At the beginning there was patience. And hope. For some reason, there were also dreams, because the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) finally landed the coach they’d been trying to seduce for years.
For his first miraculous feat, new U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann was not Bob Bradley. For many, that was an amazing accomplishment. He was also a full-fledged European, having accomplished an assortment of European-related things during his playing days and brief tenure as a coach of Bayern Munich and the German national team. Eventually, the story goes, he would bring the sexy to America. But it would take time, he warned.
That was a long time ago. Four years and change after USSF president Sunil Gulati presented Klinsmann as Bradley’s successor, the patience has run out. It’s gotten so bad that U.S. folk hero and Klinsmann arch-nemesis Landon Donovan took to the airwaves to kick the last grains of sand out of the Klinsmann hourglass. Donovan’s point was simple: Klinsmann should be held to the same standard to which he holds his players—the same standard that’s applied to other coaches around the world. If the U.S. loses to Mexico this Saturday at the Rose Bowl, he should be fired.
That got us thinking: Klinsmann has enjoyed a stunning level of job security. How would he fare in other careers?
Jurgen Klinsmann, youth swim coach
Angry Parent: “Klinsmann! I trusted you to teach my son Alejandro how to swim, and all you did was sit back at watch him drown!”
Klinsmann: “Alejando refused to push himself. I can’t be held responsible for this.”
Parent: “You’re a goddamn monster! He was only four years old and you threw him in the deep end before he was ready!”
Klinsmann: “The children at this YMCA have been coddled for too long, only the pressure of deep pool water can prepare them for the future.”
Parent: “Why did you insist that he back-stroke? He’s never done it before! How was he supposed to stay afloat?”
Klinsmann: “My vision is long term. It isn’t about how many children drown right now. It’s about how many children are swimming in this YMCA eight years from now. That is my focus.”
Jurgen Klinsmann, regular office worker
Manager: “Jurgen, I don’t know how many times I have to tell you. All the machines are out of toner. The machines need toner or we don’t have a business.”
Klinsmann: “Well, maybe if your machines were European instead of American, you wouldn’t have this problem.”
Manager: “We’re bleeding money, Jurgen.”
Co-worker Russ: “WHAT DOES THIS MAN HAVE TO DO TO GET FIRED? CAN’T YOU SEE HE JUST SLEEPS ON … LIKE ACTUALLY SLEEPS ON THE COPY MACHINE?”
Manager: “Jurgen has a long-term plan, Russ. Speaking of long-term plans, Russ, you’re fired. You now need a long-term plan.”
Russ: “But boss, how …”
Klinsmann: “Bye, Russ. Go now. As you can see, we have a business to run.”
Jurgen Klinsmann, truck driver
Dispatcher: “OK, Jurgen, we’ve got an easy one this week. Atlanta to Dallas. Just get on I-20 and it’s a straight shot. No problem.”
Klinsmann: “I don’t believe that this is the correct path for our company.”
Dispatcher: “What? What are you talking about? There are literally zero turns between here and Dallas. I-20 takes you to exactly where you need to be, in the fastest way possible.”
Klinsmann: “I have a different philosophy. Our trucks spend too much time in their comfort zone. I believe it is better for us if I drive from Atlanta to Miami, put the truck on a ship to Cuba, and mail my cargo to Galveston. I will then row alongside the Cuban ship in a kayak, as it sails to Galveston, where I will put my cargo back into the truck and drive the rest of the way to Dallas. This is the only way.”
Dispatcher: “I’ve heard that Germans are masters of efficiency, so I trust in your methods. Check your email, we’ve just sent you a four-year contract extension.”