Wednesday, December 14, 2011
THE MOST COWARDLY WAY TO SAY GOOD-BYE
Nobody has their eyes on the next job like college football coaches.
They always seem to be looking for a more high-profile position,
a bigger paycheck, and that nice big springboard that will eventually
vault them to their "dream" job, or until another better "dream" job
Lane Kiffin went to Tennessee after being fired from the Oakland
Raiders and then offended nearly every school in the SEC by calling them
cheaters and something else inflammable because as Kiffin said, he
"wanted to make a statement right away." He challenged the current
players in Knoxville to stay there and build something great and
gave a phenomenal sales pitches to high school recruits that the
Volunteers would play for the national title very soon. Guaranteed
And then he left. Yep, after one year of hearing "Rocky Top", Kiffin
took his talents to USC because of course, that was his dream job. All
those passionate speeches to keep kids from leaving Knoxville, while
encouraging blue-chip studs to come there, meant absolutely nothing
because, by golly, Kiffin had to look out for number one. He did tell
a few of his players and the athletic director he was leaving, then left
under the cover of darkness and a police escort and flew to Los Angeles
never to be heard from again---or at least until he had to answer allegations
of recruiting improprieties, which Tennessee is paying for thanks to
good 'ole, Lane.
But nobody is a bigger sell-out than Todd Graham. I know, many of
you are probably saying, "who the hell is Todd Graham?" Well, he was
the head football coach at Pittburgh for about a day longer than Kiffin
was at Tennessee. After a "lights-out" 6-6 season, Graham was
such a hot property that Arizona State came calling. I don't have enough
space on here to tell you what a debacle the Sun Devils program is.
Long story short, Graham accepts the job at ASU then phones his
athletic director at Pitt to say he won't be around the Steel City
for Christmas and is headed to the Valley of the Sun. He didn't bother
to get a return ticket, either. Not sure I can blame him , those winters
in Pittsburgh are brutal. Anyway, Graham didn't think his players were
worthy of a personal good-bye, so he texted them. Yep, the guy is
flat-out savvy when it comes to social networking. I'm really surprised
he didn't post it on Twitter, as well. Moonlight Graham actually texted
his players that he was quitting on them. As Keyshawn Johnson would
say, "Come on, Man! How weak is that." Here's what the cowardly
"I have resigned my position at Pitt in the best interest of my family
to pursue the head coaching position at Arizona State. Coaching there
has always been a dream of ours and we have family there. The timing
of the circumstances have prohibited me from telling you this directly.
I now am on my way to Tempe to continue those discussions. God Bless.
Coach Graham." He was also playing word games with Alec Baldwin
in aisle five. But Graham really needs to replace the Dos Equis guy
in the campaign for cowardly quitters.
And I think he also texted, "And enjoy the beautiful winter in Pittsburgh.
What a class guy. Graham, like Kiffin, preached commitment,
dedication, and loyalty, then when someone asked them to do the same,
they say, "Suckers!" You actually fell for that?" The NCAA has to
do something to prevent these coaches from getting the one-year
itch and penalize them. If athletes have to sit out one year after
transferring, coaches should have to as well.
Graham's cowardly sell-out brings to mind the exit strategy of former
Atlanta Falcons coach Bobby Petrino. In his first year with the Dirty
Birds, they lost 10 of their first 13 games and Michael Vick was in prison.
Petrino got an offer from Arkansas and high-tailed in out of the ATL.
Oh, but Bobby Boy strapped it on and left a note for his players taped
to their lockers:
“Atlanta Falcons players;Out of my respect for you, I am letting you
know, with a heavy heart, I resigned today as the Head Coach of the
Atlanta Falcons. This decision was not easy but was made in the best
interest of me and my family. While my desire would have been to finish
out what has been a difficult season for us all, circumstances did not
allow me to do so. I appreciate your hard work and wish the best.
For the benefit of the media and everyone with the Falcons, strong safety
Lawyer Milloy made a slight edit to the note:
Yep, Petrino was a coward, just like Graham. The new ASU
gets props for being more social network savvy than Petrino,
but he's still a girly-man. I mean, come on. You tell your players
to be accountable and act like mature adults, and then do this?
That is weak, oh, so very weak.