BRISTOL, CT—The nation's 14 million unemployed persons experienced a combination of rage, disbelief, and near-suicidal depression after seeing former Lions CEO Matt Millen—long regarded as one of the most resoundingly incompetent failures in management history—working as a football analyst on Wednesday's SportsCenter.
"Matt Millen has a job?" said Brandon Martinelli of Potosi, WI, a three-time Grant County Teacher of the Year who was laid off in June after teaching high school art for 13 years. "Matt Millen, the laughingstock who screwed up the Lions for a decade, has a job—and it’s related to football? A job that is in fact to tell people how football should be played? While I helped dozens of underprivileged kids get scholarships to college and don't have a job at all? I just… There are no words. None."
In September 2008, Millen was fired as general manager of the Lions for drafting questionable talent, interfering with coaching decisions, siding with ineffective players over knowledgeable coaches, and scapegoating team personnel to the press instead of taking responsibility for his endless litany of mistakes. Meanwhile, across the United States, the jobless rate skyrocketed as employers laid off millions of workers—many of them, unlike Millen, efficient and highly skilled—in attempts to stay solvent.
In May 2009, a month in which the economy shed 345,00 jobs, ESPN announced it would be hiring Millen as a football analyst.
"I can't believe this guy got an interview, let alone got hired," said Bainridge, WA textile designer Cynthia Anderson, whose fabrics were considered among the field's best before the collapse of the domestic apparel industry in 2010. "What motivation do I have to go out there and apply for work while this dipshit is on national television?"
When approached for details, ESPN initially refused to comment on its hiring practices or reasons for employing Millen, who was a catastrophic failure at every level of football that did not involve tackling and is perhaps the man most synonymous with football-related ignorance in living memory. Sources at the network also refused to comment on the wisdom of showing the flagrantly employed Millen during broadcasts watched by many of the nation's jobless.
"Matt Millen has 35 years of football experience, including several as team president for the Detroit Lions," read an evidently unironic and nonsarcastic statement issued by ESPN late Thursday. "Millen has an informative and unique perspective on the game."
"Who else was in line for this position? Didn't anyone want it? I have nothing but questions," said out-of-work Detroit automotive engineer Ben Wojciechowski, who designed fuel-injection systems before being laid off in 2009, a year in which Millen was featured during the Super Bowl pregame show. "Does ESPN hate football? Do they hate their viewers? Because I know about 40 unemployed guys down at the sports bar who could do that job better than Matt Millen."
At press time, the 9.1 percent of the potential American workforce currently idle could not be reached for comment on the matter, as they were in shock at the news that Millen was being considered to replace the recently deceased Al Davis as general manager of the Oakland Raiders and were either talking to or on hold with the nation's remaining suicide counselors.