I've been waiting all week for something to get me excited about the Super Bowl, but it doesn't look like its going to happen. I still feel like the game should be pretty good, with the Steelers the team I'm both picking and rooting for. Mike Tomlin did great work with Tampa Bay despite being treated poorly be Gruden, and I'd enjoy seeing him win a championship in that same stadium. I don't think Arizona can protect Warner well enough to get out with a win. Let's call it 28-17 Pittsburgh and hope Bruce Springsteen can get them to extend the halftime long enough for him to play six songs instead of three. Feel free to have some fun with a pool during the game, but if you start betting on which commercial will be most popular you need help.
Georgia fired Dennis Felton yesterday, about seven hours after I posted here that the change would have to be made soon. At some point, when it's obvious things aren't working, there is no other option. Felton came in with lots of goodwill because he'd agreed to clean up the slime Jim Harrick and his son had tracked all over the Bulldog program. He was never able to build on that and become a popular figure in Athens. Felton brought in too many talented players like Mike Mercer who turned out to be knuckleheads (Mercer got kicked out of UGA, transferred and got kicked off USF's team earlier this week after his second arrest there). The state of Georgia pumps out top talent in basketball, and the number one priority for UGA will be finding someone who can keep it instate. Anthony Grant's phone may already be ringing.
Tampa Bay has hired Jeff Jagodzinski as offensive coordinator. I like this choice better than some of the other options that had been discussed. Jagodzinski has OC experience, knows how to work with quarterbacks, and runs a scheme which should fit alright with Tampa Bay's existing personnel. With a young head coach in Raheem Morris, having a guy who's made the final decisions recently (although at Boston College rather than the NFL) as part of the staff isn't a bad idea either.
It's important for college coaches to up to speed on modern technology. If you want to communicate with today's kids, you'd better know how about email, Facebook, etc. Guys like Bowden and Paterno who take pride in not knowing any of that stuff seem ridiculous - who wants to play for a guy who brags about how he refuses to learn something new? No college coach is better at utilizing modern tools than Pete Carroll. Having said that, if the best Pete can come up with for news on his Twitter feed is that he's listening to Heart's "Barracuda" I'm not sure that's helping too much.
I was sorry to find out last night that Ashley's Pub has closed down in Gainesville. Ashley's wasn't the best place to eat, but it was one of the places that bridged the gap between my college days (where friends would go for "big-ass margaritas") and more recent years (where I'd noticed the crowds were mighty small during periodic Monday gatherings for dinner with friends). I probably wouldn't have wound up going in there again on one of my weekend visits, but it's still too bad it's gone. Support the businesses you like, because in this economy they might not be around if you don't. See you back here Monday.