Every weekend, I watch football on my television and see the same thing: grown adult men who are paid lots of money to coach football teams, with their hands on their knees, squinting. They cannot see. They must strain their little eyes, squint them together, just to make out what is happening. Is this because it is bright? Sometimes. Is it because it is raining? Sometimes. Is it because they need prescription eyeglasses and will not go to the doctor? Maybe. Are all of these problems solvable with a pair of prescription sunglasses and a hat? They sure fuckin’ are!
And yet every week, the coaches on my television choose to forego this easy solution. They must—whether from a personal stance against seeing or pure ignorance, I cannot know—decide each week to live in pain and uncertainty, to squint out at whatever is happening on the field and try to do their job.
Of course not all NFL coaches do this. John Harbaugh (Ravens), Vic Fangio (Broncos), David Culley (Texans), Frank Reich (Colts), Andy Reid (Chiefs), Mike Zimmer (Vikings), Bruce Arians (Buccaneers), and Ron Rivera (Football Team) all wear glasses and do not squint. We at Defector salute these men for being normal enough to do the absolute bare minimum necessary for them to be able to perceive things visually.
A few coaches do not wear glasses, but often wear hats, sunglasses, or perhaps contacts, so they can see. So we know there is no RULE against seeing for NFL head coaches. So why are so many coaches simply choosing to squint into the harsh sunlight, unable to see their team on the field. Let’s take a look at a few, shall we? All of these were found on the first page of the newest photos of these coaches’ Getty Images results, so it’s not like I had to search hard.
Here is Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, apparently trying to make out what is written on a normal-sized blackboard located three miles away.
Here is Matt Rhule, head coach of the Carolina Panthers, trying to make out if that’s a hawk flying over his team’s game against the Saints or just a small plane.
Here is Zac Taylor, head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, preparing to compete in a postgame Kyle Chandler Impersonator contest.
Here is Matt LaFleur, head coach of the Green Bay Packers, thinking hard about adding another layer to his look.
Here is Urban Meyer, head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, thinking about Character and Leadership.
Jon Gruden, head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, sometimes wears glasses, so I know he needs them. But then other times, he does not, and he squints so hard it changes the entire shape of his head. He squints so hard that his haircut looks different.
Brandon Staley, head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers on the right, has a hat, so perhaps he just has sensitive eyes and needs sunglasses too.
Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, absolutely cannot see. He is always squinting! He likes it that way, though.
Sean Payton, head coach of the New Orleans Saints, believes that the strength gains made as a result of his Crossfit training have corrected his eyesight.
Robert Saleh, head coach of the New York Jets, may be able to see. Saleh has such magnificent brow expressions that this may be a look of disgust and not a squint. I’m inclined to give him a pass.
Nick Sirianni, head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, has on a visor to shade his eyes and is STILL SQUINTING. Maybe add more pens to the visor to obscure the sun more effectively?
Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, literally has glasses on and can’t see! Pete, go to the optometrist!
Mike Vrabel, head coach of the Tennessee Titans, can see when he wears his sunglasses. But sometimes he doesn’t wear them.
Critical support and thoughts and prayers to all the squinty boys. I hope you find some prescription sunglasses soon!