Monday, March 22, 2010

What Didn't Happen Over the Weekend

Mississippi State athletic director Greg Byrne signs a lifetime contract; pledges to remain in Starkville forever.
The man who secured his job status for the next ten years in the eyes of State fans when he mercifully put an end to the Sylvester Croom era decided that he would prefer to fire bad coaches at another school. Byrne resigned from Mississippi State and has accepted the same position at Arizona, where, judging from their big three sports teams, he won't be doing any firing in the near future (unless the basketball team misses another NCAA Tournament, which will cause rioting and mayhem throughout Tuscon). This news probably doesn't come as a huge shock to State fans since rumors about Byrne and Arizona have been floating around now for at least a month, but the loss may hit hard for some of them.

Ever since he canned Croom, Byrne achieved sort of a hero status among the MSU faithful. After all, this is the guy stood up and said "I don't care what it costs, we're not paying an overmatched, career NFL assistant coach to win four games anymore." He was young, full of energy and appeared to have a plan to make State into a well-run and successful athletic program. Now, whether he was on his way to doing that I don't know (I can only follow one team at a time), but he did find and hire Dan Mullen and, my personal favorite, told the angry, get-off-my-lawn, old man head baseball coach Ron Polk that his services were no longer needed (this eventually lead to Polk becoming outraged he didn't have any say in who the new coach would be, requesting that his name be taken off the stadium and saying something along the lines of "Now Tommy ain't got no job" when his choice and top assistant, Tommy Raffo, was not hired). With Byrne's departure, State fans now face the possibility of a member of the GOB (good ol' boy) network replacing him and that Dan Mullen's departure date from Starkville just moved up. If Mullen isn't comfortable with the new AD, I doubt he'll be there to see the start of Tyler Russell's junior season (not to mention he'll have no reason to show loyalty to the new guy). And while Greg Byrne was probably a little more hype than substance, he at least showed publicly that he would not put up with losing or falling behind.

Nick Saban declares coach of the year award should be named for him.
Not yet, but all in due time. Instead, Saban received the inaugural Bobby Bowden coach of the year award on Saturday. No, the award is not given to the coach who displays the most confused look on his face for the longest period of time (Bowden shattered all previous records with the same confused look for eight consecutive seasons), but to the coach that does really well at coaching football. Or something like that. I'm not sure if Saban can continue being horrifyingly angry for another 25 or so years, but if he does, I look forward to him angrily presenting the Nick Saban Coach of the Year Award to someone else in the year 2038.

Mark Ingram's father gets a reduced sentence for excellent cleaning work on the highways of the state of New York.
The Heisman trophy winner's father had two more years tacked on to his sentence after his 2009 attempt to jump bail to see his son play in the Sugar Bowl against Utah. The elder Ingram was to surrender in December of 2008 to start his sentence of seven years and eight months for money laundering and bank fraud. Even more unfortunately for him, he didn't even get to see the game as he was arrested in his hotel room before it started. A note to Ingram Sr.: Sir, crimes against the people of the state of New York on any level do not appear to be a successful endeavor for you. Do your time, get yourself together and perhaps then you can see your son play in person and not via television in a correctional facility or a hotel room.

Kansas basketball rides a wave of destruction over the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
Well, well, well. We meet again. Several years ago, after yet another Kansas team failed me miserably in the NCAA Tourney (lost to Bucknell in the first round; No, I don't know who that is either), I swore I would never pick them again. I stuck by that promise even when the team that beat Memphis appeared so dominant. Then, for some unknown reason, I decided that this year would be different. This Kansas team really was the most complete team in the field. They had three or four NBA players on the team. No one could possibly match them. And then those assholes go out and lose to Northern Iowa. NORTHERN IOWA. NOT IOWA OR IOWA STATE. A DIRECTIONAL SCHOOL WITHIN THAT STATE. AT BEST, THE THIRD SCHOOL IN IOWA. A TEAM THAT HAD THE LOOK OF A MISSISSIPPI PRIVATE SCHOOL TEAM. WHAT. IN. THE. HELL. IS. WRONG. WITH. YOU?

Nothing would bring me greater joy in this life than if Kansas never won another game. Not just in the NCAA Tournament, but ever. Exhibition or regular season. EVER. No one team has consistently ruined more people's brackets like Kansas has. Roy Williams' teams always found a way to fall apart in March. And save for a John Calipari epic failure, Bill Self's teams have followed suit. I would say that no basketball program in the country has historically done less with more (the school has had more All-Americans than any other school). Every year since I can remember watching basketball, all I've heard is how loaded Kansas is. That they're the team to beat. And in my lifetime they've won two NCAA titles. Two. You know who else has won two? THE FLORIDA GATORS, a bastion of basketball tradition. And they did it in consecutive years. So hear this, I will not be sucked into Kansas' siren song ever again. I will hate them with every fiber in my being for as long as I shall live. I will take indescribable pleasure in their losses. I will weep with joy when they lose in March next year. And I will laugh to the point of tears when I see their sad players and fans after yet another horrible loss in the NCAA Tournament.

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