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Washington Post Obituary Takes Unnecessary Shots at Marty Schottenheimer

By Stephen Douglas
Marty Schottenheimer with the Chiefs.
Marty Schottenheimer with the Chiefs. / Focus On Sport/Getty Images
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Marty Schottenheimer, the NFL coaching legend, died on Monday after several years with Alzheimer's disease. He was 77 years old.

That is the lede of an obituary that Schottenheimer deserves. The Washington Post decided to highlight his lack of postseason success in both their original headline and lede.

Here's the original lede:

"Marty Schottenheimer, one of the winningest coaches in the National Football League who never found success in the playoffs and failed to lead any of his teams to the Super Bowl, died Feb. 8 at a hospice center in Charlotte."

It has since been softened to say Schottenheimer's teams "found regular-season success yet often struggled in the playoffs and failed to reach the Super Bowl," The headline has been changed to call him "one of the NFL's winningest coaches." The original URL remains.

"obituaries/marty-schottenheimer-nfl-coach-whose-teams-wilted-in-the-postseason-dies"

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.

Schottenheimer won 200 games, the seventh most in NFL history. Mike Tomlin is closest among active coaches with 145 wins. Schottenheimer only coached three losing teams in 21 seasons in the NFL. The 2003 Chargers went 4-12 (they went 12-4 the next season), the '98 Chiefs went 7-9 and the '84 Browns went 5-11 (they were 4-4 under Schottenheimer). His coaching tree is also quite impressive. His son Brian Schottenheimer is a coach for the Jaguars.

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