Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"He's on FIRE!"

The ongoing Florida football staff makeover yesterday led to the expected addition of D.J. Durkin and the unexpected return of Stan Drayton to the fold. Like most observers, I'm surprised to see Drayton back in Gainesville. He's clearly a good recuiter, and he does know how Meyer likes to do things. I just haven't seen any evidence that he's a very good coach. There was zero improvement in running backs at UF during his tenure, and the fumbling problems his players had in Gainesville migrated north to Knoxville when he left. Maybe having Brian White, a guy with extensive previous RB coaching on his resume, already on the staff to help out if needed reduces the worry about how Drayton will do in that role. I'm particularly curious about the next guy added, assuming Vance Bedford does leave. Corwin Brown? Willie Martinez? Taver Johnson? There's some very interesting names in play at the moment.

Percy Harvin is the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year. I understand there were teams with anxiety about his off field behaior, particularly after the positive marijuana test, but I still don't understand how he was allowed to drop to 22nd in the draft. I've watched a lot of college football, and covered some really special talents up close. I've never seen a guy with the combination of abilities Harvin has - not just raw speed, but the ability to accelerate while cutting and the physical stature not to go down on contact. He's going to be a terrific player for years. Wish the Bucs would have noticed, but they were busy reaching for a quarterback with on field poor decision making skills instead.

The NCAA made official what should have been obvious to FSU from the beginning - they will not escape the penalties the organization imposed on them as a result of their academic scandal. With Bobby Bowden having been forced out and his chase of the wins record rendered a moot point, they would have been better off not spending a dime on attorneys to pursue this. The NCAA should have issued scholarship reductions to begin with, and asking them to take away the meager punishment they did settle on was absurd.

A popular trend in recent years is to write articles and/or books that purport to explain the "hidden secret" to success in a field using statistics. Some of the conclusions are pretty interesting and have good support. Some come off as more coincidence than anything meaningful. Then there are some which are just stupid, like someone trying to claim Marty Mornhinweg is the next great NFL head coach. Sorry, no. I don't care what demographic info of other coaches says, I saw Marty Mornhinweg try and be a head coach with Detroit. From choosing to kickoff to begin overtime to losing respect from players almost immediately during his first training camp with an amateurish "storming off on my motorcycle in disgust" stunt, it was clear Mornhinweg lacks both the proper personality and strategic judgement to do the job. If he's the guy ESPN's "formula" says is the right choice, their formula is garbage.

I'm not much of a video game guy, but one I used to love to play back in college was NBA Jam. Now, it's making a comeback. This is one of the smartest moves for the NBA in a long time. Kids playing against video game Al Horford and Joe Johnson with Pau Gasol and Kobe will get interested in their teams too. Who knows, maybe if this catches on again people will actually be able to name two members of the Charlotte Bobcats!

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