Tuesday, January 27, 2009

No one could do less with more than Mark Gottfried

In college basketball you can go a long way on recruiting, but eventually if you can't coach the talent you get the clock runs out. John Brady actually got LSU to the Final Four in 2006, and it still wasn't enough to keep him employed more than two losing seasons. Now Mark Gottfried's finished at Alabama. This had to happen. Gottfried is a terrible bench coach, ruined the career of Ronald Steele by playing him far too many minutes with a knee injury, and never could do anything on the road. Talented and athletic players like Alonzo Gee are no better today than they were the day they got to Tuscaloosa. That's a direct reflection on poor coaching. Now the Tubby Smith chase is on - Auburn and Georgia will both join in soon enough. Anthony Grant's name is bound to come up as well.

Last week's news of the impending Michael Irvin reality show for a spot on the Dallas Cowboys camp roster was ridiculous. So naturally, Terrell Owens had to find a way to top it. Owens will be getting his own show on VH-1 this summer, with his publicists acting as "matchmakers and therapists" for him. Neither publicist is Kim Etheredge, who made the "he's got 25 million reasons to live" comment at the press conference after T.O.'s supposed suicide attempt. I stopped watching VH-1 a few years ago, when the last music shows like Storytellers disappeared and it turned into the channel with lots of unfunny people I'd never heard of making lame wisecracks about something from the past every thirty to forty seconds. If this T.O. show sounds good to them, I shudder to think what's passing for programming on there now.

It's a safe bet T.O.'s show won't be an NFL Films production. The question is just how many more things they will be putting out. The Philadelphia Daily News says the league is cutting lots of jobs at NFL Films and may want to kill them off altogether. That would be a bizarre and poorly thought out choice. The NFL has its whole history available to view, unlike any other sport. I'd love to be able to fully appreciate the career of guys like Bill Russell or Jerry West but I can't. That's because there's very little video available of their playing days. Gale Sayers career was well before my time, yet I've been able to see why he's in Canton for myself. It's tacky enough the NFL is putting people out of work at a time where the league is still rolling in money. To show a lack of appreciation for the value of NFL Films only compounds their foolishness.

When you work in sports radio, you know you'll periodically tick some people off. That's just the nature of a job where expressing an opinion is a big part of what you do. I've been doing radio fulltime since 1998, so it's safe to say I've irritated plenty of people along the way at some point (especially the Zook era). In those eleven years, I've gotten plenty of angry emails. If you respond reasonably to those people, they generally cool off and acknowledge maybe they were overreacting a bit. Guess I'm lucky I've never worked in the Fort Myers/Naples area. According to David Moulton, an afternoon host on AM 770 down there, he gets weekly death threats, has had his car's windshield broken and tires slashed, drinks poured on him at angry confrontations, and threats made to his daughter. I've had one death threat in eleven years and nothing but polite interactions in public. No one I know in sports radio has experienced anything in their career remotely like a supposed typical week for Moulton. Guess they must take their sports WAY more seriously in Fort Myers than they do in SEC and NFL cities, huh? Or perhaps someone's got a bit of an overactive imagination - it could be that.

1 comment:

Jeremiah said...

It would be great to see Tubby Smith back in the SEC, and the three teams we anticipate having openings this offseason (and maybe four if Vandy completely tanks and they choose to cut Kevin Stallings loose) would all be good fits for Tubby. I could definently see him returning to Georgia where he could get two cracks at Kentucky every year. Tubby is a class act, but there's no doubt in my mind he'd love to stick it back to Kentucky if given the chance.

The other guy that I really like and should be pursued by these teams is Sean Miller. Every time I watch Xavier play, I am so impressed by the inside/outside game, their point guard play, and their team defense. Put him in Alabama, and I promise he'd get those athletes playing to their potential.

I might be crazy, but I think Auburn would be a great fit for Grant. They've got resources, a new arena, a lack of consistent winning tradition (much like Florida when Billy took over, so there wouldn't be a rabid, unrealistic fanbase expecting the moon right away), and lots of available playing time for Grant to recruit to. Heck, he could go to any recruit right now over 6'7" and say "You're my starting center on Day 1."