When the NFL Playoffs get underway late this afternoon, we’ll safely assume most Indiana fans won’t have much of a rooting interest. Between the Colts’ gross mismanagement of a twice-in-a-lifetime quarterback’s injuries and the Bears being, well, the Bears — there’s little in the way of interest for Indiana-based fans. Of course, we’re one play away from that all changing at any moment in Philadelphia and Tevin Coleman’s still set to be shredding defensive front-7s in Atlanta. Still! We’re in the middle of a sub-zero winter, Indiana basketball is ass-bad and uninteresting, so latch onto anything you can to make what’s probably setup to be an otherwise milquetoast NFL playoff slate worth watching.
Our proposed rooting interest for Indiana fans for the run of the playoffs? How about none other than the Los Angeles Rams? Yes! Really! This isn’t a joke!
While Lynch-era Hoosier Rodger Saffold (who’s notably coming off an all-pro season) stands to play a major role in keeping Jared Goff upright, the
St. Louis Los Angeles Rams ties to Bloomington and Indiana run far deeper. And they all delve from one of the biggest stars & names involved with this playoff cycle: 32-year-old first year Rams head coach Sean McVay.
And it perhaps illustrates, just maybe, how close Indiana might have been to counting the hottest name in coaching as a Hoosier alum himself.
McVay’s dad, Tim, was a four-year player and captain for Lee Corso’s Indiana teams in the 1970s
Sure, sure — most have heard about McVay’s family ties. His grandfather, John, was the head coach of the Giants way back and then later worked in Bill Walsh’s front office in San Francisco. But John’s son and Sean’s father, Tim McVay, had a football career of his own. It, of course, took place right here in Bloomington, Indiana.
Coming to Bloomington in 1974 as a quarterback out of Dayton, McVay hit the Indiana campus right in the middle of Lee Corso’s reconstruction of the Hoosier football program. He made the switch to defensive back lettered on that 1-10 team, something rare for a freshman at the time. In his following three seasons in Bloomington under Corso, including captaining the 1976 & 1977 squads which registered 3rd & 4th place finishes in the Big Ten. Not a bad career at all!
Yeah, yeah, sure -- but that was a long time ago, who knows how tied McVay’s dad feels to the Indiana football program. Right? Not so fast, my friend.
McVay was back in Bloomington for Lee Corso’s magical return to Indiana to open the 2017 season on College Gameday against Ohio State. Here’s pictured here from the ESPN broadcast standing behind the Gameday set, just left of Indiana administrator and fellow Corso player Mark Deal.
But the ties don’t stop there.
Sean’s mother, Cindy, is from the Evansville area
Sean’s mom — Cindy — is also an IU alum, hailing from the Evansville area. This shouldn’t surprise you! The POCKET CITY is a danged Football Town. The West Side Nut Club may act as a civic organization, but little did you know they’ve funded a shadow operation to genetically engineer Belichick II for decades.
Cindy and Tim McVay were married at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Evansville after meeting at Indiana University. Tim McVay, who played safety for Lee Corso’s IU teams in the late 1970s, is currently a TV executive in the Cox chain.
Sean’s grandfather, John McVay, was head coach of the New York Giants and vice president and director of operations on five Super Bowl teams with the San Francisco 49ers, four under Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh.
“You understand how NFL, and other sports organizations, are all full of nepotistic families,” said Sean’s uncle, Bob Fuchs, who lives in Boonville. “(The McVays) have generations of experience running and coaching pro football teams. Sean got into football at any early age and was very successful at it.”
See, just like you, Sean McVay has an Uncle Bob from Evansville. This is man is Indiana as hell already, and there’s still more.
Sean McVay was recruited to Miami by Terry Hoeppner just two years before the coach left for Bloomington
Talk about a near miss, maybe. If he were a couple years younger (or Gerry DiNardo & Michael McNeely had never existed), we might be talking about Indiana football alum Sean McVay as the hottest name in coaching today.
The high school option quarterback turned Rams coaching wunderkind was recruited out of suburban Atlanta to Miami Ohio by Terry Hoeppner in 2004 — Hep’s final full recruiting class at Miami before taking the Indiana job in 2005. McVay never officially played in a game under Hep, redshirting his only season under him in 2004.
There’s little out there on the record on McVay’s recruitment to Miami, though his 247 sports profile is available here — it’s still worth wondering about. Had he chosen to follow Hep to Bloomington, he would’ve likely been on the field for Austin Starr’s game-winner to break the bowl streak in 2007.
Oh, and here’s one more tie for good measure.
McVay’s current roommate & Rams defensive assistant Chris Shula was on the Indiana football staff from 2011-2013
Listen, okay, fine — we’re stretching a bit here. Shula worked as GA with the defensive backs on Kevin Wilson’s staff from 2011 to 2013. He’s a close friend and college teammate of McVay’s, and Shula reportedly lives in one of McVay’s bedrooms in his L.A. area homes.
Go Rams, exactly up until the point at which Indiana needs a new head football coach, and then absolutely do not Go Rams.