Misery loves company. The Colorado Rockies and CU Buffaloes football team, both delivering the worst seasons in team history which were driven by the same problems -- a lack of vision and strategy at the top levels in the organization. And both leaving those responsible in charge for another year.
The Colorado Rockies hired an inexpensive stretch candidate in Walt Weiss for 2013, hoping that his solid character combined with major league playing experience will suffice while he learns the ropes as a big league manager. As many have noted, no one with experience as a big league manager would have taken the position under the organizational conditions that exist. The elephant in the room, of course, is the inability of General Manager Dan O’Dowd to successfully manage personnel decisions and Bill Geivett remaining as a “co-manager” despite having no major league managerial experience. So, the Rockies are continuing to try to make a flawed system run by an unsuccessful executive work by simply swapping out the manager. As Einstein famously noted, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
In contrast, the Colorado Buffaloes have hired an experienced football head coach and have committed to significant change in their approach to their program. Athletic Director Mike Bohn, who directed the hiring of two unsuccessful field generals, has given head coach Mike MacIntyre the resources needed to raise the program and compete at the top levels of the Pac 12. In other words, CU realized that bargain shopping for head coaches and cutting corners wouldn’t work and they made meaningful changes.
CU President Bruce Benson and Rockies owner Dick Monfort are both businessmen and both pay attention to the bottom line. That is where the similarity ends. Benson knows the importance of a winning football program to the long-term fiscal success of the university and he has committed to supporting an investment to make a turnaround possible. Monfort refuses to acknowledge that O’Dowd has failed as general manager and treats the Rockies franchise as a cash cow instead of an investment to be built and managed.
The fine line between winning and losing often comes down to a vision for the future and a commitment to it. CU football has set a direction and is taking actions to support it. As far as the Rockies go, well, a song title probably sums it up best. “We don’t know where we’re going but we’re making good time.” The Rockies are not far from being competitive but without committing to changes to make it a reality, another long season may be in the offing.