- Mike Smith and Tony Sparano may have failed to reach the next round of the playoffs, but that doesn’t take away from the incredible impact each had on his team this season, and that puts a lot of pressure on those interviewing for vacant head positions around the league. General Managers throughout the NFL just watched the Falcons and Dolphins reach the playoffs a season after combining for just five wins, which suggests that the right head coach shouldn’t need very long to turn even the worst team around.
It’s not like Smith and Sparano came in with much to work with either. Each had new quarterbacks on the roster, one who had never taken a snap in the NFL and another who had a reputation for throwing like the first basemen on your beer-league softball team. That means that even the Lions, who have one of the best receivers in the league in Calvin Johnson, should have high expectations for their next head coach. And in a place like Cleveland, where the Browns were the sexy pick to reach the playoffs, ten wins will be an absolute necessity.
- Of course, no matter how talented the roster is, it’s hard to trust anyone running the Cleveland Browns. Anyone who has paid attention to the Jets the past few seasons will tell you Eric Mangini is not a guy who should run the show. Yet Cleveland, obsessed with anyone who has ever had anything to do with the Patriots, have made him the front runner for its head job.
- By the way, if the Broncos don’t have a head coach by Friday, you can bet Bob Stoops will have interest then.
- Brett Favre is “leaning” toward retirement again, which is like Oprah leaning toward dieting – the end result is inevitable. I’m sure Brett will change his mind and find a team good enough for him, one that will allow him to run the show even as he throws pick after pick.
It’s embarrassing that A) no one in the mainstream media was ever willing to point out what an egomaniac this guy was while in Green Bay and B) the Jets were completely fine with trading for a guy that had no interest in being a good teammate. There are plenty of sports where camaraderie is overrated. Michael Jordan spent far more time at the blackjack table than he did at the dinner table with his teammates and Manny Ramirez probably couldn’t name ten guys he’s ever played with – both still led their teams to championships. But football is the one sport where a good relationship with the guys around you is imperative.
Of course Favre thought it was okay to alienate himself from his teammates from day one, as if the best way to lead players was to avoid them. Is this the type of guy you want quarterbacking your team next season?
- Charles Barkley is John Daly with a larger following. And if the state of Alabama ever votes him governor, it should be kicked out of the union.
- Something doesn’t feel right about this UConn team. It’s almost like two seasons ago where the players were so scared of getting pulled by Jim Calhoun that they could never play to their full potential. Calhoun needs to ease up and remember what worked last season.
- A healthy, fresh-legged bench player who can play defense, score in bunches and pass the basketball is what the Boston Celtics need. Yet everyone seems to think Stephon Marbury in a limited role will automatically mean failure for the Celtics.
- I didn’t do one of those story of the year columns because to me, it was so clear-cut that it didn’t even warrant a post: Michael Phelps.
For young people like me, there have been few, if any, points in our lives where it felt great to be an American. We’re in a war most people oppose. The first President that we’ve actually followed is one of the most-hated men on earth. And most people associate American sports with steroids and showboating. But 2008 was one of those years that gave us chills we normally only feel while watching movies. We stopped being apathetic toward politics and turned out in record numbers to vote a black man into office. And over the summer, we watched men swim as though it were the Super Bowl because an American was making history.
The Michael Phelps story is our generation’s Miracle.