Gunther Cunningham Punts His Playbook



I miss former Chiefs head coach/defensive coordinator Gunther “Gun” Cunningham.

I miss him for his wonky-looking, yellow glasses.

I miss that he’d blitz on every single play even though his blitzes stopped working when Derrick Thomas died.

I miss his snarling, swearing, sideline tirades.

Hell, the Chiefs are so bad, I even miss watching Gun freak out while standing next to Herm Edwards while the head coach made his “I’m really constipated but ima try to squeeze this thing out right here and now, on the sideline, into my khaki pants” face. Anything is better than Romeo Crennel, who would make the same face if the Chiefs scored a touchdown or if Von Miller hit Brady Quinn so hard that his head fall off his neck and rolled between Crennel’s legs.

But I especially miss Gun because of his unpredictability.

Yesterday, Gun delivered another gem, this time as the defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions. IF you saw the game, and I hope you did because it was extremely entertaining, the Lions got super-kicked in the junk by the NFL on a particular play. Basically, Texans running back Justin Forsett got tackled at his own 19-yardline but he kind of spun around, popped back up and continued running all the way to the endzone. The refs never blew the whistle and awarded the Texans six points.

No big deal, right? All scoring plays are reviewed and this one is going to get turned around in just a minute.

The problem is, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz flipped out because Forsett’s was clearly down, seeing as he used both his knee and his elbow to push himself back onto his feet to continue running. In his rage that the whistle was never blown declaring Forsett down, Schwartz threw his challenge flag onto the field.

No big deal, right? Just a redundancy. The play will be reviewed automatically.

Not so fast.

A coach throwing a challenge flag when he isn’t supposed to is a 15-yard penalty. Not only that, but if a team commits any penalty on a play that is supposed to be automatically reviewed, before the review process can begin, the review process can no longer take place.

And so despite that fact that everyone, including the entire stadium full of Lions fans, the audience watching at home and even Derrick Thomas, from the beyond, knew that Forsett was down, the officials allowed the TD to stand.

And so from our old pal Gunther, we get this gem: