Marty Schottenheimer deserves a spot in Canton
Opinion by Tim Shirer
October 22, 1984 I will never forget the day and where I was. I was a sophomore in high school, and I was in fourth period Record Keeping and Sales Class at Wickliffe High School. When someone came in and told my teacher Mr. Putinski that the Cleveland Browns fired Sam Rutigliano and hired Marty Schottenheimer to be the new head coach.
Mr. Putinski was happy about the hiring because he thought the Browns needed a head coach that would light a fire under the players, and he was right Marty was that guy.
Marty passed away yesterday morning after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is such a terrible disease. If it could take away a tough person like Marty is anyone safe from the disease? I think unfortunately we know the answer.
For those of us who were Browns fans and teenagers in the late 1980’s Marty gave us the best of time we have ever experienced. Four AFC Central Division titles in four years? That has not happened since. Those AFC Championship games against the Denver Broncos and John Elway did not end the way we would have liked but Marty got the Browns there two years in a row, that has not happened since. 
Marty along with Bernie Kosar, Hanford Dixon, Brian Brennan, Webster Slaughter and Frank Minnifield gave my generation the best run of football we have ever seen in Cleveland. We still cling to the great memories that Marty’s teams gave us.
When Art Modell fired Marty after the 1988 season, he was hired as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs almost immediately. I rooted for the Chiefs always while Marty was there except when they played the Browns or Tampa Bay. How could you not root for a guy like Marty? Marty had a positive attitude when the rest of us could not see much positive. Marty took led the Chiefs to most the success they had seen since they won Super Bowl IV in 1970. The Chief were a doormat for most of the next two decades until Marty arrived for the 1989 season. Over the next ten season he led them to the playoffs in seven of the ten seasons he served as their coach. But getting to the Super Bowl still alluded Marty as the Chiefs appeared in the AFC Championship game once as they lost to the Buffalo Bills in 1993.
Marty coached for two more teams in his NFL head coaching career with Washington and San Diego.
He finished with 205 career wins including post season, which ranks seventh all-time in wins. Bill Belichick and Andy Reid are the only two head coaches ahead of him that are not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Belichick and Reid are still active therefore they are not eligible. There is no doubt the Schottenheimer deserves to be in the HOF. The fact he did not win a Super Bowl should not exclude him from induction. Does winning a Super Bowl automatically get you in the HOF? It should not. If it does that means Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians should now get elected to the HOF because his team won a Super Bowl. Arians has 67 career wins. You see what I am saying here? There is no way that Arians will catch Schottenheimer. Schottenheimer was a HOF coach and a HOF person.
The sports world and the football world lost a great man on Monday when Marty passed away. As my faith leads me to believe Marty is now in Heaven where the Browns and Chiefs win the AFC Championship, and he gets to the Super Bowl. It is my belief that in Heaven “The Drive and the “The Fumble” do not exist. RIP Coach Marty!. or Follow us  on Twitter at SportsSentinel
​POSTED 02/09/2021 13:50
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