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January 19, 2011 8:30 PM

Column Awards of the Week (1/12-1/18)

By updating RealClearSports I read hundreds of articles every week but sometimes there are particularly passages that need highlighting. And to make these passages more palatable I'm doing them in award form! The awards are completely random and will change weekly (though some may become reoccurring).

Column Awards for slide.jpgAfter every college football season the coaching carousel begins. Randy Shannon's out at Miami and Al Golden is in. Jim Harbaugh leaves Stanford and David Shaw takes over the reins. Dave Wannstedt resigned from Pitt at the end of the regular season and their defensive coordinator took over for their bowl game. Then Pitt hired Michael Haywood but he was arrested for domestic abuse and was replaced by Todd Graham. Well, you get the point - there's a lot of turnover. And every time there is a coaching vacancy there is a decision to make and newspapers and fan bases have some strong opinions.

There was no place that had more press and opinions than Michigan, where Rich Rodriguez was dismissed. The throngs wanted Jim Harbaugh, or maybe TCU's Gary Patterson, or LSU's Les Miles, or even Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald. But what they got was San Diego State's Brady Hoke. Despite Hoke being a Michigan man, many were unhappy with the hire. Hiring a guy with a combined record of 47-50 at Ball State and SDSU? But it's this argument that drives me crazy. Coaching records by themselves are hardly an indicator of how good or bad a coach is. Harbaugh was only 29-21 at Stanford and he was the most sought-after coach from both college teams and NFL teams. Maryland tabbed Randy Edsall who was just 74-70 with UConn and Miami hired Al Golden who was just 26-32 with Temple. But the biggest example? Just take a look at your national champions. Auburn's Gene Chizik was 5-19 at Iowa State.

I'm not saying Hoke will be a success in Ann Arbor. Honestly, I have no clue. I didn't get a chance to interview him. I haven't seen him in action recruiting. I don't know how many hours he devotes studying game film and devising strategies. But you know what?  Neither do all those people chiding Michigan's choice. Trust that the people who made the decision know a heck of a lot more about the candidates and situation than you do and give the guy a couple years before jumping all over him. On to the awards!

Argument You've Heard Every Year Since 1992

Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle was the first (that I've seen) this year to write the argument to abolish the dunk contest: I can't wait for the NBA's slam-dunk contest during All-Star weekend next month, so I can (a) shut off the power in my house and (b) travel to the remotest region of Molokai. Just to make sure I don't watch it.

He chose THIS year to make that argument? The year Blake Griffin enters? He does make a good point that maybe Griffin won't live up to the hype because his in-game dunks are already so good, but don't you want to see to find out? Maybe I'm the wrong person to criticize this because I love the dunk contest even during bad years, but the thing about the contest is it has its ups and downs. Of course there are going to be a few bad years but then you get a Vince Carter/Steve Francis showdown or more recently Dwight Howard/Nate Robinson.

Argument You've Heard Since the Beginning of Paid Athletes

George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel sure isn't the first to write about athletes getting overpaid and nor is he the first to complain about it: Carmelo Anthony is the latest NBA star to put his team in the crosshairs as he wants to peddle his talents somewhere else because, as we all know, making $18.5 million a year and living in one of the greatest cities in America isn't enough to make Melo mellow.

These arguments annoy me to no end. It's what the market dictates. And Carmelo is a hot commodity and he needs to make the best decision for himself and his family. What if Diaz had a chance to go to any city he wanted, get paid more, and be closer to his family? You think he'd stay in Orlando out of loyalty?

Rex Ryan Foot Jokes

Aside from having to hear the Jets talk for another week, we have to deal with even more foot jokes.
A hefty guy full of bold statements, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan talked trash to the NFL's dynamic duo and then decked them with a haymaker. He won the war of words and the game, and thus was not forced to put his foot in his mouth.
The New England Patriots, meanwhile, are developing a strange fetish for losing in the postseason.

We love to poke fun at John Candyesque Rex Ryan, but the Footie outcoached the Hoodie when it mattered.

If the Jets go on and win the Super Bowl 42 years after Joe Namath, maybe it will feel the way it felt on the night Bill Belichick and Tom Brady stepped sorrowfully on the shattered pieces of their latest Super Bowl dream that lay strewn at the feet of Jets coach Rex Ryan. ... Toe-rific.

So the guy with the young son posted home video of himself smelling the boy's mother's feet ... and Welker crossed the line? Because he said the Patriots have to put their best foot forward? Maybe the Patriots should just stick to less personal trash talk -- like, you know, "(Expletive) Tom Brady." That's what Antonio Cromartie said. You know him. Always thinking of the kids.

Alright, so that last one was actually funny.

Best Analogy

Adrian Wojnorowski of Yahoo! Sports has been covering the 'MeloDrama for quite awhile. Usually it's very factual stuff but recently he added a little editorial humor: Anthony treats the Nets like the unattractive girl he refuses to tell his friends he's seeing on the side. She walks past in the lunch room, tosses him a smile and 'Melo tells his friends he hasn't an idea why she keeps doing that.

And now Mikhail Prokhorov has got a little self esteem and decided to stop waving at Carmelo. He's going to move on to someone who truly appreciates him. Possibly fellow Russian, Andrei Kirilenko.

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