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In Praise of David Culley

Wherein I sincerely and unironically say nice things about David Culley and how we should be more like him.

Los Angeles Rams v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

When you’re a fan of a 1-8 team, you are forced to look for literally ANY LITTLE THING to grab onto about the Texans that you can enjoy. Some people watch the Texans ironically waiting to see what madcap antics they will perform this week. Some people watch the development of young players. Some watch because bad football is still better than no football at all. And some watch in the hope that we get the top overall pick in the draft.

I’m guilty of at least two of those. But, friends, I have found something to love about this team unironically. It’s not much, it’s not even really related to watching the team on the field. Would you like to know what that is? It’s Texans head coach David Culley.

No, wait! Don’t walk away! Let me explain first! Whew, thank you. It might be hard to believe but I unironically love David Culley. Is he a good football coach? Absolutely not. The 1-8 record and sub-expansion team scoring levels kind of put paid to that idea. Is it because he’s some kind of local hero who does good works in his community and is beloved by the people? I have absolutely no idea. He could be the next Gandhi for all I know but that’s not why I love him.

No, I love him because he has what I consider the ideal work ethic. I’m not saying he’s lazy or anything like that, far from it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my many years of trying work as little as possible is that it takes great planning and work to keep from working. I’m saying he’s figured out how to work consistently for over 40 years while also not putting too much undue stress on himself like other coaches would who were in his position. That’s beautiful. That’s the real American dream.

What makes me say this?

First, let’s consider his work history.

He’s had 13 stops on his journey before becoming Texans head coach:

Now you might look at that resume and think this is the resume of a coach who is bad at their job and unqualified to be a head coach at any level. I wholeheartedly disagree. Just look at all those lateral coaching moves. That is the resume of a football coach who is comfortable with who he is, what he does, and doesn’t feel the need to pile on with a bunch of meaningless awards and promotions.

Traditionally, football coaching jobs are held by angry neck-throbby men whose fathers never told them they loved them enough as a child. For David Culley, life is good because his job as a football coach is relatively low stress. Who would want to pass up the opportunity to work in a field you love without driving yourself to steroid-induced insanity Would you want to stay up until 3 am watching tape of the nose-picking habits of your next opponent’s secondary, eating bad Chinese food and hate, in the pursuit of upward mobility? No, that’s what sociopaths do. That’s not the easygoing life, and that is not the life, I suspect, of one David Culley.

Case in point, take a look at this interview that Culley gave on Tuesday.

And here:

That, my friend, is someone who takes his job seriously but not TOO seriously. It also makes me want to hear him do movie reviews during the week. I want to hear David Culley’s movie review podcast do an episode on Venom: Let There Be Carnage, an objectively perfect film. He can call it “Grampod Goes To The Movies.”

This, of course, asks the question, “if he’s so easy going and wants a stress free existence as a football coach, why would he ever take a head coaching position?”

Because the Houston Texans’ job is so loosely a head coaching position that there’s nothing really at stake for him. Think about it, if something happened to, say, Andy Reid or Mike Tomlin or Bill Belichick, the coach they hire to replace any of those guys is going to be expected to win and win immediately. They expect him to know what he’s doing, have a plan for how to achieve it, and put that plan into action successfully. The Houston Texans head coaching job is not that situation.

Here, you have a pigbrained owner who could not care less if the team wins or loses so long as the revenue sharing check is deposited into his bank account on time, a religious zealot whose culture involves making sure everybody stays upbeat irrespective of how monumentally steep the slide into the abyss becomes, and a fanbase that, if they’re still paying attention, has expectations so low that you have to drill into the cold, cold earth to find them.

Pictured above: A Pigbrained Owner.

Being head coach of the Texans is a job for someone who just wants to have a good time, get paid lots of money for zero expectations, and not get hassled too much at your job. You don’t hardly have to worry about the sports media. You might get a couple of minutes of heat from national media before they move on to breaking news about LeBron James’ sock drawer. And I’ve heard local media will actually eat out of your palm if you don’t frighten them and come ready with treats. In other words, you have a job that is perfect for someone like David Culley.

And let’s not forget that David Culley is no spring chicken. At 66 years old, he’s got to start thinking about retirement and his true dream job: coaching high school football in Tennessee. What better way to pad that nest egg than to add a few million dollars in guaranteed money from an imbecile who will never notice it missing? We should all hope to be able to rip off our bosses for that kind of money without having to deal with all those obnoxious expectations like winning or even being all that competitive. It’s truly beautiful what Culley has working for him.

There’s no pressure from management so why should Culley put any pressure on himself? End the season with a 1-16 record? Welp, that’s life. Have the worst scoring offense in NFL history? Oh well, we tried our best, and that’s the important part. After all, what are they going to do, fire him? That’s fine, it’s no skin off David Culley’s nose, that’s just how life is in the NFL, he understands it’s easy come, easy go. He’ll go off on his David Banner-esque lonely trek down that desert road until he either finds a new (relatively) cushy job to call his own or retire and become the high school football coach he’s always wanted to be. Or the Texans’ pigbrained owner won’t care enough to fire him and he’ll get to live his best life as Texans head coach for another season or two or three. And Culley will do it with a spring in his step, a song in his heart, without a care in the world or a clue in his head.

It’s not his job to win football games. It’s not to develop talent. It’s not even to show that there’s someone capable at the helm. His job is to make sure the players remain happy through one of the worst half-seasons of football I’ve ever seen. His job is to simply vibe. That’s it. He’s the head coach/vibing coordinator, and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s not something to ridicule or scorn. We should admire that! Celebrate it! We should strive for that, we should all live as charmed a life as Culley and obtain such a plum, cushy, makework job as Houston Texans head coach.

Why? Because David Culley has found the one thing that so often eludes football coaches at the professional level: a sustainable work/life balance. He doesn’t do it for fame or glory, he doesn’t do it for the big megadollar contracts, he coaches the Texans because it gives him something to do so he doesn’t get bored during the week. And for that reason, I salute him. I suggest you do the same.

Durga bless you, David Culley.

And remember: