San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Singletary runs a tight ship. Just ask Chilo Rachal. The starting offensive lineman recently paid the price for missing practice. Rachal had actually given the coach a heads up on his intentions, but it still didn’t matter. Even when Rachal told him why he’d be missing practice. And if this one isn’t deemed an excused absence, I don’t know what would be.
For Chilo Rachal told his coach that he’d be missing practice this past Friday and Saturday to be with his wife as she gave birth to their baby boy. And the coach congratulated the offensive lineman by…benching him.
Adam Snyder replaced Rachal as the starter for the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams. Never one to back down from a situation, Singletary explained himself in no uncertain terms.
“The little changes that we made Chilo was not totally in tune with,” said the third-year coach. “And I just thought it was better to go with Snyder and let it work itself out, and it did.”
Rachal said that he understood the coach’s decision, though he did add that he was “a competitor. Anybody who wants to compete is going to want to play.” And eventually Rachal got to do just that. His replacement, Snyder, got hurt, and Rachal played in the second half.
Here’s the funny thing. I’m totally fine with Singletary benching his player. Singletary’s job is to win football games. And if he honestly felt that Rachal’s absence, for whatever reason, would have had an adverse effect on the team, then he owed it to them, as well as to their fans, to make the adjustment. (Incidentally, the 49ers won the game.) While I’m sure many would be quick to categorize Singletary as a myopic, anti-family tyrant, I would vehemently disagree. The man had a job to do, and he did it.
But, in my book, you don’t get praise for simply doing your job. So I’ll reserve that for Chilo Rachal. Because in my book, what he did was even better. He realized that family is way more important than any job. Way to go, Chilo!
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