In many respects, Jack Easterby’s plan to take control of an NFL franchise without possessing the objectively necessary skills and qualifications (in my opinion) is working. In many other respects, it isn’t.
Easterby surely hoped to parlay a smattering of fringe experiences and potentially embellished credentials into a position of significant power, influence, and salary with the Texans without anyone asking questions or noticing flaws in his climb. Although he has become the Texans executive V.P. of football operations (and still aspires, we’re told, to become a General Manager), he hoped to do it with far less scrutiny.
Since the media began taking a closer look at his background and management style, Easterby has kept his head low and his mouth shut. Last Friday’s press conference introducing new coach David Culley cried out for someone/anyone to explain how the relationship with quarterback Deshaun Watson cratered so quickly. The only two people present for questioning (Culley and G.M. Nick Caserio) didn’t know; they weren’t working for the Texans when things went sideways. Easterby was, which may be the main reason why he was nowhere to be seen.
On Twitter, he’s currently everywhere to be seen. Multiple clips have emerged in which Easterby, while preaching, tries his hand at standup comedy. Generally, comedy is hard. Easterby makes it look considerably harder than becoming the executive of V.P. of football operations of an NFL team without possessing the objectively necessary skills and qualifications.
Consider this clip, in which Easterby crams five different regions of the country into cartoonishly stereotypical boxes, complete with attempts to replicate the prevailing dialects of each specific place. It’s apparently supposed to be funny. We’ll let you decide whether it is.
Here’s another, in which he eventually claims that reliance on CliffsNotes got him through college. “Some of that’s not funny,” he says as the line falls flat, “but you’ll laugh later.”
He also sees significant potential material in the notion of Jesus walking on water, from whether Jesus paused to give a “shout out to the fish” to whether Jesus “crip walked on water.”
By taking the job he now holds, and by actively avoiding any scenario in which he’d have to answer fair questions about how he got there, Easterby opens the door to this kind of thing — especially with the prevailing sense that the Texans under his leadership have plunged into a state of dysfunction that few NFL teams ever see.