Yes, I do realize that I have not posted a blog article in 4 weeks. Yes, I greatly regret that. Yes, I probably should have said I was going on vacation. Etc. Etc. Well, anyways, I was in New York on a business/pleasure trip that was all centered around cards, namely bridge. Now I have returned. Back to blogging.
Let’s start out with a hilarious excerpt from Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. Kimmel was doing a satellite interview with Mike Tyson. Tyson was in Louisiana for his fight against “Mr.No Name 3723.” After some small-talk and questions about the fight and about the fact that Tyson is prohibited from fighting in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, Kimmel says something like, “so what do you think of Louisiana? And did you get that shirt while you were there?” Tyson is wearing some ridiculous Versace shirt that looks completely out of place on him. After he replies that he got the shirt in New York at Versace, Kimmel quickly uses that as a transition to talk about Tyson’s bankruptcy and all of the material things that he has had to give up. Which then leads them to Tyson’s white tigers. Which leads Kimmel to ask, “So were you scared by what happened to Roy Horn from Seigfried and Roy?” Tyson replies with something along the lines of, “No I wasn’t scared. I loved my tigers. I wish I still had them. I guess the fact that Roy got attacked is just proof that a tiger can never be truly domesticated.” Then he pauses, as though he actually knew what he was doing, and says, “but, you know Jimmy, most people would say I could never be domesticated either.” Just high comedy. There may never be another man quite like Mike Tyson.
Mike Tyson is always a tough act to follow. So, I am not sure what should go here. I’ll start a relatively mundane conversation about the best coaches in sports history. Last night on ESPN-621 they were doing a countdown of the best 25 coaches in the past 25 years. The fact that they were limiting things to the past 25 years takes a lot of the coaching legends out of contention. The list was nonetheless, still quite formidable. However, it had its fair shares of “you have to be kidding me” names as well. ESPN apparently doesn’t post these lists on the web. I managed to write down nearly all of the top 25 though, so I’ll post it later tonight. From memory, I think :
#1 Dean Smith
#2 Scotty Bowman
#3 Coach K
#4 Phil Jackson
#5 Pat Summit
#6 Bill Walsh
#7 Don Shula
#8 Joe Paterno
#9 Pat Riley
#10 Geno Aureiema
#11 Bill Parcells
#12 Joe Torre
Now, it is difficult to argue with Dean Smith, Scotty Bowman, Coach K, and even the Zen-Master. They did a pretty decent job at the top. However, there are some things I would like to add.
First, coaching football cannot even be compared to coaching any of the other sports. Comparing a football coach’s job to that of a baseball manager is like comparing Jessica Alba to Medusa. The comparison just doesn’t make any sense. Football coaches have to coach 50 players, they have an entire week to study film, practice, and prepare for each individual opponent, they have to devise enormously complicated game plans for both offense and defense, and once the game starts they have to rotate players effectively, manage the clock, make all of the play calls, and adapt when key players get injured almost every game. There is a reason that these guys have 15 assistants on their staff. So, based on that logic, I think that Bill Walsh, Don Shula, and Bill Parcells (as well as Joe Gibbs who was #14 and Jimmy Johnson who was #15) got sold really short. If I had to pick the #1 coach for the past 25 years, I would unquestionably select Bill Walsh. He forever changed the game of football.
The other really disturbing thing about this list is the presence of two Women’s Basketball coaches in the top 10. Now, not to discredit what Pat Summitt and Geno Auriema have done, but I have a couple of questions. First, “doesn’t someone have to notice that you are doing a good job coaching in order for you to be doing a good job coaching?” Second, “To be a truly legendary coach, don’t you have to be a household name?” Third, “Couldn’t Donald Duck manage the talent that you have had to a National Championship?” The whole thing doesn’t make any sense and reeks of political correctness. In order for them to be this high on the list it implies that they are better coaches than those lower on the list. If you want to tell me that Pat Summit could have been coaching Indiana for all those years and would have led the university to more wins than Bobby Knight did, I would just laugh. They are both basketball coaches, so it seems like a fair comparison doesn’t it. Please. Pat Summit and Geno coach in a game with a minute and very thin talent pool. They are able to monopolize the talent and that makes them great coaches? I am not buying that one bit. What would happen if there were only say 20 good male basketball players each year and that 7 went to Duke and 7 went to North Carolina, while everyone else had to fill-out their roster with middle-school players.? That is essentially collegiate women’s basketball. And, again for emphasis, if you passed by Geno Auriema in a bar would you know it? Didn’t think so. If you passed by Bill Parcells in a bar would you know it? Thought so.
Some noticeable omissions from the top 25 included: Bill Belicheck, Lute Olson, Jim Boeheim, Dick Vermeil, Denny Crum, Jerry Sloan, Brad Gilbert (Andre Agassi and Any Roddick’s coach), “Da Coach”, Jimy Williams (just checking to make sure you were awake), and others.
Looking back past the 25 year mark. It would be interesting to see where people thought, Vince Lombardi, Bear Bryant, John Wooden, and some of the other real legends would fit in here. And looking to the future, it would also be interesting to see where the likes of Bill Belicheck, Roy Williams, Bob Stoops, Nick Saban, and others would end up when it was all said and done.
My Sports Guy inspired thought of the day. Well, I am not sure if this is really Sports Guy inspired or not, but it is related to Sports Guy’s last article about the Fox MLB black-outs. TMQ is also always ranting about the NFL black-outs and the game selection. All pro sports need to figure out a way to get their acts together and provide the fans with both the highest quality of product and the one that the fans are most interested in. Doing this would just increase popularity, increase viewership, and increase ad revenue. It cannot possibly be that hard. Really it can’t. The fact that MLB blacks-out games even on its Direct TV baseball packages is unbelievable. Not even the NFL does that. The NFL just doesn’t allow you to buy their football packages in a reasonable manner.
I have no need to reiterate Sports Guy’s and TMQ’s rants however. So instead, I will use the blackouts as a lead-in to something that you probably hadn’t heard. Something about the NFL and black-outs that is just mind-numbingly stupid and over-the-top. Did you know that the NFL recently filed a lawsuit against Tivo, to try to stop Tivo from rolling out its new product line which allows you to copy a recorded TV program on to your computer. Here was the NFL’s logic. If someone with Tivo lived in a city in which a game was not blacked out. They would be able to watch the game, record it on their Tivo, simultaneously transfer it to their computer, upload it to the Internet, and transmit it to someone who lived in a city in which the game was not showing or was blacked-out. This would allow someone to watch a game in a city where it was blacked out, so Tivo is allowing for the NFL’s copyrighted material to be distributed in a way contradictory to NFL policy.
I really really wish I was making that one up. It is almost too idiotic to believe. Just mind-blowing. Here is my interpretation of the NFL’s position. “We know that fans want to watch games badly enough that they would ask a friend in another city to Tivo a game, transmit it to their computer, and then transfer it to them over the Internet. And that in addition to all of this work, that they’d be willing to tolerate a really bad lag, getting the game on a delay, and watching the game on their computer…All just to be able to see the game. Yet, instead of trying to please the fans, we will instead sue to make sure they can’t enjoy their Sunday afternoons.”
If I can find the article where I found information about this lawsuit I will post the link. The MPAA (Motion Pictures Association of America) was of course also involved in the lawsuit. I may actually have to e-mail the article to TMQ and Sports Guy as well as it is right in their wheelhouses.