Everyone knows how to do your job better than you, no matter your success, experience or dedication.
Teachers know this all too well. There's not an umpire or referee in the world who hasn't been told he's blind in one eye and can't see out the other, doesn't know the rules and should "Call it both ways!"
Patients, having seen a one-minute television commercial for a new drug, think they have more knowledge than someone with a medical degree and years of experience.
The proliferation of television shows about lawyers has given real-life lawyers too many clients who think if they only had Alan Shore (a young James Spader on Boston Legal) or Ben Matlock (Andy Griffith in a role that probably would have aggravated Mayberry Sheriff Andy Taylor) they'd have the largest corporations in the world quaking in fear over the threat of a lawsuit.
Coaches might be in a special category, though. Everyone knows how to coach. Every coach is questioned and scrutinized, even those with national championships on their résumés.
Richmond coach Chris Mooney might be the leader in the clubhouse for criticism this season. A group of fans has been active on social media and now via an electronic billboard in calling for his dismissal.
Mooney works diligently. He meets the press after every game and answers every question calmly, respectfully and professionally.
He holds at least one press conference each week. He is well compensated to be sure, and while we can say his press obligations are part of the job, that hasn't stopped other coaches throughout the country from blowing off the media in a fit of pique.
Mooney's critics are less forthcoming. Those responsible for the electronic billboard told Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter and UR beat writer John O'Connor, "We'd prefer to remain anonymous."
Of course they would. It's easier to snipe from the peanut gallery or hide behind a sign than to publicly confront the target of your discontent.
Success in college basketball is judged by NCAA tournament berths. Mooney has led the Spiders there twice, but not since 2011. Richmond reached the quarterfinals of the NIT in 2015 and 2017.
Coaching is a wins and losses profession. But before attacking Mooney, his antagonists should contemplate several occurrences in the Richmond program.
Khwan Fore, one of the Spiders' potential starting guards for 2018-19, graduated last spring and opted to spend his final year of eligibility at Louisville, an ACC member and top 20 team. Fore has played in every Louisville game, started 16 and averages 20 minutes per contest.
De'Monte Buckingham, the Spiders' potential power forward/small forward/shooting guard, was dismissed from the team last spring for violating an athletic department policy. Buckingham was the A-10 rookie of the year in 2016-17 and last year led the team in rebounding, was second in assists and steals and averaged 12.2 points.
He transferred to California State University, Bakersfield.
Nick Sherod, a junior in his third year as a starter, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the first half of the sixth game of the season and has not played since. He averaged 36 minutes, 15.2 points and 6 rebounds going into that game against Hampton.
Any team would struggle after losing three talented starters.
Anonymous critics also might ask if Mooney is getting all the support he needs to compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The top teams in the league, and now even perennial doormat Duquesne, have made major commitments to their programs. If these schools are recruiting a player who meets the NCAA requirements for eligibility -- and in some cases even a player who doesn't but will after sitting out a year -- that player is getting into the school.
It's fine if Richmond doesn't want to do that, and if not, consideration should be given to leaving the A-10 to compete at a more appropriate level -- the Big South, Colonial Athletic Association or Patriot League, for example.
Earlier this month, O'Connor asked UR vice president and athletics director John Hardt about Mooney's future. Hardt said, "This is not the time. The focus right now is on the team and competing on the court."
The university opted not to comment on the billboard.
Every responsible adult at Richmond should be outraged by this anonymous attack on a member of its community. The university's silence is equally outrageous. Someone in a leadership role should have come to Mooney's defense.
This is the time for the UR administration to decide whether it stands with the coach who has represented it capably and honorably since 2005 or with an anonymous group that hides behind signs and the unsocial side of social media.