For years, I have referred to José Canseco as the gift that keeps on giving. Canseco says or does something outrageous sufficiently often that he provides regular grist for commentary here. There may be a potential challenger to Canseco on the horizon. Terrell Owens has gotten to the point where he says/does things that are apart from the center of gravity of normal behavior. His latest is a comment made to a Dallas Sports Radio station saying that he cannot figure out why or how Jason Garrett has a job in the NFL let alone as the head coach of the Cowboys.
Owens’ rationale for that assertion is that the Cowboys – as a franchise – are at a “standstill” and whenever there are shortcomings in Cowboys’ performance, it is always the players who are the focus of the blame. According to Owens’ it is Garrett who fails to lead the team.
For the record, I could not possibly defend the argument that Jason Garrett is a great NFL head coach. His overall record in Dallas is 67-53 in 7.5 seasons at the helm; that normalizes to 9-7 each year and that is neither great nor horrible. Adding to the stats that suggest that Garrett is a mediocre coach is the fact that the Cowboys have finished 8-8 or 9-7 in 4 of his 7 full seasons there.
The great irony of all this is the source of this commentary. There is at least some reason to question Owens as a source of information on the subject of team leadership. Owens put up some prodigious receiving stats over his career but wore out his welcome with 5 teams; his departures from both Philly and Dallas were operatic in their grandeur. Moreover, in the majority of cases, team shortcomings are more properly assessed against the GMs who built the rosters and against the players on the field failing to perform sufficiently well to win games. Coaching prowess is vastly overrated except for those very few “truly great coaches” at the top of the pile and those very few “truly incompetent coaches” at the bottom.
Speaking of football coaches, Chip Kelly will return to college football at UCLA after a hiatus in the NFL and as a TV analyst. Kelly’s teams had lots of success during his time at Oregon and the Eagles won 10 games in each of his first two seasons there. Things fell apart in his 3rd year in Philly and then he had the impossible task of trying to win with the Niners’ roster in 2016. It will be interesting to see how he does with UCLA.
Chip Kelly is a “system guy”; he has a way of attacking a football game and he sticks to it. He is a true-believer in “sports science” and is convinced that understating sports science gives him and his teams an edge in every game. The reason I think it will be interesting to see how things go at UCLA this year and in the following couple of years is this:
- If Chip Kelly is a “one-trick-pony” who was ahead of the crowd with his devotion to sports science and his constant hurry-up offensive attack when he was at Oregon, is he still ahead of the crowd?
- Have defenses caught up to his offense? Have other coaches found ways to counter his team’s style of play?
- Can Chip Kelly adapt – if data begin to show that he should adapt?
A few weeks ago, I said that I had watched a little of ESPN’s new morning show, Get Up! Featuring Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle and Jalen Rose. I have not been a devoted regular viewer since that last comment, but I have tuned in frequently to see various segments while the coffee is brewing in the morning or while thumbing through the morning paper. I have watched enough of it to know that I am not going to watch much more of it because:
- It is not sufficiently informative to draw my attention.
- It is not nearly humorous.
- None of the three hosts approach “must-see TV” status.
The other sports network morning show that is relatively new is on FS-1. First Things First features Cris Carter, Nick Wright and Jenna Wolfe. This program has improved from the very rough edges that it exhibited when it started on the air. It is still formulaic; Cris Carter is pedantic far too often for my taste; I have gotten to the point where I can take Nick Wright in small doses. First Things First is not great television and I will not watch it more than once a week in the future, but it is now better than Get Up!
Finally, here is a comment from Brad Dickson, formerly with the Omaha World-Herald:
“A kayaker in Japan was banned for eight years for spiking his rival’s drink. I’m pretty sure that’s legal at the Tour de France.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………