Yesterday Tony Dungy informed us all that he will be back to coach the Colts for the 2008 season. We will have at least one more year of the dependable Dungy leading our Colts on the sideline. One more year of that stoic, steadfast voice of calm and determination. Dungy will be the one to lead us into a new era in Colts football: Lucas Oil Stadium. Everyone in Colts Nation was more than happy to hear this news.
I too was excited when I heard, and it almost made me forget about how depressed I was at the way the Colts finished this season. Then I read Bob Kravitz's article in today's IndyStar and he brought up quite an interesting topic.
The following quote is from Bob Kravitz, and it's quite a statement to make here in the heart of Colts-land:
I think that by returning to the Colts, and doing so after his entire family moved out of Indianapolis and back to Tampa, Fla., for reasons he prefers remain private, Dungy has revealed himself as something of a hypocrite.
To Kravitz's credit, he profusely denies having any right to make this claim, but makes it nonetheless. At first my mind started racing, thinking of how ridiculous Kravitz is, and how idiotic it is to call Dungy a hypocrite. I mean, we're talking Tony Dungy here. He has more integrity than the entire Patriot organization put together. How could he possibly be a hypocrite?
Well, Kravitz goes on to describe how Dungy has been such an advocate of putting family and faith above career goals. So at second glance, it does seem a bit contradictory to preach putting your family first, when you've agreed to live hundreds of miles away from your family, just to coach at least one more year of football.
Now Kravitz also says, and I wholeheartedly agree, that this was a personal decision that was made with the approval of his family and really, it's not our business to question what they've decided to do. We don't know all the circumstances, and maybe Dungy will be flying home every night at the expense of Mr. Irsay. But I can see where this might be a bit detrimental to his image as a "family-first" kind of a guy.
Personally, I have to believe Dungy has put his family first and always will. I just don't think he's the kind of person who would make this choice if he thought it was in any way compromising his relationship with his family. But I also think it is a bad example he is setting for those who have looked up to him as a man who can be so successful at his career and yet not short-change his family life.
He may very well be putting his family first while coaching from a different state, it's just that he may be the only man on the planet who can do it this way. Now many men (especially football players) may look at this and think, "Well, if Dungy can do it, I can too." The problem is that they probably can't.
Anyways, I just thought it was an interesting point to make, and I wonder how much of an effect this might have on his coaching. At face value, it sure seems that if his family is really moving to Tampa, then he has made a definite choice of career over family. It's just hard to see it any other way. And that just seems so contradictory to what Dungy stands for. And that makes me wonder if he'll be any different of a coach next year, if he doesn't have his family to go home to at night. I don't know. Like Kravitz said, "I am uncomfortable."
Then again, we're talking about Tony Dungy. I mean, come on. At any rate, GO COLTS!