Thursday, October 21, 2010

How do you really feel, Mike?

As often as we interview sports figures, you'd think there would be lots of blunt honesty on display. The reality is that most coaches and players keep things polite on the public level, even though privately they'll blast them. Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer isn't known for being a extraordinarily lively sound bite, but he threw the typically "coach speak" aside yesterday as emphatically as anyone ever has. The topic of discussion was Zimmer's return to Atlanta after being DC on the Falcons staff Bobby Petrino screwed over by quitting with three games to go in 2007. Zimmer unloaded both barrels on Petrino, then reloaded and did it again. From the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy...

“He came in and said he resigned, he would talk to us all at a later date, walked out of the office and no one has ever talked to him since. Not that anybody wanted to.

“He’s a gutless b—–d. Quote that. I don’t give a s—.”

When told that we might might not be able to use the B word, Zimmer went one better: “How about this, gutless MF. You can use that."

It's nice to see someone in sports show legitimate emotions for once rather than insult everyone's intelligence by pretending all competitors are equally dangerous and there's no special satisfaction in beating some of them. It also helps that Zimmer's absolutely right - Petrino is a gutless MF for the way he handled that situation. He's pretty tough with female reporters wearing hats he doesn't like though.

One of the toughest challenges for people and companies is to be honest with themselves about what they are. North Texas failed that test miserably when they decided to fire their football coach after the 2006 season. Sure they'd won four conference titles with the guy, but he'd had a down year. This is the MEAN GREEN of Denton, Texas we're talking about. Greatness is not just expected, it is demanded! Compounding their error in canning the coach, UNT then decided to hire a successful Texas high school coach to take over. After he went 6-37 in the last three and a half seasons, they fired him yesterday. So what do their fans think they should do now? Go get Mike Leach! Riiiiight. To quote a Ben Folds song, "You've got to learn to live with what you are".

Someone in Hollywood actually thinks there's money to be made with a movie based on the Family Circus comic strip. They're hoping to own the movie going grandmother audience, apparently. Can't wait for the hilarity of "NOT ME" being brought to the big screen. Some people might have tried to adapt a funny comic strip rather than one that's seemed stale and out of date since the Reagan administration, but the producers of this epic clearly knew better.

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