You don't see many trades as big as the one that went down in the NFL yesterday. There's a reason for that. It's incredibly risky to bet your whole franchise on one player, but that's what Chicago did yesterday. I think they made a disastrous choice. If Jay Cutler had been there for the 18th pick in the draft, the Bears would have taken him. They obviously want him to replace Kyle Orton, so I can rationalize him being part of the deal although Chicago now lacks any kind of credible backup. A third rounder to sweeten the pot would make me reluctant, but I can still cope. But Chicago's 2010 first rounder on top of all that is simply way too much. This is the kind of move you make when you're ready to win big and you think a guy will get you over the top. Cutler's not getting them anywhere close to the Super Bowl throwing to Devin Hester and Earl Bennett as primary receivers, not to mention the defense has gone downhill. The Bears blew this and I thank them for doing so, because otherwise Tampa Bay might have.
Memphis is looking for someone who can pick up where John Calipari left off, but there aren't a lot of coaches with the salesman personality he had to attract both attention and recruits. One guy who could have done it was Bruce Pearl, but he's staying in Knoxville. UT had to keep him. There is absolutely no one available who can do for them what Pearl has done with that program. Are there better bench coaches than him? Yes. That doesn't matter - the guy fills the arena, his style is fun to watch and he brings in elite guys. He may never get past the Sweet 16, but it's not like Buzz Peterson, Kevin O'Neill or Jerry Green were threatening to do that either.
While Pearl is staying in Knoxville, Lennon Creer is not. The tailback is transferring out rather than be part of Lane Kiffin's first squad. I always thought this kid had talent and was underused by the Fulmer staff, and I think he'll turn out to be a nice player for whoever gets him. I'll be curious to see what Creer has to say about the new coaching staff whenever someone gets some public comments from him. Kiffin clearly feels this is no great loss, but now the Vols will be mighty inexperienced at tailback behind Montario Hardesty.
Georgia found their new basketball coach. It's a curious choice at best, and more likely an outright panic hire. Mark Fox has a solid overall record at Nevada but hasn't reached the NCAA tournament either of the past two years. He has no significant ties in the south, or the eastern half of the country for that matter. Fox also is well known as a hothead who rants and raves at officials like a lunatic. I got to see Fox work in person when his Nevada team took on Creighton in New Orleans while UF was there for the first round in 2007. After the game, I remember saying to Larry Vettel that there was no way I would ever hire that guy to coach my team. Fox was constantly carping at the officials, mishandled strategy in multiple game situations and was thoroughly unimpressive overall. Given what he's up against, I'll be surprised if UGA isn't looking for a new coach again four years from now.
The folks at ESPN have decided they need to branch back into movies, meaning we'll have some more lines drilled into our heads with never ending promos - "All I want to do is race, daddy!". Who can forget bloated Brian Dennehy trying to impersonate Bobby Knight in "A Season On the Brink"? And just what stories does ESPN feel need to be told these days? According to the network...
"King of the New York Streets recounts how former Indiana Pacers sharpshooter Reggie Miller crushed the New York Knicks' hopes and dreams in the 1995 playoffs"
You can see the real thing yourself anytime you want. If you care about the NBA, you probably remember it quite well. Why do we need to see someone do a crappy job of trying to recreate it? ESPN will probably cast Bow Wow as Reggie Miller and then have Lil' Wayne and Skip Bayless argue on First Take about whether it's the best acting performance of all time. Have a good weekend and I'll see you back here Monday.