October 28 - Please Come To My Office
There are some people that I need to see right away, including:
1 - THOSE WHO SAID MIKE SHULA WASN’T QUALIFIED TO COACH
I know there was a lot of sentiment for Sylvester Croom, being a former
Crimson Tide player and all, Green Bay Packers, etc., but it wasn’t like
they pulled Shula from a group of graduate assistants. The guy had a
pretty good track record of developing quarterbacks (part of the ‘Bama
tradition), had five assistant coaching positions in the NFL and had that
unflappable demeanor so necessary in the football-crazed atmosphere
of the SEC. So he steps in, goes 4-9, then 6-6 and now he’s got The Tide
back to the level most ‘Bama fans feel is their birthright, back in the Top
10. And, they beat Tennessee this past week, which if you’ve ever talked
to an Alabama fan, is right up there with having your pick up truck’s gas tank filled and beating
Auburn. Croom will do a good job at Mississippi State, but kudos to Mal Moore, AD at Alabama, for
sticking by your guns (they do that in Alabama, too).
2 - THOSE WHO SAID THE NHL IS DEAD
Did you check the paid attendance at games over the weekend? Hockey fans are either just waking
up after sleeping for 18 months and didn’t know about the strike or insane about their game. It’s the
latter and do you know why? Of the four major sports, only hockey can give you sustained action for an
extended period of time, instead of the stops and starts everyone else has. Live hockey, and the
passion it creates, is a special experience with its speed, change of direction and continuous ebbs
and flows. I’m not buying into the shootout thing yet, but I’ll admit that even though I was turned off by
the senseless labor strife, the first weekend (and since then), I am following my team once again.
Talk about blind loyalty.
3 - THOSE WHO SAID PEOPLE WOULDN’T WATCH 24 HOURS OF
The YES network is an amazing success ($) story. I guess it’s the
baseball version of the History Channel. Even when the Yankees aren’t
playing, how do you not keep watching the one game playoff of 1978
when it’s on, or the Dave Righetti no-hitter or wait for the Tino Martinez
World Series grand slam? I would like to see more of the ‘50s/’60s black
and white, limited graphics (isn’t it fun to guess who the I’m not a Kids On
Deck fan, but Yankeeography is the newest model of the old Biography show, hosted by Mike
Wallace. I am still waiting for the Horace Clarke, Ross Moschitto and Bill Robinson episodes. The
Ultimate Road Trip? Although it’s something my friends and I have discussed for years (who on this
page hasn’t thought about it?), I guess I’m too envious of the participants to tune in regularly.
4 - THOSE WHO SAID JOE PATERNO’S TIME WAS UP
I always thought that the reason Penn State dominated in the ‘70s/’80s was that their facilities,
coaching, overall program was much better than Syracuse, Boston College, Rutgers, West Virginia,
etc. But when they moved into the Big Ten, they were only equals to everyone else. In the cyclical
recruiting world of the Big Ten, Iowa had their run, Purdue had theirs and now Penn State is having
theirs. So now, with a little more offensive skill and speed, he’s a smart coach once again.
OK, my calendar’s full with these appointments, but maybe next time, I’ll see the guys who wanted
Phillip Rivers instead of Eli Manning, Ryan Leaf instead of Peyton Manning and the people who
perfected the BCS system.