Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Old Stadiums and Egos: Both Are Tough Nuts

December 4, 2017

The Pontiac Silverdome
The roof already was down, but the walls would not fall.

 

Not a Mere Gold Line Stand. In Pontiac, Michigan over the weekend, they made an attemptĀ  to implode the old home of the NFL Detroit Lions, The Pontiac Silverdome, but little happened. A series of powerful explosions went off as planned, but, when they had finished, the old stadium just stood there, not even teetering. Maybe they mistakenly used explosives when they intended to use “implosives”, but, whatever, we have a hunch that a Lions fan named “Tom Corey” posted the best possible explanation from his experience as a Lions fan in recent years in social media. “Even the stadium is afraid to cross the goal line.”

And maybe Corey’s words can hang in the air in Houston as a comfort to Texans fans in the event that some vandal terrorist decides to try and blow up a perfectly beautiful NRG Stadium. The attempt would most likely be either fumbled away or intercepted before it even got close to the end zone.

 

New Texas A&M Football Coach Jimbo Fisher
Changes for 2018:
Jersey Color: About the Same
Jersey Lettering: Now says A&M
Money Color: Much Greener

 

Can $75 million dollars buy the major championship in your sport of interest? It can if you are club owner Jim Crane and the thousands of fans who can still afford to see live games at Minute Maid Park in Houston to watch the MLB Astros because Jose Altuve and friends already have delivered on that championship in 2017 with good chances of repeating, at least once, either this year or sometime soon. It doesn’t look quite so “easy” for Jimbo Fisher, who just signed a 10-year guaranteed $76 million dollar salary to win at least one national championship at the highest rung of college football as Head Coach of Texas A&M.

The Fisher hiring doesn’t look so good. It was fueled by the compulsive decision to get rid of the former coach, Kevin Sumlin, and to replace him with a coach that matched the value and decor of their still new A&M gazillion dollar renovation of Kyle Field. As the disappointing 2017 wore down, the panic level increased and the availability of candidates that could offer a national championship from their resumes for credibility sake had boiled down to one man, Jimbo Fisher of the Florida State Seminoles.

Compulsion kicked in full blast. And remember, compulsion occurs in all of us when we begin to behave as though we really have no other choice. When that compulsion falls over the minds of a relatively few rich and powerful men who are used to buying their way to just about everything else they want in life, the door swings wide open for a vast expenditure of money being paid out that emotionally may even feel as though the national championship is in tow and only now awaiting a certain due date.

All we have to do is sign Jimbo Fisher.

And that’s the bunk.

Jimbo Fisher is no guarantee of a national college football title. He’s Jimbo Fisher, a guy who won the national title once at FSU in 2013, but under very different circumstances of recruiting and support. FSU was a pressure job too, but Fisher wasn’t getting this kind of money as the advance payment on winning a national title “or else”.

Right now you couldn’t even get good probability odds on A&M’s chances of winning anytime soon. Their new coach needs time for building relations with the kinds of Texas high school coaches he will need to access the very best uncommitted athletes across the state, staff building, current player and recruiting needs assessment, making the Aggie good old boys looking over his shoulders happy, while trying to build some kind of connection to the more everyday Aggie fans and students.

Ease up, Aggies. Give Jimbo Fisher a chance to get his feet firmly down on this good old Texas earth before you start pre-ordering his College Station statue.

Meanwhile, departing Coach Kevin Sumlin gets to walk away with the $10.5 million dollars that Texas A&M has paid him “not” to coach the last two 2018-19 seasons of his contract. He just walks away. To only do what he pleases. No news stories to read about alumni that hate your guts. And no press conferences with cub reporters hoping to rile you with questions like, “Coach Sumlin, would you care to comment on why the Aggies do so well against Louisiana-Monroe, but can’t seem to ever beat LSU?”

Which deal would you rather have? The one that goes with Jimbo Fisher’s $75 mil? Or the untethering deal that went to Kevin Sumlin for $10.5 mil?

 

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle