The news that Jon Gruden was out as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hit just before 6 PM Friday. It was unquestionably the right move. Martin Fennelly sums it up as well as anyone - there was simply no reason to buy any of Gruden's BS anymore. The Gruden/Bruce Allen plan for 2009 would have been something like this... sign a few more 35 year olds (ideally with a felony conviction or two) to play the skill positions, take a look at Michael Vick to be the young QB of the future, and make sure to alienate at least a half dozen more productive guys by lying to them. Things will be better in no time!
Gruden supposedly is stunned he was let go. He shouldn't be. When you go to the playoffs just twice in six years, losing at home in the first round both times, you can't be shocked that the guys who canned a much better person and coach in Tony Dungy after four playoff appearances in six years would make a move again. The difference between the Dungy move and this time is that they had a plan in place that did not rely on the flakiness of Bill Parcells. Raheem Morris could turn out to be the next Mike Tomlin or the next Richard Williamson. Should he fail, it will not mean the Gruden move was a mistake - he'd already lost the locker room back when I covered the team daily in 2004 and never got it back.
The Super Bowl matchup is set, and there will be plenty of time to analyze the Cardinals and Steelers over the next thirteen days. For two teams with no meaningful history between them, there are a surprising number of storylines for this game. Two Super Bowl winning QBs squaring off looking for their second ring, impressive offense versus great defense, tradition versus nobodies - this actually looks pretty interesting to me, while Ravens-Cardinals would have been a snoozer.
Ole Miss basketball coach Andy Kennedy has had a rough year. Multiple injuries have decimated his roster, he's been arrested on an assault charge, and now his wife has told the world they're not having enough sex anymore. As a result, Mrs. Kennedy is suing the cabbie who accused her husband of the assault. Think any of the student sections Ole Miss will see the rest of the way will mention this while they heckle?
Perhaps all the negative stuff I've been reading about the economy is inaccurate. There has to be some explanation for how the people of this country chose to spend 32.3 million of their dollars to make Paul Blart: Mall Cop the number one movie at the box office. If you want something extraordinarily well acted that's perhaps a bit more challenging than Mall Cop, I recommend Doubt.