I don’t even know where to begin with the first topic of the day. It involves two abjectly odious institutions – the NCAA and the Congress of the United States. Putting those two organizations into any story makes the story about as appealing as curdled milk.
According to a report in the LA Times, two members of the House of Representatives have introduced bipartisan legislation to create something called the Congressional Advisory Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics (CACIA). These two Congressthings want more oversight on Intercollegiate Athletics that pays attention to the academics of the schools and to the well-being of the student-athletes. I have no problem with that, but you are going to need the oratorical skills of Clarence Darrow and Cicero merged with the literary prowess of William Shakespeare to convince me that the US Congress is the entity to provide such constructive oversight.
The CACIA would consist of appointees by the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and the Senate plus one member appointed by the Secretary of Education. The purpose of CACIA is to study issues outlined in the legislation and to prepare a report which would include recommendations to the Congress for needed change.
Folks, what this means is that intercollegiate athletics would then be overseen by the Congress and the DoJ. As lothesome as I find the NCAA, I am hard-pressed to convince myself that having the Congress and DoJ in charge is even marginally better. About the only way to make this idea even worse would be to have CACIA coordinate its reporting with the US Olympic Committee and broaden the scope to “nominally amateur” athletics before the Congress gets the report and uses it to do something that will certainly have adverse unintended consequences.
Moving on …
The Jags fired Tom Coughlin as their VP of Football – or whatever his title was – last week. This came on the heels of an arbitrators ruling against the club and an NFLPA statement that 25% of player grievances filed against the league for arbitration involved the Jags. The union went on to say that players should keep that in mind when deciding where they may want to play when they have that decision to make.
Tom Coughlin – by all reporting – is a no-nonsense tight ass, and he has been that for decades. I believe that in modern parlance he would be labeled as a “control freak”. Anyone seeking to establish a warm and fuzzy work environment with employee involvement in decision making should not hire Tom Coughlin to oversee that organization. Nonetheless:
- Tom Coughlin has coached 2 Super Bowl winning teams in NY.
- Tom Coughlin beat Bill Belichick and the Patriots in both of those Super Bowls.
- He coached the Jags for the first 8 years of their existence with a record of 68-60.
- His 20-year regular season coaching record was 170-150 with a playoff record of 12-7.
I think it would be fair to say that in the world of coaching NFL football, Tom Coughlin was a successful no-nonsense tight ass. In his role as VP of Football in Jax, Coughlin made some serious mistakes and two of the big ones involved QBs:
- He retained the services of Blake Bortles at least one year too long – – and maybe 2 years too long.
- He signed Nick Foles to a contract for 4 years and $88M with $45M guaranteed at signing.
Bortles can’t play; Foles can play but can’t play worth $88M. Those decisions were bad, and the team will need time to extricate itself from the consequences of those decisions.
Some players like traded-away Jalen Ramsey and still on the job Leonard Fournette are being smug about “outliving” Tom Coughlin. That’s okay – – and at the same time, until such time when either or both Ramsey and Fournette get their third Super Bowl ring, Tom Coughlin will be happy with his two.
Thinking about this situation suggests to me that great coaches from the past would not succeed in today’s NFL. Anyone who thinks Coughlin is overbearing would likely curl up into the fetal position if they had to live under Vince Lombardi.
As the NFL regular season comes to an end next week, we can look forward to the announcement of various awards – many of which look pretty obvious to me.
- Lamar Jackson is the MVP
- John Harbaugh is the Coach of the Year – – with Kyle Shanahan getting votes too.
- Nick Bosa is Defensive Rookie of the Year
- Josh Jacobs is the Offensive Rookie of the Year
Here in Curmudgeon Central, I like to hand out other sorts of “Awards” and here are 4 for this NFL season:
- Worst Innovation: Challenging pass interference calls.
- Biggest Underachievement (Team Category): Cleveland Browns – – thought by some to be a dark-horse for the Super Bowl – – with the LA Chargers going from 12-4 last year to 5-10 as of this morning getting votes too.
- Biggest Underachievement (Player Category): Odell Beckham, Jr.
- Biggest Underachievement (Coaching Category): Matt Patricia – – with Sean McVey getting votes too.
Finally, Bob Molinaro had this comment in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot a couple of weeks ago regarding a disappointing season by an NFL star player:
“Foot loose: Improbably, the Colts are sticking with Adam Vinatieri during a brutal season that would result in a less-celebrated kicker being kicked to the curb. The 46-year-old future Hall of Famer has missed 11 kicks — including six extra-point attempts — costing Indy two or three games. I suppose the loyalty to Vinatieri reflects well on Indy’s brass and how the kicker is regarded in the locker room. But it begs the question — is his next miss his last?”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………