Originally written on Extra Pine Tar  |  Last updated 5/16/12

Forbes released a list of the highest paid coaches in professional sports on Tuesday, and it should come as no surprise that Bill Belichick sits alone at No. 1 making close to $7.5 million per year. The next nine shouldn’t as any surprise either: Mike Shanahan, Doc Rivers, Jeff Fisher, Pete Carroll, Greg Popovich, Lovie Smith, Ken Whisenhunt, Mike Tomlin and Andy Reid.

Wait a second. What? Did somebody just say Ken Whisenhunt? The Cardinals’ Ken Whisenhunt? Hm. Of the 120-ish coaches in the four major professional sports leagues, KEN WHISENHUNT makes the eighth most of anybody? Uh, maybe I just haven’t been paying attention, but when people list the great coaches, does Ol’ Whizzy usually come up? When people think of coaches who are consistently on the hot seat, isn’t that when the Whizman’s name most often shows itself?

I mean, I guess he took his team to the Super Bowl once, but Tom Coughlin has WON two Super Bowls and he’s still getting paid less than Whisenhunt. What about a single coach in the MLB or NHL? Hell, what about the coach of the L.A Galaxy? Did Ken Whisenhunt just stare into the Cardinals’ owner’s eyes without blinking until the owner upped the offer to $5.75 million!? Was the guy drawing up the paperwork battling some vision issues, and changed a “2″ to a “5?”

Does Ken Whisenhunt even realize that he’s the eighth-highest paid coach in professional sports? Does the average sports fan even know that Ken Whisenhunt is a coach in professional sports?

Suppose that I told you that Ken Whisenhunt had been let go in the off-season. Wouldn’t you simply have shrugged and moved on with your day? Shouldn’t Ken Whisenhunt have been let go in the off-season? Maybe I’m overreacting, but if you gave me 50 guesses as to who was the 10th coach on that list, and you me the first nine, I would not ever have even thought about Ken Whisenhunt.

Essentially, I think about Ken Whisenhunt about as I think about former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Not very much.


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