As another "home for the holidays" season staggers to a close for the Washington Redskins, the talk has turned to next year. At the top of the list is the question of who will coach the 2004 Redskins. There are many possible scenarios for Steve Spurrier's fate with the Redskins and many reasons proposed why any of them should or should not happen. Here are some of the possibilities and an evaluation of each one:

Dan Snyder will fire Spurrier: This is the least likely scenario, since Snyder can't afford to force his coach out against his will. He would have to honor the remaining $15 million on Spurrier's contract. OK, he could probably scrape up the cash somewhere, but don't forget he's still on the hook for Marty Schottenheimer's contract for another year or two. In addition, Snyder's reputation for impatience couldn't afford the hit that would occur if he were to fire yet another head coach. Chance of happening: 5%

Snyder will find a way to force Spurrier out: This is more in the realm of possibility. Perhaps the owner will try to force Spurrier to fire some of his coaches. Even though Spurrier, under his contract, has full control of his coaching staff he could be made to feel uncomfortable to the point where he would accept a buyout for, say, $5 million. Although this scenario would save face for Snyder and Spurrier on the surface, everyone would know that Spurrier was, in essence, fired and Snyder would save only the hit on his bank account, not on his reputation. Chance of happening 15%

Spurrier will just up and quit: The Ball Coach will chuck aside his pledge to stick it out for at least three seasons and go golfin' in Florida. This would take a willingness on the part of Spurrier to take blow to his ego, which would be considerably bruised if he walked away from the NFL to be forever ensconced in the pantheon of failed college coaches, right along side Rich Brooks and Frank Kush. And don't forget that Spurrier's accountant—not to mention Mrs. Spurrier—will likely strongly advise against the coach voluntarily tearing up a contract that is worth $15 million. Certainly, Spurrier's not hurting for cash, but that's a lot of cash to turn your back on. Chance of happening: 25%

Spurrier will remain the head Ball Coach for the 2004 Redskins: Money and ego, in all of their manifestations outlined above, will most likely combine to keep SOS on the sidelines in Landover next year. Whether this is in the best interest of the Redskins, in the short term or in the long term, is a future topic of discussion in this space. Chance of happening: 55%

Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. This unique book has detailed coverage of every game the Redskins played from 1937 through the 2001 season. For details, go to

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