The winner of the “Living with Sportz” Fan of the Day for November 30th is Matt Barker. Matt is the terrific writer of the blog, Buckeye Banter.“ Matt has helped me out along the way and someone that I truly respect as a writer and a friend. Even if it is all Buckeyes. LOL!! Matt is definitely “Living with Sportz.” Congrats Matt!!!
DO NOT MISS—Living with Sportz Radio is TONIGHT. The Radio Show will be on at 8ET/ 7CT/ 6MT/ 5PT every Tuesday. What a great radio show I have planned for Tuesday night. Special Guest, Dave Goren, is the Executive Director of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Goren has also been the sideline reporter and pre-game host for Wake Forest Football. We will also have our weekly visit from Cool Mike. I will have my opinions on the NFL and College Football Seasons and the beloved BCS. There may be a surprise or two along the way.
Coryell Factor: Don Coryell was selected yesterday as one of the 26 semi-finalists for induction to the Hall of Fame Class of 2011. Lets hope the committee gets it right this year. Nobody deserves their place in football history more than Coach Coryell. Don Coryell, Hall of Fame 2011
Many of you that have been loyal readers for some time know that I sometimes use music as a motivator in my articles. I recently heard this song by Kenny Chesney and it reminded me of life and sports. This song “Round and Round” is on Chesney’s newest album, Hemingway’s Whiskey. It really hit home for me as we go through the daily grind called life. It also made me look at the world of sports with a different eye and I am going to share my feelings with you today.
The idea of this song is that we are never satisfied. I found this to be very true in the world of sports. We, as fans want to win every game as if it is our right as a fan. I also think that we have lost some respect for authority and want to question everything. We have grown into a society that feels it is our right to dislike the people of authority such as the head coaches of our favorite teams. I will not ever get into politics but I miss the days when the President of the United States was a hero and someone that we trusted and respected. Now we all seem to have disdain for authority figures and again are never satisfied. I will only say on this subject that no politician, coach, family or any other person is to blame for our lot in life. “If it is meant to be, it is up to me” should be everyone’s slogan.
The first situation I am going to talk about is the case of Bill Stewart at W Virginia. Stewart took over the Mountaineers when Rich Rodriguez left before the 2008 Fiesta Bowl, 3 short seasons ago. Stewart was named interim coach for the bowl where the Mountaineers went on to upset the Oklahoma Sooners. The very next day to the praises of the West Virginia community and players, Stewart was named head coach. He was given a 5 year contract and now has a record of 27-11 in his 3 years at the helm.
Apparently 27-11 is not good enough for the Mountaineer faithful. They are calling for his head in mass. I really do not know what the fans want other than championships on top of championships. They have a personable, above board coach that runs a clean program. Will the next guy be any better or is it a case of never satisfied and wanting the newest flavor of the month.
That brings me to the Michigan Wolverines. The Maize and Blue had one of the most successful coaches in college football in Lloyd Carr. Do you miss him yet? The Michigan faithful called for Carr’s head on a platter numerous times during his tenure in Ann Arbor. Carr was 122-40 during his days at Michigan.
Carr was among the winningest active football coaches in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A). His teams won five Big Ten titles and the 1997 national championship after beating Washington State in the Rose Bowl. In addition, Michigan was ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for all but nine of its games under Carr (all occurring in 1998, 2005, and 2007). Only once during his tenure did Michigan end its season unranked (2005). Carr became the first Wolverine coach to win four straight bowl games, beating Auburn, 31–28, on New Year’s Day at the 2001 Florida Citrus Bowl, after leading Michigan to victories in the 1998 Rose Bowl, 1999 Florida Citrus Bowl, and the 2000 Orange Bowl.
Carr was also lauded for his high ethical standards and avoidance of any substantive NCAA violations during his tenure. His integrity was widely lauded as one of his defining characteristics, and a major part of his legacy.
Is the grass any greener with Rich Rodriguez? Lets take a look, He is 15-21 and 6-18 in the Big Ten. He has alienated fans, media and even players since his arrival in Ann Arbor. He also has had the NCAA come down on this storied program for violations. Maybe Lloyd Carr doesn’t look so badly anymore. Again, We are never satisfied only with a winning program and a coach of integrity.
Now lets get to 3 coaches that have been on the hot seat and fans have been vocal about them. I will start with Les Miles. Miles is 61-17 and a National Championship since arriving in Baton Rouge. I have never seen anyone under more scrutiny and criticism than Miles. He may not have the best personality and he does not always give the politically correct answer but how many more games do the fans at LSU want? Maybe they feel it is their right to win each and every game they play. After all, they are LSU, whatever that means. I don’t even consider LSU one of the storied programs in college football. They have had an incredible run the last 10 years but it is not your birth right to win every game. Coaching is really easy from the stands or on TV, but when you get in the heat of the battle, 61-17 is really good. I know about 115 out of the 120 FBS schools that wish they were 61-17 over the last 6 years. Be careful what you wish for LSU fans, you might go back to the Mike Archer or Gerry DiNardo days for this program. I have to admit that I wonder if any fan in the SEC is ever satisfied with a winning program. Maybe the Vandy fan.
Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno have been the two most successful coaches ever in college football. Bowden was literally run out of town and Paterno is being scrutinized at every move. Lets face it, these two coaches put Florida State and Penn State on the map in the football world. These two great men and great coaches are walking evidence of the theory, “What have you done for me lately?” I know there has to be a fan or two of these coaches. Not only do you have to win every time out but you have to win NOW. I don’t get it.
I admit that growing up in Wisconsin around one of the worst football programs ever, the 1970’s Wisconsin Badgers, that I now appreciate having a winning program. I have come to appreciate a winning program that does it the right way. I also appreciate the fans that stick with their team and do not have a knee jerk reaction at losing a football game. Maybe I am more complacent and remember what it was like to have a losing football team. In life I am not as complacent and either are you.
I have always been a driven person that never seems to be satisfied. I am working extremely hard on Living with Sportz to make this a career. I have thought about this over the last month or so. I wonder if it is in our make up to be satisfied or happy where we are in life. I have always said that people always want something they don’t have. If they are married, they want to be single. If they are single, they want to be married. If they have a good job, they want the job that someone else has. If they have a nice house or car, they want a better one. If we have a good coach, we want a better one. I do wonder if we can ever be satisfied?
If there is one thing I have learned in watching college football for at least 40 years is that the truly successful programs stay with their staffs long after the fans want them fired. Stability in college football means more than in any other sport. These coaches build recruiting relationships that sometimes take years to come to fruition. Why is that fans love it when their coach gets fired and the guy they are excited about hiring is now a villain only 2-3 years later. It takes years to turn programs around. From personal experience, it took a no-name coach named Barry Alvarez years to build Wisconsin into a team that is now in the top 25 every year. No one even had heard of Alvarez when he was hired but the athletic department stuck with him and now you would have had to live under a rock not to know who Alvarez is and what he has done for the fans of the Badgers. Randy Shannon was a good enough coach to get a 4 year extension only 10 months ago and now he is unemployed and Miami gets to start over. Starting over rarely works. Are the Miami fans satisfied now?
Maybe it is time to find true happiness and be happy with what we have. Each and every one of you reading this have something that someone else wishes they had right now. I know many college football fans wish that their team was 61-17 over the last 6 years. I think we as fans and people would be much happier if we lived in the moment and quit looking toward the future. Do the best job at your work and as a person everyday and the future is bright. Believe me. It is time to be satisfied because no matter how much we want change, change will happen with or without us.
This quote helps me everyday as I attempt to do the best job I can with Living with Sportz. I hope it helps you also.
You are the only person on earth who can use your ability. So use it wisely!! Go out and be all you can be today, follow your own path!! When you lie down to sleep tonight you will know you gave the world YOUR best and then get ready to do it all over again tomorrow!! With this mindset mountains become molehills and anything can be accomplished!! YES! [Zig Ziglar]
I admit that I also have a hard time being satisfied but this song has made me look at everything differently. I have attached the link to this song and believe that you may look at everything a little differently also. It is time to appreciate the coaches, family and people that we have in our lives. One more saying to help you through the day–”Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is God’s gift, that’s why they call it the present.
This is the link–copy and paste this to enjoy this wonderful song–
These words from Kenny Chesney express his feelings about the song, “Round and Round.”
“‘Round and Round’ is very different for me, melodically and production-wise. I think everybody, whether it’s your job or your love life, whatever it is, there’s a certain complacency that we get, the internal voice saying it might be better somewhere else, or I’m kinda sick of what I’m doing now I might want to try this or that. This song is telling us we should enjoy the right now, enjoy the moment. I think everybody searches for that certain balance and tries to quiet those thoughts in their head that they’ve got to be constantly moving, need to go somewhere, do this, be with somebody else. It’s like all those characters in the song. The guy that lives in the mountains wants to go to the beach and the guy on the beach wants to live in the mountains. The message of the song is you’ve got to enjoy the moment as much as you possible can.”