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Time is here for LA to KISS McMillen goodbye

Adam Markowitz
Saturday April 18, 2015

ORLANDO -- The Los Angeles KISS certainly had one of their more spirited efforts of the season on Saturday night, but a 61-48 loss to the Orlando Predators now leaves the team at just 3-19 in franchise history and 0-4 in 2015. It's time for Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley to KISS Bob McMillen goodbye.

McMillen has the second worst record for any coach in AFL history to retain a job for more than one season with same team. The only man who had a worse percentage for a team over the course of two or more seasons was Dave Whinham, who went 1-17 with the Buffalo Destroyers in 1999 and 2000. Whinham was fired four games into the 2000 season with Buffalo when he was – yep, you guessed it – 0-4, the same record which McMillen has right now with the KISS.

Worst Record For Coaches Who Spent More Than One Year W/ Same Team

Dave Whinham 1-17 (.060) (Buffalo Destroyers 1999-2000)
Bob McMillen 3-19 (.136) (Los Angeles KISS 2014-2015)
Stan Brock 6-22 (.176) (Los Angeles Avengers 2000-2001)
Dave Whinham 6-26 (.188) (Cleveland Thunderbolts 1991-1993)
Jon Norris 4-16 (.200) (Bossier-Shreveport/New Orleans 2010-2011)
Don Frease 6-20 (.231) (Memphis Pharaohs 1995-1996)
Danton Barto 9-26 (.250) (Kansas City Brigade/Command 2010-2011)

Dating back to last season, the KISS have lost 10 consecutive games, tying them for the longest losing streak any team has had since the re-launch of the league in 2010. The Utah Blaze lost 10 games in a row in 2010, while the San Antonio Talons lost 10 straight last season.

In those 10 defeats, LA has been outscored by 18.9 points per game, and it has gone -16 in the turnover department. This game against Orlando was the first time that the KISS were positive in turnovers since April 5 of last season against Portland, a stretch of 18 consecutive games. LA has only won the turnover battle three times in its 22-game history.

For a man who was caught on camera stating that he "pissed excellence," the KISS have been anything but excellent since he has taken over.

Granted, it's not all McMillen's fault. The man can coach. If you don't believe me, go back to the 2013 Chicago Rush, who went through one of the most tumultuous off-the-field seasons in AFL history and still made the playoffs.

However, in this case, it feels like the KISS are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. McMillen had control of everything in Chicago from the time that he took over in 2010 through the team's folding following the 2013 campaign. He didn't have the same control over the construction of this KISS roster and franchise, as was evident on "4th & Loud."

Plus, I'm not all that sure that there is a coach in the world who could have won with the KISS last season. Cameras were in the facilities in Anaheim all season long in 2014 for the reality TV show, and for all intents and purposes, the team was put behind the 8-ball from the get go, making its first signings after the start of the free agency period had already begun for the rest of the league.

But at this point, the culture has to change in Los Angeles, and it begins with removing McMillen.

At one point on Saturday night in Orlando just prior to the start of the fourth quarter, the entire team, coaches, trainers and all, were huddled together to rally for the final stanza. The one man that was notably not a part of it all was McMillen, who remained on the sidelines with his head slumped down even though the game was very much so there for the winning at that point.

Even on the final drive of the game, one in which the Predators needed a first down to run out the clock, McMillen wasn't the coach on the field calling the plays.

The KISS made a fantastic hire in the offseason, bringing in former Portland Thunder coach Matt Sauk to run the offense. This afforded McMillen more time to work with the defense.

You wouldn't know that the defense should be improved. Orlando only faced two third downs all night long against the KISS, and it has been 18 drives since they have even forced a fourth down on an opponent.

Though the KISS had some spunk in them from the get go on Saturday night, they just aren't quite as tough mentally as their foes. They have 42 penalties for 273 yards in four games, including 12 penalties on Saturday night. Many of those 12 infractions were of the non-aggressive penalties such as false starts, offsides and personal fouls.

Unlike in Jacksonville, where the Sharks don't seem to have an heir apparent to their throne should Jeff Bouchy elect to dismiss Les Moss after their sluggish start to the season, the KISS do have a ready-made option. Sauk coached the expansionThunder last year to the playoffs, and they gave the Arizona Rattlers their best game in the playoffs they have had against any comers in years.

Even if McMillen does survive the coming weeks, beating after beating seem to be in the cards. Even though the KISS are just two games out of the playoffs four games into the season, that feels like a mountain to climb watching this team play this year and seeing what's ahead. If a home game against Las Vegas and a road game against Portland were both defeats, we can't imagine what games against Arizona followed by three more road games will do to this team.

The divorce is seemingly inevitable. LA should just make the move right now by putting McMillen out of his misery and making him KISS-tory.

Adam Markowitz is an accountant and a freelance sports writer living in Orlando. As a Florida State graduate with degrees in music and history, the garnet and gold will forever be a part of him, but he bleeds the black and red of the Orlando Predators like none other. Adam has been following the AFL since 1991 and has been at well over 200 games, including 16 ArenaBowls. You can follow Adam on Twitter @AFLGuru.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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