Earlier this week, I mentioned that LSU fired Les Miles as the head football coach. I am a firm believer that players are more responsible for winning and losing individual games than are coaches and that coaches are more responsible for the overall direction/philosophy of the program than are players. That is why it makes little sense to me to fire a coach because of a bad loss – on the last play of a game in this case. Moreover, I see the potential for parallels here that might not be attractive to LSU fans. Consider:
Frustrated by a downturn in football fortunes, Tennessee fired Phil Fulmer in 2008. Phil Fulmer had won a national championship at Tennessee in 1998. The only other coach to do that for Tennessee was Robert Neyland who did it 3 times in 1938, 1950 and 1951. Tennessee football since Fulmer left town has seen 3 head coaches and a cumulative record of 42-44. That is pure mediocrity.
Frustrated by a downturn in football fortunes, Michigan fired Lloyd Carr in 2007. Lloyd Carr had won a national championship at Michigan in 1997. The sainted Bo Schembechler was the coach at Michigan for 21 years and coached 296 games there; Saint Bo won exactly ZERO national championships. In fact, Saint Bo was 5-12 in bowl games. After Carr left, the next two coaches led the Wolverines to a cumulative record of 46-42. That is pure mediocrity. And that led to the hiring of Jim Harbaugh who seems to have set the Michigan program on an upward vector once again.
Now to the present…
Frustrated by the failure of LSU to win championships – and particularly frustrated by the fact that former LSU coach Nick Saban has been winning a bunch of them at Alabama, LSU fired Les Miles in 2016. Les Miles had won a national championship at LSU in 2007. The only other coaches at LSU ever to do that were Nick Saban (2003) and Paul Dietzel (1958). Miles overall record produced a winning percentage of .778 and that is a higher winning percentage than either Saban produced (.750) or Dietzel produced (.651). What is next for LSU football? We shall see …
In NFL news, Greg Hardy was arrested once again in suburban Dallas. During a routine traffic stop, police found cocaine in Hardy’s car and a packet of cocaine in his wallet. Hardy proclaims his innocence saying that he had been at a party and was paying for everything there and that is how his wallet got passed around to other folks. As to the bag of cocaine in his car, his explanation is that someone at the party gave it to him and he did not know what it was. Remember, innocent until proven guilty in a court of law …
Greg Hardy hopes someday to get another chance to play NFL football. The fact that Jerry Jones – the Father Flannigan of the NFL now that Al Davis has joined the original Father Flannigan in the cosmos – refused to sign him to a contract this year tells you that Greg Hardy is “radioactive” at the moment. And that decision was taken prior to this arrest.
When I read the reports of this incident, I was not surprised at all to note two things:
1. Hardy’s agent refused to comment.
2. Hardy’s agent was Drew Rosenhaus.
Speaking obliquely of the Dallas Cowboys, the Dallas Business Journal reported that the Cowboys are the only NFL team with an estimated value from Forbes that is above $4B. The Cowboys are valued at $4.2B in 2016; the next most valuable franchise is the New England Patriots at $3.4B; the least valuable NFL franchise is the Buffalo Bills at $1.5B. If you care to see the estimated valuation of all the NFL franchises, here is a link.
Staying with the NFL for now, profootballtalk.com reported that Lady Gaga will be the headline performer at the Super Bowl in February 2017. I always look forward to this annual announcement because it lets me know which “artist” I will be ignoring during the halftime of that game. While I could not pretend to be knowledgeable about Ms. Gaga at all, I do know that she once wore a dress made out of meat to some sort of ceremony and that enraged the folks at PETA. Everyone here knows that I have little time for PETA and its members because they trivialize their activism with nonsense. Therefore, anyone who can piss off PETA gets a gold star from me.
I also recall reading something that is another “plus” for Lady Gaga. I recall that the Chinese government has blocked her from citizens in China because she was considered a “hostile entity” (or some similar description) because she met with the Dalai Lama. The only thing I know about her music is that she once did a duet with Tony Bennett which had to have been one of the great cross-generational events of the decade.
As the MLB season draws to a close, you have precious little time left to get to a park to sample some of the outrageous food offerings that are still out there.
Go to a Cleveland Indians game and get a hot dog with bacon, pimento mac-and-cheese, ketchup, and Froot Loops. That sandwich has two violations:
Ketchup on a hot dog is never permissible.
Froot Loops is miserable as a cereal; what makes anyone think it belongs on a hot dog.
Go to a Detroit Tigers game and get a BratPop. This is pure simplicity. You take a bratwurst, put it on a stick, dip it in batter and deep-fry it. Probably best served with a side order of Zocor.
Go to a San Diego Padres game and get Poke Nachos. This is a cross-cultural monstrosity consisting of nacho chips covered with jalapenos, edamame, pickled ginger, scallions, kimchee, shishito peppers and avocado cream.
Finally, consider this commentary from Brad Rock in the Deseret News recognizing a nexus between politics and sports:
“Mark Cuban has offered to pay $10 million to charity if allowed to interview Trump for four hours.
“Cuban, a former Trump supporter, apparently got upset when he heard The Donald plans to build a wall around Germany to keep out Dirk Nowitzki.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………