ESPN – Sometimes there’s no time for a 911 call. Sometimes a guy’s got to put on his hard hat and go wrangle some carjackers.
Don’t ever mistake Saints linebackers coach Joe Vitt for Jets All-Pro center Nick Mangold. The latter, if you’ll remember, helped police put away a New Jersey gang of car-thieving whippersnappers this summer after hearing his car being broken into. Mangold took the practical approach. He called 911 and reported the crime to police. Mangold, some might say, took the hands-off route.
Well, folks, Coach Joe Vitt is no hands-off kind of guy. Coach Joe Vitt does not pawn his problems off on the less capable.
“Why waste taxpayer money involving the ‘professionals?’ I only know one 37-year Pro in this neighborhood,” Coach Joe Vitt said to himself as he peered out of his kitchen windows at 4a.m. on Saturday, probably.
Coach Vitt has grinded out 37 years in The League. Coach Vitt led New Orleans through the witch hunt that was BountyGate. Coach Vitt guided his men away from the tyrannical grasp of Commissioner Goodell. A couple carjackers are Swiss cheese compared to Rog. Coach Joe Vitt can handle a few “shadowy figures” running across his front lawn.
Until he can’t.
Sure, Coach Vitt ended up face down on the pavement after a “short foot race.” Sure, Coach Vitt broke a wrist and tore an Achilles while giving chase to a couple criminals that are probably both forty years his junior. Sure, Coach Vitt didn’t “catch” the car thieves. But you know what? There are plenty of Nick Mangolds out there to “catch” the criminals. Plenty of Millenials out there to take the safe approach.
Go ahead, call Mangold a “hero” all you want. You know who I call a hero? The man’s man. The guy who wanted to give those Nawlins ruffians a taste of his knuckle sandwich. My hero is the 61 year-old man face down in the street in his underwear with a blown Achilles and broken wrist who picks himself up, packs his lunch, and doesn’t miss a day of work.
I’ll call that guy my Hero. And I’ll call him Coach Joe Vitt.