Petrino isn't the only one
Readers: NFL's double standard on hiring coaches
Posted: Friday December 21, 2007 9:39AM; Updated: Friday December 21, 2007 3:59PM
It's getting on, and I'm already late for my appointment at the tattooist's, so I'll make this short. Here are my co-Emailers of the Week and away we go.
Michael of Baton Rouge, La., (Achtung, e-mailers! Always include your last name when you're shooting for the Grande Prix) writes the following, as a reply to that flaming stuff I wrote about Ark and Saw snatching Bobby Petrino away from the Falcons -- "What about Mr. Huizenga jetting into Baton Rouge and hiring Nick Saban, under contract, in the middle of bowl preparation and recruiting for LSU?"
That was the first salvo. The cavalry charge was led by a member of the profession, Rick Korch, Football Information Director at the University of Miami, and I'll print his letter with not one comma omitted because when this comes up for trial, I don't want the lawyers claiming that I messed with it in any way.
"Look here, Z. Aside from being a fat punk, you've got an IQ the size of an after dinner mint ... " Wait a minute. Wrong letter ... that's the one from my ex-wife. OK, here it is:
"I've enjoyed reading you for decades now, but you really missed it when you ripped colleges for hiring coaches who had NFL contracts. As if NFL teams didn't do the same EXACT thing.
"Nick Saban was under contract to LSU when he was signed by the Dolphins.
"Bobby Petrino was under contract to Louisville when he was signed by the Falcons.
"Tom Coughlin was under contract to Boston College when he was signed by the Jaguars.
"Here at Miami, where I've been four years since leaving the Jaguars, Jimmy Johnson was under contract when he was signed by the Cowboys, Dennis Erickson was under contract when he was signed by the Seahawks, Butch Davis was under contract when he was signed by the Browns.
"Probably every college coach who went to the NFL in modern history was under contract. Hypocrisy? It's been done both ways. Exactly the same way."
OK, I admit it, I'm the referee who ejects the guy who retaliates, rather than the first guy to throw the punch. I got carried away, mainly because I dislike the hypocrisy of the college community more than I do the NFL variety, although it's close. At least the NFL doesn't try to place a phony tag, such as "scholar athletes" on its warriors, and make them pretend to attend classes. But I'm bobbing and weaving now. Those two e-mailers nailed me and I admit it.
"Why are you always the first one to beat yourself up?" a sympathetic reader wrote about a decade ago. It's always been the way. When we're in a restaurant and the waitress brings out the mains and says, "Careful, this plate is REALLY hot," I've got to immediately lift it with both hands. One young woman got so upset that she practically shrieked, "What are you DOING?" and I said, "I'm into pain." Ten minutes later we had a different waitress. I could see the first one going up to the maitre'd and saying, "I'm not waiting on freaks."
So Rick and Michael, please feel free to write in the future, anytime you feel like ruining the day for an old person who's never done you any harm.