Thinking Out Loud About Shanahan’s Cowardice, Tuberville’s Hot Seat and More

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, November 25th, 2011

by Mike Kravik

Another Nice Cowboy Win (Thank You, Mike Shanahan)

 

No matter how much talent your opponent is perceived to have, you grab those NFL wins on the road, bank ‘em and then don’t look back. The game with the Redskins had several angst ridden moments but the Cowboys still found a way to win.

 

And Mike Shanahan…thank you for becoming a nice little kitty cat when it mattered most on Sunday. Kicking an extra point instead of going for two when the Redskins made the score 24-23 in the last minute?

 

Let’s reset – Your team is in the fog of a 5 game losing streak and you are not going to the playoffs. You had the clearly inferior team but you had just jammed the football (12 plays / 89 yards) down the Cowboys collective throats. The Cowboys defense was reeling and in disarray. The home crowd was screaming for blood because their hated rival was on the ropes. Go win the game!

 

Shanahan could have eliminated all the uncertainty of overtime by simply converting a two-pointer yet chose the safest route. A big reason the Washington Redskins lost the game on Sunday is because Mike Shanahan was afraid to win.

 

Tommy Tuberville’s Hot Seat

 

Texas Tech’s last minute 31-27 loss to a mediocre Missouri team was another embarrassing brick in Coach Tommy Tuberville’s personal wall of underachievement during his time in Lubbock. Tech fans were told in August to brace themselves for a bumpy ride in 2011 because several young and inexperienced players would be seeing a lot of action this season.

 

Hey, I was at Tech when Jerry Moore (16-37-2) coached so I could deal with a down season. The heartbreaking losses to Kansas State and Texas A&M probably had more to do with inexperience than actual talent. The losses stung but I still had optimism because the experience these kids gained was invaluable.

 

What I cannot accept are the non-competitive efforts we saw against Iowa State, Texas and Oklahoma State. If you’re trailing 49-0 at halftime (score v Oklahoma State) when you are playing at home there’s something deeply wrong within the team or a severe disconnect between the players and coaches. Any other explanation is white noise from a coach who is making excuses for failure.

I loved Mike Leach at Tech but I thought Tuberville was an excellent hire at the time because of his track record at Auburn. I knew Tuberville was given the keys to a good (but not great) program before the 2010 season and was very optimistic because his first team had a lot of returning infrastructure from the successful 2008-2009 seasons (20-6 record, Cotton Bowl, Alamo Bowl appearances).

 

Tuberville proceeded to grab the wheel of the car and run it straight into an 8-5 ditch and 2011 has been worse. Even the bright moments of victory in 2011 have had slivers of darkness. Tech trailed at halftime to Texas State, needed a furious fourth quarter rally to beat Nevada and also fell behind 20-0 to Kansas. The alumni can’t help but wonder what the hell is going on in Lubbock?

 

There’s no way to sugarcoat it -. Tommy Tuberville has not been a very good coach at Texas Tech and appears to be a failed hire.

 

Should Joe Paterno have been fired?

 

Absolutely.

 

My dad went to Penn State and while I’m not a passionate fan of the team, I always rooted for them to do well. They not only won but they seemed to do it the right way. The plain uniforms, the black shoes, their style of play, Linebacker U, Joe Pa on the sideline – I understood “We Are…Penn State” meant something and was worth chanting to the world with a deep sense of pride.

 

As the sordid details of Jerry Sandusky continue to surface, it’s becoming clear that Joe Paterno was either protecting him (or the brand of the school) or was too detached from the program to know what was happening. Neither excuse is good.

 

I want to believe the best but don’t be naïve. Are we supposed to believe these coaches (several of them have been there a long time) never talked to each other about Sandusky? There was obviously a code of omerta that existed within the program and it probably came down from the top. I understand wanting to protect the brand and coaches not wanting to lose jobs but that goes out the window when a 60 year old monster is raping young boys in a dressing room shower.

 

I don’t care how many football games Joe Pa won. I don’t care how many millions of dollars his family gave the school. I don’t care if the library is named after him or if there are statues of him on campus. None of that matters because everybody on his staff was too cowardly to speak up or confront a monster.

 

Columnist Howard Bryant said it best about Penn State firing Paterno “Somebody needed to act like the adult.”

 

 

 

Bits ‘n Pieces

 

I don’t know what was more exciting in Waco this past weekend, Robert Gill’s electrifying last minute TD pass or knowing that Erin Andrews got hit with a Gatorade bucket afterwards…Is there a coach out there who does less with more than Mack Brown at 6-4, might not make it above .500 Texas? …Is there a coach that does more with less than Bill Snyder at Kansas State? I will always remember where I was at the end of the Jets / Broncos game when Tim Tebow led the Broncos on their riveting last drive – a bar in Florida and the place exploded when he eluded the blitz and scored the game-winning TD ….Kudos to the reader who pointed out I was wrong last week when I said Texas A&M had never won more than 9 games during their time in the Big 12. The Aggies went 11-3 and won the Big 12 title in 1998.

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