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Falcons take the Oregon Trail: The search for a new head coach

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The road to a new Falcons coach is filled with peril.

Picking a new coach is a tough process. To speed things up, we decided to put the Falcons on the road to a bright future via Oregon Trail. Arthur Blank accompanies potential top candidates Todd Bowles, Josh McDaniels, Rex Ryan and Doug Marrone in a covered wagon headed for Oregon...and a fresh hire.

We begin our journey deciding on our profession. Blank started Home Depot, so we're obviously going with No. 2 here. He'll be leading the way.


Start OT

The group starts out with $800 to spend, which is well below Blank's means. Somehow he learned to cope. I'm guessing The Home Depot supplied the covered wagon and other materials, so he probably profited from the initial allotment. It's all about the bottom line.

The head coaching search was finally ready to begin...


April 1

Rex, Josh, Todd and Doug set out with Mr. Blank from Independence, Mo. They start their trip on a steady pace with filling meals. All is well, and morale is high. Korn Ferry has assured the group that they can make it to Oregon before deciding whether they'll fire Thomas Dimitroff.

April 5

Marrone exahusted

Four days, Todd. You made it four days. We have a ton of food and we're barely even moving. How the hell do you expect to make it through training camp, let alone an entire season, as the head coach of this team? Not the first impression Todd was looking to make.

April 7

The wagon loses the trail and is set back two days. I don't know who was driving but I'm assuming it was Doug. He was never good at guiding anything.

April 16

River crossing

The party arrives at the second river they've seen. The river is 3.1 feet deep in the middle. They lose four oxen walking across a three-foot deep river. What kind of death march has Mr. Blank taken these long-suffering coaches on? Everyone will likely be dead by May at this rate.

April 20

Rex decides he'll go hunt to ensure the rations stay filling. He kills an entire population of buffalo (don't believe the 995 pounds, that's clearly forged). Somehow Rex manages to only bring 100 pounds of food back to the wagon. Josh accuses Rex of eating the other 895 pounds. Tensions run high.

April 26

The party pulls into Fort Kearney for their first stop of the trek. They meet a kind young man named Andrew Luck who the locals claim will be the best shoe cobbler they've ever seen. Josh accidentally knocks Andrew to the ground, but Andrew quickly pulls himself together and compliments Josh on his strength.

Aside from Todd's initial bout with exhaustion, the group of candidates haven't endured any hardships for the most part leading up to this point. They increase their speed to a strenuous pace and cut back the rations to meager, just to test out how far these coaches are willing to go.

May 19

An ox wanders off. They lose two days. This is literally the only thing that happened for about a month. I'm starting to get disappointed by this coaching search.

May 27

A random woman appears in the wagon. Judging by her purple headdress and her mournful gaze out of the back of the wagon, she is not impressed with these candidates.

June 12

Mr. Blank and the coaches meet some Falcons fans at Soda Springs. Still, nothing is happening (somehow).

June 17

OK seriously if someone doesn't die soon I'm just restarting the game. I demand blood!

June 18

The band of coaches think they're tough, eh? Let's see how they handle a grueling pace and a bare bones meal.

June 23

Well, Doug didn't make it long under the new conditions. I mean, it's only the measles, though. He'll be fine...

June 24

Doug Marrone literally made it a day from contracting measles to dying. If any of you haven't received your measles shot, you should get on that now, because this disease is merciless. He will not be coaching the Falcons in 2015, but hey, perhaps in the afterlife.

July 1

The band of coaches sees a tombstone nearby the trail. They agree to stop and pay their respects, but Mr. Blank says they should make haste and fires the oxen into a frenzy. They push forward.

July 6

Making great time. A kind gentleman points the party in the right direction, although he might have been motioning for them to continue straight off the cliff.

The Snake River is 6.8 feet deep. Mr. Blank decides they will caulk the wagon and float it. That depth is nothing. Who has ever drowned in 6.8-foot deep water?

July 7


July 22

SOMEBODY came in the middle of the night and stole every set of clothing the group owned. How the hell do the clothes you're wearing get stolen? Mr. Blank, Todd and Josh are now making their way to Oregon without any clothes. This is a low point for each member involved, and that's saying something considering they just held a hasty water-borne funeral for Rex Ryan.

July 30

Alright cool we'll just take The Dalles, that guy said it would be fine.

The journey is almost over but two great candidates remain. Someone has to make a strong case before they finish the road.

Josh takes the first shot at steering the raft down the river. It does not go well. But everyone is still alive! Let's try again. There aren't too many rocks the rest of the way it'll be fine.


All the coaching candidates are dead. But that means...

Mr. Blank was the lone survivor. For completing his own endurance test, he will name himself the next Falcons head coach. Secretly this is what he wanted all along, and neither Korn Ferry nor a grueling trip to the coast of Oregon will stop his designs on the job. All hail Mr. Blank, may his reign endure for decades to come (we were obligated to say this).

**Credit to our very own FalconsM5 for coming up with the idea of running the coaches through The Oregon Trail.**