys to the promise land, or else he could be in danger of becoming the next Donovan McNabb.
Romo has also been criticized in the past for perhaps concerning himself with women and golf more than football. Therefore, the fire is officially burning under Romo's seat now. WIN A TITLE!!!
- Rex Ryan
I believe this year will be Rex Ryan's last chance to prove he is the coach the Jets want to be the face of their organization for the foreseeable future.
Ryan's over-the-top persona was all well and dandy when the Jets were actually winning, but after failing to make the playoffs last season, Ryan better get it done this year or at least make it to the playoffs with a good record.
Something tells me though, bringing in Tim Tebow, the most polarizing player in sports today -- was probably not the best idea for avoiding distractions and keeping a cohesive locker room with its mind completely on winning. ESPN will single-handedly cost the Jets a game or two just because of how annoying they will be about Tebow.
In fact, I personally guarantee a Bart Scott blowup at some point.