Talking Smack About Sports

What's Lane Kiffin Really Worth?

The Kiffins and their nutty detour through Tennessee


This is probably not news, and it's probably not a surprise, but, wow:

Quick exits from the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Volunteers and just 12 wins over two years did little to deter USC from making Lane Kiffin one of the highest-paid college coaches.
The private school, which doesn't make coaching contracts public, is paying Kiffin $4 million a year -- nearly as much as it paid Pete Carroll -- according to a report on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," which will air on Tuesday night.
Carroll was paid $4.4 million, and he won two national championships and seven Pac-10 titles.
Kiffin, who made $2 million last season in Tennessee, is on par with veteran coachesMack Brown of Texas, Alabama's Nick Saban, Florida's Urban Meyer, LSU's Les Milesand Oklahoma's Bob Stoops in terms of salary. He ranks ahead of Ohio State's Jim Tressel. Every one of those coaches has won at least 12 games in a season en route to national championships.
Is he worth it?
No.
He's never won anything and he's never done anything to deserve the coveted spot that he occupies. There is no "Coach Lane Kiffin." There's Lane Kiffin, and then the people he brings with him, including his father. Now, is Lane Kiffin plus daddy worth that kind of money?
I have no idea. I suspect Kiffin will bail on USC after three games, possibly four, to go coach the Washington Redskins, who will fire Mike Shanahan if he goes 0-3. If ever there was an impulsive team that was perfect for the most impulsive of coaches, it's Washington.

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Don't Get Caught Stealing Signs

 

This old saw again?

 

 

The Philadelphia Phillies have won back-to-back NL pennants and were World Champions in 2008.
They have a talented roster, but is there more to their success than talent?
Major League Baseball issued a warning to the Phillies on Tuesday concerning accusations that bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer was stealing signs during Monday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
"We have looked at the video and talked to the Phillies about the actions of their bullpen coach,’’ a Major League Baseball official told FOXSports.com.

 


Stealing signs is as old as the game itself. You're not supposed to get caught. That's pretty much the entirety of this issue. Yes, it happens. No, you're not supposed to do it. When you get caught, ouch.

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There Are Hard Days Ahead for Tiger Woods


The Sawgrass ClubhouseI had made a rather rash and bold statement that could have come back to haunt me. I said that the reason why Phil Mickelson was welcoming a pairing with Tiger Woods stemmed from the fact that Tiger's best years are now well behind him and I really don't think Tiger presents the same problem for other golfers that he once did.
Tiger will certainly win some tournaments in the future. He will do well enough to surprise some people. But he's not the Tiger of the Tiger Slam years, nor is he as formidable as he once was. The young man has pissed all of that away, and his mental issues are unresolved. 
Lee Westwood wound up where he started in The Players Championship - with the lead. 

Only now he has a lot more company.
Westwood avoided mistakes on the back nine for a 2-under 70 that gave him a one-shot lead over Robert Allenby going into the final round on the always unpredictable TPC Sawgrass.
Phil Mickelson, nine shots behind at the start of the day, shot a 66 to renew hopes of winning and becoming No. 1 in the world for the first time. He was five shots behind. 

Mickelson would have to win and have Tiger Woods finish out of the top five, and Woods did his part. His bogey-bogey finish gave him a 71 and left him 10 shots behind in a tie for 45th.
Tied for 45th is not exactly where we are used to seeing Tiger. What I want to know is, is he fit? Is he feeling any pain in his knee? This is not something that should be ignored. We don't know if he's even a hundred percent, physically. There was a real danger of him missing the cut; expect more of that until things start to turn around for Tiger, assuming they will turn around for him. Only the rubes are making him the favorite in these tournaments. How does your smart money look now, gamblers?
There was a time when Lefty didn't have a single major win to call his own, and it looked like Tiger would rule golf for twenty years or more. Those days are over.

Sir Charles is Right Again

I have always appreciated the heck out of Charles Barkley:

I've always said if America, instead of trying to bring up this issue every couple of years to get elected...Ya know the governor she's not even a real governor. She's the interim governor. She's trying to get elected and John McCain is trying to get back in the ballgame from getting his ass kicked by Barack last time.
So they're doing anything to rile up the good 'ol boy network. But what I think we need to do is find a way to get people who work their behind off a path to citizenship more than anything. That's the way to do it. But it's a disgrace the way it is right now."

The man is telling the truth. Can American listen to the truth and deal with it? I hope so.

Barkley adds this as well:

Dan Patrick: You're a resident of Arizona, I'm curious if you think baseball should get involved with the immigration law. Do you like that they're standing up for their players to say we're concerned about this law?
Barkley: I think we all need to. As a black person, I'm always against any form of discrimination or racial profiling. I really respect Adrian Gonzalez for coming out and saying something. I didn't realize that in the major leagues there's 30 percent Hispanic players, and in the minor leagues it's like 50. Those are some daunting numbers. I think that we need to do two things. Living in Arizona, I'm disappointed that we came up with the law. But we need to do two things. We need to find a way to get these immigrants their citizenship, that's the first thing, is to find a way to help them get citizenship. I'm very disappointed in John McCain. He used to be somebody I really admired and respected. The second thing, to me, would be very simple. Anybody who hires immigrants, you just fine them. They're not working for other immigrants. Fine and penalize the people they're working for, because most of those immigrants here are busting their hump, doing a great job, and to go after them every couple years because you want to raise hell doing something to get re-elected, that's disrespectful and disgusting.

You can't get this kind of insight from the political punditry class right now. To offend Senator McCain, who is in worse shape in his home state than month-old diapers and fishwrap left in the sun, is anathema to the chattering class.

Who out there is telling it like it is? The problem is not illegal immigration. The problem is the exploitation of a cheap labor force that is working for wages just above poverty in order to get ahead.

Hey, I have some other blogs, too...

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Big Ben and His Counterproductive Behavior Under the Microscope


You have to love the para at the end:

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger spent last weekend undergoing a behavioral evaluation rather than at the team's minicamp, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Monday.

The paper, citing a team source, said that Roethlisberger, suspended for at least the first four games of the 2010 season by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for off-the-field conduct, will be evaluated for "days" rather than weeks. After that, the report said, Roethlisberger could either return to the team or undergo further evaluation.

Roethlisberger was ordered by Goodell to stay away from the Steelers' training facility until his evaluation was complete. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he didn't know when Roethlisberger would return.

"I have talked to him," Tomlin said, according to the Post-Gazette. "I will continue to talk to him, and I don't have a crystal ball in regards to when he's going to be back in the facility. A lot of that has to do with the things he needs to do and of course the judgment of the commissioner."

While Roethlisberger was in his evaluation, quarterbacks Byron Leftwich, Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch were all on the field for the Steelers. 


Do you know why the Steelers haven't outright gotten rid of Big Ben?

The answers are Leftwich, Dixon and Batch. Big Ben has job security, you see. But the real issue here is behavior.

If he's properly evaluated, and really given a chance, then who are we to judge him?

I think it comes down to this: the young man is an asshole. That's right. A douchebag. At least, in social situations and public places. He's difficult and demanding. That's what a lot of money can do to a young man.

What he needs is counseling, to show him that being an asshole and a douchebag are counterproductive. He can still be those things, but he needs to curtail his public activities with regards to assholery and douchebaggery because they are leading to legal jeopardy, lawsuits, and bad press. I will let you in on a little secret. Everyone with money is, to some extent, an asshole and a douchebag for a reason--everyone wants your money. How you deal with that aspect of life is where Big Ben has been wearing his ass for a hat.

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