Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Names from the past resurface

Some Florida fans are intrigued by the idea that Urban Meyer's former Utah offensive coordinator Mike Sanford was fired at UNLV Monday. Could he be the right guy to put some juice back into UF's playcalling? Perhaps, but I don't think you'll see that. Sanford left after the regular season instead of waiting until after the Utah Fiesta Bowl, something Urban Meyer was not crazy about. He also was a little too aggressive about trying to declare himself the tue architect of the Utah success, which didn't play well inside the UF staff. This may be a moot point since there's not an opening at UF and probably won't be one on that side of the ball this year, but if it occurs I doubt Sanford becomes a factor in Gainesville.

Jon Gruden's decision to stay with ESPN for the forseeable future is a good one. He makes good points on the Monday Night Football broadcasts and comes off as an energetic, likable personality. If he wants, he could easily be John Madden for the coming generation. Beyond that, this is a jampacked year for NFL coaching candidates. Mike Shanahan wants back in. Bill Cowher reportedly is willing to listen again. Mike Holmgren and Brian Billick have Super Bowl wins on their resumes and are available as well. If you're Gruden and you know that's the case, why not keep collecting the Bucs checks and living the easier life of a broadcaster for a few years until your market value is at its peak?

If it seems to you that the NFL's entire style of play has changed in the past few seasons, you're right. Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News shows that the days when running was the key to winning in the NFL have gone the way of the dodo. As recently as 2007, a 300 yard passer didn't necessarily mean good things for your team's chances of winning a game. Now, it practically ensures they'll win. Speaking of winning, Freakonomics author Steven Levitt feels Bill Belichick made a good choice by going for it at his own 28 Sunday night. While I agree that teams do punt too often, this choice still seems to have been an totally unneeded risk for the Patriots.

The news that Ken Ober had died caught me off guard yesterday. If the name means nothing to you, it's understandable - you just aren't the right age. Ober's primary claim to fame was being the creator and host of MTV's Remote Control, which began airing as I started high school and ended its run when I graduated. What blows me away is the amount of comedy talent that worked on that show part time. Denis Leary and Adam Sandler performed in bits. Colin Quinn was the announcer. It was funny and it was different from anything else that was on at the time. I knew Ober had done some other comedy work, but hadn't paid much attention other than his roles in the occasional Blues Traveler video. The funny Remote Control guy from my high school years was 52, and now he's dead. Just another reminder for me that time moves way too quickly.

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