"Going down the road to madness": Bombers were heading for disaster.
The big James Hird news from the Bombers has shocked the football world, and the reactions have not been good.
Football commentators say that James Hird is the favorite to become the next head coach of the Essendon Bombers, which is a sign that the team is going to fail.
Wednesday, the club's most famous player was interviewed for the open coaching job. The club is trying to move on from fired coach Ben Rutten and a bad season in 2022.
Hird, who last coached the Bombers in 2015, has officially applied for the job and was one of four candidates interviewed by the club's subcommittee on Wednesday, panel member Jordan Lewis said on Fox Footy's AFL 360.
The coaching committee is made up of Bombers football manager Josh Mahoney, former Carlton coach Robert Walls, four-time premiership winner Lewis, Melbourne Vixens netball coach Simone McKinnis, current board member Dorothy Hisgrove, and former NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn.
On Thursday, there were new rumors that the club may have told Hird with a "nudge and a wink" that he is a serious candidate or even the preferred candidate.
Daniel Harford, who used to play for Hawthorn and Carlton, said on Thursday that Bombers officials have nowhere to turn after all the talk about Hird's possible return.
Harford, who coaches the Carlton AFLW team, said on RSN Breakfast, "I think it makes it very hard for them not to give him the job now."
"Given his recent history and his recent mental health history, he wouldn't put himself in the spotlight if he didn't think he had a chance."
Mark Stevens, a former football reporter, said that Hird would not have put his name forward as a candidate unless the club had told him that he was a serious candidate.
Stevens said that Hird and Melbourne Demons assistant coach Adam Yze seem to be in a close race for the job.
Brad Scott, an ex-North Melbourne coach, Brendon Lade, and Don Pyke, an ex-Adelaide coach, have also been linked to the job. Leon Cameron and Ross Lyon, however, have ruled themselves out.
The Bombers have also been said to be interested in Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley, even though Hinkley is still under contract with the Power.
The football world has not been kind to the Bombers after hearing about Hird.
When asked about the Bombers possibly going back to Hird, veteran AFL journalist Damian Barrett said, "I just don't get it."
"Again, here we are. Barrett said on the AFL Daily podcast, "The Essendon football club is going down the road to delusion."
"I'm not surprised because the club in question is the Essendon Football Club, which has a cult-like following of successful people who have joined its fight.
"James Hird's time as a player at Essendon may have been the most successful of all time. But his time as a coach was a disgrace for the AFL and for Essendon, and everyone knows it except for some Essendon people.
Hird was hired as Essendon's coach at the end of 2010, but the AFL fired him for the 2014 season because of a scandal involving the team's use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The club was kicked out of the finals series, and 34 current and former players were given two-year suspensions, which meant that 17 of them missed the 2016 season.
Hird came back to coach the Bombers in 2015, but later that year he quit.
He would be coming back to a club in trouble after Rutten, CEO Xavier Campbell, and former president Paul Brasher all left.
On Thursday, Essendon legend Tim Watson said that the club doesn't need a hero like Hird to save it.
Watson said that he would be "more than surprised" if Hird came back as head coach.
Watson said that Hird should be given a chance to go through the process of applying.
"If Essendon is broken, the only thing that will bring the club back together is success," Watson said on SEN Breakfast.
"Essendon doesn't have to be brought together by James Hird being the coach of the Essendon Football Club. If they had done better, the club would have been united under Ben Rutten and John Worsfold.
"We don't need a hero to save the Essendon Football Club and bring everyone together. We need someone who can come up with a plan that will lead to success and help us start building a winning team again."
Kane Cornes, who was a great player for Port Adelaide, said that Hird shouldn't be considered for the job because, other than his part-time job with the Giants this season, he hasn't been a coach in a while.
Cornes told SEN's Whateley, "I'm not sure the selection panel did the best thing for him by letting him apply for the job when it was clear that Josh Mahoney, Jordan Lewis, Robert Walls, and the others wouldn't want James Hird to coach Essendon again."
"There are people who would be much better for the job than James Hird. The coaching of the other candidates has been improved.
"The big one for me isn't necessarily the history of it, even though that is the circus part of it. It's more the nuts and bolts of what it takes to coach a footy team and how quickly the game has changed strategically, the management side of things, the new generation of players coming through, and managing the football club.
"To be out of it for that long, I know some people would say he dipped his toe back into the water this year, but I think the model for James Hird had to be Michael Voss.
"You coach, but it doesn't turn out the way you wanted. You go to another club and run the midfield and the leadership department. Then, as a director, you manage the coaches and know everything about them.
"To be blunt, James Hird hasn't done the work.
"He hasn't done what he needs to do to be a good candidate for the coaching job at Essendon. That has nothing to do with you; it's just the way things are.
"I was surprised that they agreed to meet with him, but I don't think it will go too far."
Hird has been an assistant coach for the Giants this year, working with Cameron and interim coach Mark McVeigh.