When Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo fired longtime equipment manager Todd Hewitt after the season, he apparently wasn’t teaching a how-to-create-good-PR course at the local college. Hewitt, after all, had been working with the Rams since he was 10 years old (and had taken a fulltime job in 1978, serving under 10 head coaches), and his father, Don Hewitt was the long-time equipment manager before him, beginning his reign in 1967.
But Spagnuolo said he wanted to go in a different direction – a different direction with the equipment manager? Seriously? – and apparently, the two never much liked each other. And so, Hewitt is out.
Hewitt sat down with the Riverfront Times to discuss the latest happenings.
From the article:
It was a firing, pure and simple. No explanation. No negotiation. Not even a deftly crafted message by the team's spokesman along the lines of "Todd has decided he wants to spend more time with his family." The conversation lasted three minutes. Hewitt had until the end of the day to clear out his office; his request to do so over the weekend was denied. With the wind knocked out of him, Hewitt called his wife, who woke his three sons; they arrived at the complex in a moving truck. A security guard stood watch to make sure Hewitt didn't depart with anything that didn't belong to him.
In just one morning it had come to this: The man who'd spent more years with the Rams than anyone else since the '70s - who joined the organizational family in 1967 as a ten-year-old ball boy, who screwed the face masks onto the helmets of Jack Youngblood, Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk, who in 1997 earned the NFL's Equipment Manager of the Year Award, who helped usher the team into a new city, fourteen playoff appearances and three Super Bowls – was consigned to shuttling boxes into a moving truck in the freezing cold, as the clock ticked and a security guard stood watch. …
Over their two years together, the relationship between head coach and equipment manager had grown frosty. To hear Hewitt tell it, Spagnuolo brought a militaristic dysfunction to the locker room. He criticized the way Hewitt distributed socks. He questioned the way he hung wall fixtures. He scoffed at him for loading the team plane too slowly. He warned him never to talk back to him. By the second year, Hewitt couldn't assign a number to a new player without checking upstairs first. "He made life miserable," Hewitt sums up.
Hewitt also pointed out that he hoped the Rams lose every game until Spagnuolo is no longer in charge.
I’m sure Spagnuolo has his side to the story, but the team isn’t commenting any further than, “We have decided not to retain Todd Hewitt and (assistant strength coach) Chuck Faucette going forward in 2011. We appreciate their efforts in the past and wish them well in the future."
In the end, to 90 percent of Rams fans, this firing will probably have no impact on their love for the team. But still, it leaves you with questions about Spagnuolo, doesn’t it? About his compassion, about his people skills and about the way he handles his locker room. Simply put, this doesn't look good.
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