It’s time for the Grunts and Preach to part ways … hopefully with class

Preach and the Grunts can’t go through this together anymore.

Call the eventuality what you will — retirement, resignation, a firing, finding a new job. Big games in the Grunt Nation have produced living, breathing sideshows. There’s the game itself and the dread over how its coach is going to lose it.

In whatever form you prefer, this relationship has to end.

That’s clear now. It’s probably obvious to Preach, the head coach and commissioner of the MML. There’s only so many ways journalists can resuscitate the can-he-beat-skaven angle. There’s only so many ways the Grunt’s coach can keep it alive.

It’s time for a mutual separation, hopefully on a tasteful note. The Grunts lost again to the Skuttle butts and the first word that came to mind was “dysfunctional.” Not necessarily the game or the coach or the players — just the whole atmosphere surrounding Grunts ball.

What exactly did anyone expect?

Grunt fans don’t want to hear this but Preach was missing one of his best black orcs before the ball even hit the ground on kick-of. They certainly don’t want to her this: The Butts won … by 5 … with multiple skaven scoring touchdowns.

This latest result has to be rubbing Grunt Nation’s nose in the obvious. The Grunts were favored to challenge the Dungeon West after posting a draw against last seasons champs. The Butts all but clinched a playoff birth and where favored to take the championship from the preseason.

Preach’s tormentors deserve to be called out while we’re at it. Grunt fans aren’t happy unless they’re unhappy. They live to be let down. If column inches were wins, the Grunts would have retired the MML Championship trophy. The program is covered closes because there is so much interest. But on a MML level, the angst over the Grunt Nation has become tedious.

Such is the lift at the top of the MML food chain. This is Preach’s 2nd in the Grunt Nation. He’s beaten or tied former conference and MML champions. If you aren’t going to win league titles, you at least have to beat your rival.

Let’s just hope there is some dignity left when the end does come. Preach deserves a classy exit. He is a decent man whose record with misbehaving players is more admirable than most.

The anxiety over change is obvious: There’s no guarantee the new guy wins 73 percent of his games and finishes in playoffs either.

It hurts right now, Grunts, I know. It hurts bad. But make no mistake, it’s over. Preach and Grunt ball cannot keep going through these self-destructive narratives each time a ranked opponent appears on the radar.

For Preach, perhaps that means retirement, but the man is only 39 and has a lot to give. There are going to be plenty of jobs out there. Preach can save face as well as some floundering program.

Texorcana seems like a good landing spot. Preach is from the mid-west. It’s certainly easier to win there. The Iron League is the snotty-nosed younger brother of the NSC.

Be aware: That’s a good thing. To repeat, the idea of this separation is for Preach a walk away with his head held high. A flat-out firing seems too crass for a guy who has delivered the Grunts through some spectacular games.

Let’s see if the next guy can do that, especially with the class and consistency Preach did.

To the coach’s critics, though, that’s what their program was, not what their program is. At the moment, Preach is an iPhone 4 in a SE world.

For the Grunt Nation, they’ll soon have to find a new use for those twerper feeds. It starts with the words “coaching” and “search.”