Friday, January 16, 2009
According to NFL Network's Adam Schefter, Jon Gruden has been fired as Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Wow. This offseason must have set a record for the amount of revolutions of the Coaching Carousel.
Gruden was victimized by Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin's decision to leave for the University of Tennessee to join his son Lane. He led the Bucs to the Super Bowl in 2002, but was 45-51 with two playoff losses since. Bad timing to be fired due to the fact that many vacancies have been filled.
Spags to Tampa? "Chucky" to the Jets?
The Yankees are opening a new stadium and, as a result, changing the economic infrastructure of baseball with their spending. The Mets are opening a new stadium and are being outbid for their target free agents. Bernie Madoff might not to be blame. But something must be.
- Johan Santana - Awesome.
- Mike Pelfrey - Great last year, but threw 50 more innings than the year before. As Neyer points out, has an alarmingly low strikeout rate.
- John Maine - Good when healthy but had shoulder problems at the end of last year and has never thrown more than 191 innings in a single season.
- Tim Redding? - Don't look at his (NL!) numbers if you've eaten recently. And no, I don't think he sucks because of the one inning of six run ball he "pitched" for the Yanks in 2005.
- Ron Darling
Were they waiting for the guy to change his name to Derek Lowez? Derek Lowe would have been a terrific stabilizing presence in the middle of their rotation. For similar money, they still could probably sign Oliver Perez who, like basically every other free agent this offseason is looking at potential deals far smaller than he expected. But Perez is the model of inconsistency, while Lowe is the exact opposite.
Be sure to check out their blog. It's satirical, snarky and irreverent, which means if you're reading this, it's probably right up your alley.
Here is an example, based on our (least) favorite Red Sock.
That honor belongs to U.S. Airways Flight 1549 Pilot Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III who cooly navigated his engineless plane over the city and landed it in the Hudson River. After his miraculous landing, Sullenberger walked the plane twice after everybody else was off, and tried to verify that there was nobody else on board.
According to news reports, (and his website) Sullenberger has been studying the psychology of keeping airline crews functioning even in the face of crisis.*
Headcase atheletes (A-Rod, Romo) should read about crisis management and other psychological literature so they do not let their fans and teammates down. Selfish athletes (cough T.O., cough) should take notice of "Sully's" selfless behavior.
[Ed. Note: Malcom Gladwell's (poorly named but compellingly written) book called Outliers discusses the implications of cultural dynamics in precisely these situations (among other things). It delves into concepts such as power distance and dissects the causes or Korean Air Flight 801 and other airbone tragedies. Seriously, read it. Just like his other books, it's good.
Todd's feature, "Shadow Games" at the Banter was something I thoroughly enjoyed. He did a wonderful job portraying the mood of the Bombers faithful through his stories. He was one hell of a writer and an even bigger Yankees fan.
Below is Todd's final comment under his post about baseball and his cancer:
25. Todd DrewOur thoughts go out to the family and friends of Todd Drew.
December 23rd, 2008 at 5:10 am
thelarmis, I'm getting ready to go to the hospital and I wanted to check in one last time. I am really touched by your comments. You really made my day. I love writing here because I love baseball and all the people in the game. Your support means more than you will ever know. I would love to meet you when you're in town. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to everyone at Bronx Banter for your support. I'll be fine because I'm already wearing my Derek Jeter T-shirt. The Captain always brings everyone home.
Already in this young offseason they have severed ties with Adam “Don’t Call Me Pacman” Jones (although according to him they are merely giving him rain check). According to ESPN, the Cowboys are also considering letting free agent DT Tank Johnson go unsigned. This is understandable, given the fact that Tank has not accomplished much with the ‘Boys. But the rumors do not stop there. Also according to ESPN, the Cowboys are considering severing ties with arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, Terrell Owens.
T.O., who has been unjustly vilified by the public ever since he asserted his right to be one of the highest paid receivers in the league. When he led the Philadelphia Eagles to their only Super Bowl appearance, he was the only Eagles player to perform well, despite having an injured ankle for which he was required to sign a waiver that stated he would not be owed any future money by the organization in the event that the ankle was injured.
T.O.’s on the field performance has been nothing short of special. In his 3 seasons as a Cowboy he has gained at least 1,000 a year (for an average of about 15 yards per catch) scored at least 10 TDs a year, and been a dual threat over the middle and down the sidelines. Wherever he goes on the field he has drawn double teams and opened up Jason Witten and Patrick Crayton. He also isn’t afraid to throw a downfield block for his RBs or another receiver. Drops aside, I think that you will be hard-pressed to find a more complete receiver in the NFL.
T.O. has shown great loyalty to the organization. He has said that he "definitely" wants to finish his career in Dallas and enter the Hall of Fame as a Cowboy. Unlike his time in San Francisco or Philadelphia, Owens respects his quarterback, even going so far as to pathetically cry for him after defeat to the eventual World Champion New York Football Giants. [Ed. Note: Yesss]
So why release him?
I honestly have no clue why. As Jim Mora would say “Don’t Ask Me!”
Is it because he demands the ball on every play? Show me any top receiver who doesn’t. After looking at his numbers (specifically YPC and TDs), he definitely should get the ball every play.
Is it because of Jason Garrett? Word is that the Cowboys are afraid of losing the so-called offensive genius from Princeton. Garrett, who has a rocky relationship with Owens, has been inconsistent and his play-calling horrendous. Look what he has done with all the talent surrounding him--produced the 13th overall ranked offense in the NFL. Clearly he is dispensable.
Is it because of a rift with TE Jason Witten? I’m a huge Witten fan, but to put Witten before T.O. is putting the proverbial cart before the horse. Without Owens’ double coverage, Jason Witten would be nobody significant. Look at the numbers that back-up TE Martellus Bennett has put up in Witten’s absences.
Is it because of media distractions? You are seriously going to let the media run your team? Why not banish ESPN and Ed Werder from Valley Ranch? Shouldn’t you draft/sign thick-skinned players who will not be “distracted” by being asked questions about a single player who the media has a hard on for and who will be able to live with being a member of so-called “America’s Team?” Maybe you should investigate your signings more.
The man shows up to play his hardest every day. While he is a diva, like most WRs, he is not a felon.
Do not pin the Dallas Cowboys failure on T.O. Following his biggest distraction (PlayGate involving his alleged allegation of Tony Romo and Witten leaving him out of plays), the Cowboys defeated the Giants. It is not his fault that the Cowboys defense let up back-to-back 70+ yard runs against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17, or Romo fumbled away the game versus the Philadelphia Eagles. It is not his fault that the Offensive Line (led by a partially deaf left tackle in Flozell Adams) could not stop the Giants defensive attack of Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora in the 2008 Divisional Round or that Romo fumbled a snap against the Seattle Seahawks the year before.
It is not his fault that Wade Phillips is a puppet and offers no leadership, nor his fault that no other player has asserted leadership of the team.
So go ahead, Dallas. Release him. See what happens when all who an erratic, choking QB has to throw to are a possession receiver in Roy Williams and a double-covered Witten. I’ll give you a hint: it will not be winning your first playoff game since 1996.