Sunday, November 28, 2010

Please Let This Happen

Had Randy Shannon been able to bring Miami back to a national championship it wouldn't have just been the best story in college football, it would have been the best story in sports. To see a man who had overcome all Shannon did to get a shot as the head coach at his alma-matter was great, even if things didn't work out as well as we all hoped.

Thankfully Shannon leaves the program in MUCH better shape than he found it and for that he should be commended. So, that leaves us with the question of who gets the keys to the Miami Hurricanes football team.

Even though it might still be a bit of a long shot the perfect man for the job is Jon Gruden.

Gruden is exactly what The U needs at this point in time. Intense, outspoken, a true figurehead for the program. Let's face it, after 4 seasons under Shannon we still had no idea what the identity of the Miami program was on the field or off of it.

Gruden's outspoken and firery persona could no doubt change that. Even though he has no ties to The U it's like Donna Shalala and Kirby Hocutt created him in a laboratory specifically for this job at this time.

He's got the NFL pedigree that was Howard Schnellenberger's calling card when he took the job and put the program on the map.

He's got bravado that is reminiscent of Schnellenberger and Jimmy Johnson. The kind of bravado that has current U students wearing shirts that say "The U Invented Swagger."

He has no strong ties to Miami, just like Howard, Jimmy, Dennis, and Butch before him. While it's common practice for most universities to try and hire a new coach with at least some previous tie to the program that was never really the practice at The U. Every time a new coach was needed (before Coker) the program sought out and found the perfect hire from outside, even if it upset seemingly everyone. Over the last 3 decades the only Miami coaching hires who were clearly not up to the job were Coker and Shannon, the only 2 hires who had previous ties to Miami.

Even the most valid criticisms of the potential hire shouldn't be that troubling.

Sure, he might follow a similar pattern to his time in Tampa, winning a title early in his tenure, with the previous coaches players, and then never reaching the top of the mountain again. Um, I'm okay with that. I'll take a title using the pieces Shannon assembled and am beyond confident that given Gruden's resume he won't be leaving this problem in the disrepair that Coker did.

Finally, yes, it is possible he may only stay a couple years and head to the NFL. Again, I have no problem with that. Having the hottest coaching commodity in the NFL take the job at Miami automatically make the statement that The U is the place to be in college football. We don't just battle with FSU, LSU, UF, UGA, USC or any other school for coaches. No, this hire would show that we can take on the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers in competition for a coach and emerge with the man we all want.

Simply put, hiring Gruden would affirm that we are The U and nobody else ever can be.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back to Posting

So, yeah, it has been quite a while. There’s no reason to rehash in detail how life has gone since the last post I made, but if you really want to get a sense of how it’s been I suggest you rent a copy of Rock II and watch chapter 12 entitled “How About Manual Labor.”

In the scene Balboa, a great fighter coming off his classic Bicentennial battle against Apollo Creed, goes about applying for desk jobs that don’t require as much brain trauma as boxing. He faces the sting of rejection at every turn for being under qualified. I, on the other hand, am a very mediocre fighter who has been rejected by every job I’ve wanted for being overqualified. Strange how things work out the same on both ends of the qualification spectrum.

In addition to that I’ve flipped a car into a ditch in an accident that could have killed me in about 2 or 3 different ways, started a business that keeps me busy and crazy with it’s bipolar profitability, met some great new people, have an outstanding relationship with a girl I love, and generally maintained a very high level of awesomeness in spite of all the adversity.

Expect me to finally start posting regularly again. Facebook has been the main reason I haven’t been posting. I felt that I could convey what little I had to say in that medium. However I’m finally pondering the things I want to think about in a way that can’t be summed up in a status update. It should be fun and maybe cathartic to spend a little more time behind the keyboard.