An old saying in sports is that a coach or general manager “who listens to the fans ends up sitting with them.” Fans are important, but the coach or general manager has the best knowledge of the team and gets paid for that specialized knowledge.
“If you listen to the fans, you’ll find yourself sitting with them” was said by Philadelphia Eagles football coach Joe Kuharich (1917-1981) in 1967.
Wikipedia: Joe Kuharich
Joseph Lawrence Kuharich (April 14, 1917 – January 25, 1981) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at the University of San Francisco from 1948 to 1951 and at the University of Notre Dame from 1959 to 1962, compiling a career college football record of 42–37. Kuharich was also the head coach of the Chicago Cardinals in 1952, the Washington Redskins from 1954 to 1958, and the Philadelphia Eagles from 1964 to 1968, amassing a career coaching record of 58–81–3 in the NFL. He played football as a guard at Notre Dame from 1935 to 1937 and with the Chicago Cardinals in 1940, 1941 and 1945. Kuharich’s death fell on the day the Eagles lost Super Bowl XV to the Oakland Raiders.
Google News Archive
23 December 1967, Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, FL), “All’s Well That’s Thrown Out Well” by Jack Hodges, pg. 14-A, col. 6:
Philadelphia Eagle Coach Joe Kuharich says he pays little attention to his 60,000 “assistants” each Sunday. “If you listen to the fans,” he says, “you’ll find yourself sitting with them.”
The Sporting News
Gene Stallings, Dallas Cowboys’ assistant coach-"If you listen to the fans in the stands, you wind up sitting with them.”
Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association
An agency manager must make decisions for himself, for like the professional football coach, if he listens to the fans he will be sitting with them.
Google News Archive
24 December 1979, Lawrence (KS) Journal-World, “Campfield keys Eagles win, 27-17, over Bears in playoffs” (AP), pg. 7, col. 6:
“Ron executed very well today,” said Vermeil, who subscribes to the theory that if you listen to the fans you wind up sitting with them.
Playing for Keeps:
Michael Jordan and the World He Made
By David Halberstam
New York, NY: Random House
“Listen to the fans,” Kerr cautioned after that, “and you’ll end up sitting with them.”
“A coach who listens to fans will soon be sitting with them.” LMU Coach Max Good
9:01 AM - 3 Dec 11
If a Coach always listens to the fans pretty soon he’ll be sitting with them. Al Michaels
11:12 AM - 12 Nov 12
The old saying “a GM who listens to fans ends up sitting w/ them"-well there it is. “@GhostofJetsFan: I’d seriously look at Scaub next year”
5:08 PM - 17 Nov 13