Wednesday, June 18, 2008

That sound you hear is Jeremy Foley laughing

The Nashville paper reports an impending contract for seven years and a salary in the high two millions for Phillip Fulmer to remain coach of Tennessee - the question is why? Who was going to offer Fulmer another better paying opportunity to justfy spending this on him? Fulmer just won ten games and the East in 2007, but hasn't lost fewer than three in any year since 2001. Urban Meyer's 3-0 against him and humiliated the Vols last season. Without David Cutcliffe around, will Fulmer let his offensive coordinator do his job or start meddling again? I swear that ADs sometimes just forget they have the ability to say no to coaches who have no market value. Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno shouln't be getting raises the way 45 year olds with success do, because they aren't going anywhere else. As this stage in his career, neither was Fulmer.

Fulmer became Alabama Public Enemy Number One after he was involved in the Albert Means investigation that led to the Crimson Tide program getting hammered by the NCAA. The money man in that episode, Bama booster Logan Young, died under odd enough circumstances two years ago that the Discovery Channel is now doing a televised investigation of his death. If they're smart, they'll air it the week of the UT-Bama game.

Jemele Hill writes for ESPN.com now, but used to work for the Orlando Sentinel. I will not pretend to know Hill well, but she and I were part of a media group that went out to dinner in Arizona at the 2007 BCS title game and spoken briefly at other events. Every time I have crossed paths with Hill, she has seemed like an intelligent, fairly nice person. Which is why I read about this and shake my head in amazement. There are few absolutes in life, but this is one: unless you're writing about genocide, there are no good comparisons to be drawn with Hitler or the Nazis. Rooting for the Celtics certainly doesn't qualify. She's now been suspended. Don't expect any of ESPN's "screaming sportswriter" shows, including the two Hill regularly appears on, to acknowledge any of this ever happened. As the Dana Jacobson fiasco showed, ESPN likes discussing dirty laundry incessantly as long as it isn't theirs.

When I'm home in Tampa or when I was driving around in Gainesville in afternoons, I'd typically listen to at least some of Steve Duemig's afternoon sports show on 620 WDAE. Our styles are very different, but despite his reputation for bluster and combativeness on air friends of mine who know Steve like him very much. Duemig's known for pushing the envelope on his show, but the thing that's always amazed me is his annual Christmas Eve show where he and others basically hang out on the air and get hammered. I'm guessing he might want to back off of that this year.

One thing that might have UT afraid of replacing Fulmer is the fear of not finding someone better available for anything less than $aban money. If you make an impetuous move, you could wind up with someone like Minnesota's Tim Brewster. Brewster, who'd never been a head coach or even a coordinator before, replaced a mediocre coach in Glen Mason and made him look like a legend. After he took the Gophers to a 1-11 record that included losing at home to North Dakota State, Brewster is trying to convince people to keep the faith. The fact his own son is bailing out of the quarterback competition probably won't help with that much.

In an update to a previous story mentioned here, it turns out the Wii Fit Girl is a UF grad. Now the question is which attractive Gator grad will rack up more video views, her or Erin Andrews?

1 comment:

Matt said...

The contract extension is a joke but it's not like it really matters anyway. Phil might have bought himself another 2 years by getting to Atlanta last year (I still can't understand how Tennessee won the East) but that sense of commitment the administration is showing him won't be shared by the fans and boosters. A couple more average seasons--and it's hard to see how this upcoming one can be anything but average--and he'll be out the door. There is far too much coaching talent in the SEC for the Vols to continue to let Phil hold the reigns there. Eventually they're going to have to hire someone who can keep up with the other football minds in the conference.

A hearty congratulations on the Celtics winning the championship. I do think, however, that the historic turnaround from last season almost makes it feel a little less special. Almost like a Marlins one and done deal. The difference, of course, will be in the coming years as the Celtics continue to dominate the league. And by the way, when did Kevin Garnett turn into Flavor Flav? That post-game tirade was Flavor-esque, all he was missing was the clock and viking horns, I even think I heard him screaming "YEA BOIIIIII" at David Stern.