Mike McCarthy had to know what he was doing when he got dressed for game day on Sunday morning. The 59-year-old head coach of the Dallas Cowboys pulled up to Lambeau Field looking like Vince Lombardi and it’s hard to imagine that it was unintentional.
McCarthy, who got his first head coaching opportunity with the Packers in 2006, spent 12 years in Green Bay and led the team to nine playoff appearances. He won 125 of 204 games (61.8% winning percentage) with the Cheeseheads, including Super Bowl XLV in 2010/11.
The final two years of McCarthy’s time in Wisconsin did not see the same success as the start. A 4-7-1 start to the 2018 season followed a 7-9 record in the year prior and led to him being fired with four games left.
Although the writing was on the wall to some extent, the decision to let McCarthy go was still a bit of a surprise. Especially for the coach himself.
“If we missed the playoffs, I expected change might happen,” McCarthy told ESPN. “But the timing surprised me. Actually it stunned me. It couldn’t have been handled any worse.”
It marked the first time in more than 60 years that the Packers made a coaching change in the middle of the season. And it happened to a coach that had given everything he had to the team.
McCarthy’s winning record was one thing. He also endeared himself to the community through his family foundation and always served as the spokesperson for the franchise during good and bad.
For team president Mark Murphy to fire him before the season was over was certainly a hard decision.
Mike McCarthy is back in Green Bay.
Now, four years later, McCarthy leads the Cowboys. He and his team will play the Packers in Green Bay on Sunday, which will mark his first return as a coach since being fired.
The game means a lot to McCarthy, who got emotional while discussing the place he once called home earlier in the week.
Upon his arrival back at Lambeau Field, McCarthy was rocking a very familiar look.
He wore a long, tan overcoat, much like the one that Vince Lombardi used to wear during cold weather games. It was such an iconic look that the statue outside of Lambeau Field depicts the late legend in his coat.
Surely, McCarthy planned his outfit. It had to have been intentional.
Assuming that he did know what he was doing, it makes it so much cooler.