John Fox did what you expected John Fox to do on Monday. He said he had no doubt he made the right decision when he refused to take a chance with 31 seconds left in regulation.
Fox is not the type to question himself. And he’s not the type to ever change. He’s not a gambler, not a swashbuckler. Don’t like his style? He doesn’t care.
His decision is not going to be forgotten anytime soon.
I spent several hours talking with Lou Saban in 1997. He’s the former Broncos coach who in 1971 decided to sit on the ball at the end of a 10-10 tie with the Miami Dolphins. Half a loaf, Saban famously said, is better than none. Broncos fans failed to agree. They tossed several dozen half loafs on the field at the next home game. Saban soon resigned. He is, by the way, the last Broncos coach to depart voluntarily. Everyone who has followed him has been fired.
Saban laughed about the decision, but it was clear his lack of nerve haunted him. No one watches a football game hoping to see extreme caution. We all want to see boldness.
Saban wasn’t bold. Fox wasn’t bold. Both men were cowards, if only for a moment.
Fox said he doesn’t regret his decision.
But he will regret it, largely because it was reckless to be so cautious.