Mike Pettine’s Mistake Reminds Us of Life Lesson


Jun 12, 2014; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach head coach Mike Pettine during minicamp at Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Pettine was in the news last week, and it had nothing to do with his current team, the Cleveland Browns. It had to do with his former team, the New York Jets and the rival Patriots.

We know the playbook story by now, Pettine accused Rex Ryan of giving playbooks “out like candy”, and he gave one to Nick Saban, which may or may not have ended up in the hands of Tom Brady and the Patriots.

The merits of the situation have been debated back and forth, that is not why I am here tonight. Maybe my outlook on things has changed since I got out of the hospital, but there is learning to be had from this situation. You know what Mike reminded us?

Know who your friends are.


Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

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In life, you have to know who your friends are, or in Mike Pettine’s case, who your friends WERE. Mike Pettine worked with the Ravens, because of Rex Ryan. Mike Pettine became a coordinator with the Jets, because of Rex Ryan. He was the first hiring Rex made. Therefore, Mike Pettine received the exposure he needed to become a head coach, because of Rex Ryan.

But, does Mike Pettine stay humble and worry about his own team? Nope. He makes these comments. Pettine forgot who his friends are, and therefore he burned a bridge. Should Pettine get fired in Cleveland, you think Rex would consider bringing Mike back to his staff? Not a chance at this point, nor should he.

Know who your friends are.

If someone gives you food, you don’t bite off their hand because you didn’t like the food. If someone gives you a gift, it’s totally inappropriate to tell them that you didn’t like the gift. In this case, the gift would be a coordinator job. If someone gives you a job, and that job serves as a stepping stone to an even better job, say thank you and stay humble. Don’t go to the press and talk about how your gift giver gives out insider information like candy.

Mike Pettine made mistakes here, but he reminded us some important things in life.