The Washington Post sparked outrage on Tuesday with the way its online article reported the death of legendary NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer, decl
The Washington Post sparked outrage on Tuesday with the way its online article reported the death of legendary NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer, declaring that his teams “wilted in the postseason.”
Schottenheimer, who was widely respected around the football community, is among the winningest coaches in NFL history. However, Jeff Bezos’ newspaper headlined his obituary, “Marty Schottenheimer, NFL coach whose teams wilted in the postseason, dies at 77.”
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The widely criticized Schottenheimer obit is a far cry from the infamous 2019 gasp-inducing Washington Post headline describing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar.”
The Schottenheimer headline caused an immediate backlash among prominent NFL reporters and personalities, who felt the headline was insensitive given Schottenheimer’s overall success.
“Show a little respect @washingtonpost. Obituary headlines aren’t the place for cheap shots,” CBS Sports reporter Will Brinson wrote.
NFL player-turned podcaster Ross Tucker wrote that the Post headline “REALLY pisses me off.”
“How about ‘Who turned around FOUR separate franchises into winners,?’” Tucker added.
“This is just a brutal decision that is completely unfair to Schottenheimer. You should absolutely be able to mention this in the obituary, but to put it in the headline and lede as if it is what defined his life and career is wrong,” Big Lead’s Stephen Douglas wrote.
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The Post eventually changed its headline to “Marty Schottenheimer, one of the NFL’s winningest coaches, dies at 77.”
“The initial headline should never have read that way, and we changed it quickly,” a Post spokesperson told Fox News.
However, the lead paragraph still called out his playoff losses as of Tuesday afternoon.
“Marty Schottenheimer, one of the winningest coaches in the National Football League whose teams found regular-season success yet often struggled in the playoffs and failed to reach the Super Bowl, died Feb. 8 at a hospice center in Charlotte. He was 77,” Post obituary writer Matt Schudel wrote.
Many others took to Twitter to condemn the Post’s initial headline:
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Schottenheimer posted a 205-139-1 career playoff and regular-season record during his time coaching the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington, and Los Angeles Chargers (then based in San Diego).
Schottenheimer compiled a 44-27 record during his time in Cleveland while suffering a few devastating playoff losses in the 1980s against the Denver Broncos and former quarterback John Elway.
He then coached the Chiefs for 10 seasons, winning 10 or more games six times but never the conference title.
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Schottenheimer spent a single season as Washington’s head coach (8-8), before taking over as the coach of the Chargers, where he earned a 47-33 record. His 2006 team, led by running back LaDainian Tomlinson, went 14-2 in his final year in San Diego.
He has the eighth-most wins as a coach in NFL history.
Schottenheimer’s son, Brian, served as Pete Carroll’s offensive coordinator for the past three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks before being fired by the team earlier this year. He was recently signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars as passing game coordinator.
Schottenheimer was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014.
Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.