Posted: Thursday February 22, 2007 5:08PM; Updated: Thursday February 22, 2007 6:20PM
OK, here is my E-mail of the Week. It comes from Richard Lucido of Fresno, and it is so well expressed that I will quote the salient parts verbatim: "Is it my imagination or are coordinators becoming over-hyped? Did Crennel and Weis make Belichick. Did Snyder, filling up his staff with A List coordinators, help the Skins at all? Ron Rivera has been to nine job interviews, yet the Bears were content to let him walk, as long as Lovie Smith was still around. Maybe I'm full of it, but it seems to me that consistent success comes from strong organizations and strong head coaches. Am I missing something?"
The answer is that there are no rules. You have to look at each situation. Some coordinators are terrific, but they're emasculated by their head coach. Keith Rowen and Dennis Green in Arizona, for example. Some coordinators never have full say. The head man is always tampering. For years Marty Schottenheimer always interfered with his guys, although he seemed to have cut back on that lately. Some coordinators are left alone, such as Monte Kiffin in Tampa or Jim Johnson in Philly, and the excellence of their work is unquestioned. The other side of the coin is the list of organizations that go through, maybe, three coordinators in four years. What that tells me is that they're not really looking for strong guys in the first place, just yes men, or that the environment is so bad that decent assistants don't want to stay there.
OK, on to the poor devils in the broadcast booth. John of Santa Barbara says he got a lot of laughs out of my zero rating for the ESPN crew. I'll bet you weren't laughing during one of their endless celebrity interviews, huh? Damien of Largo, Md., says the zero rating was too high. Hmmm, not a bad idea, dipping into the minus column next year. I'll have to consider it. Allen of Little Rock, Ark., wonders why I haven't done anything with the area of studio pre-game shows.
Oh, I once did, but I'd be too much of a Johnny one-note now. The only guys on those shows whom I pay any attention to are the ones who provide information, who make phone calls and actually work it ... Charley Casserly, Chris Mortensen, those people. The rest of them? It's all just talky-talk to me. No work involved, just top of the head blah blah. I don't care what they have to say. I've outgrown all that crap.
The Redhead reminds me that I like Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson of Fox. Yeah, OK, I'll cede the point, but at least they get on the phone and talk to people once in a while. And I DO like Ron Jaworski's film breakdowns, but that's not exactly game day stuff. I'd better cut this off right here. I feel myself getting soft and friendly. Sorry, everybody.
Here's a colorful one. Andrew of Simcoe, Ont., feels that the networks ought to get a gimmick going in which they run tryouts and bring in people off the street, super fans and the like, for guest commentator spots, or maybe let me groom my own stable of bright lads. I believe his heart is in the right place, but sometimes a person might have decent thoughts and would tie up in knots trying to get them out, or maybe there would be something weird going on with his voice and he'd sound like my old buddy, Squeaky Raganese of Bayshore, LI. The freak show possibilities scare me, but I like your thinking, Andrew. Keep working on it.
Mike of Brooklyn wonders if some networks present more commercials than others do during a game. Nah, it's the same for all of them. Five TV time outs per quarter.
A bit of praise from JoAnn of Scottsdale, Ari.. "Too many times this season my husband and I try to figure out exactly what happened on a great play, having to resort to slo-mo Tivo because the announcers are too busy discussing T.O." You know, when I bring this same thing up to TV people, they always brush it off with, "Ah, you're a perfectionist." Well, I'm glad there are more of us out there. I hate to admit this, but I don't really understand how Tivo works, and I'm afraid to embark on anything new, mechanically, for fear of messing it up.
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