“I don’t have the physical talent those guys have. My hard work has made me very good.”—Reggie Miller
Late Lead Rewrite: I don’t have any Hank Aaron stories or memories beyond what everyone else saw. But I remember homerun 715–off Al Downing in Atlanta–not being on live television in Los Angeles.
We found out via a news bulletin that Babe Ruth’s record had fallen.
Modern athletes talk a lot about what the players before them went through but fail all of us when they try to equate their 2021 struggles to what Aaron and his contemporaries suffered.
RIP, Mr. Aaron.
I’m thinking if I can get my all-time coaching record–with an added episode or two of alcoholic failure–in front of Alabama HC Nick Saban, I’d be eligible for Alabama Rehab.
Former Houston Texans HC Bill O’Brien just entered Saban’s Alabama Rehabilitation Center. I expect O’Brien to be signing a multi-million dollar contract somewhere by 2023.
Sean McVay’s first DC (defensive coordinator) was an old uncle—Wade Phillips.
McVay’s second DC was a young nephew—Brandon Staley.
McVay’s third DC is a middle-aged guy still raising his kids—Raheem Morris.
Discounting his recent interim gig in Atlanta, Morris was last a head coach in the NFL in 2011. He followed a 10-win season in Tampa Bay with a 4-12 season, which included 10 consecutive losses.
While considered an excellent defensive backs coach, he’s only briefly been a DC. That was this season before taking over for Dan Quinn.
So was it Morris’ body of success that made him the guy McVay wanted to hire? To some degree, but I can guarantee what put Morris over the top is that McVay knew Morris. They coached together in Washington.
When we hear or say, “It’s who you know” we tend to think of it in the pejorative. But when I hired a baby sitter for my kids, I didn’t do a top to bottom search for someone with the most extraordinary credentials.
Instead, I went with who I knew. And who I knew was someone I knew I could trust with my greatest treasures.
You’re part of a billion-dollar company. Have one of only 32 jobs like it in the entire world. Who are you going to hire?
With all that at stake, I’m hiring who I know and who I trust. Because I’ll have to own their screw-ups.
Consider that when you’re wondering why some coaches are hired or re-hired. It is about who you know and how you interview.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed Dwayne Haskins. If it’s for anything beyond the league minimum, it’s a bad deal.
If it’s for $610,000, it’s worth a shot. Sit Haskins for a year, don’t even let him dress. Let him absorb Mike Tomlin, experience the Pittsburgh work ethic, and come back in 2022 to see what you’ve got.
The closest thing to marriage in professional sports is a six-year contract.
The Detroit Lions and GM Brad Holmes proposed, Dan Campbell gushed, and then said, “I do” to a six-year contract.
And as we always do, we wish the couple well. But I’d rather have seen Detroit marry an Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, or an Andy Reid. It would bring the full might of the Lions’ mediocrity against the irresistible force of a successful leader.
But we’re stuck with saying, “I wish she had married the other guy.” Like they always do in Detroit.
Loyal Fanview Reader Marc Paramo’s Top Five Football Watching Foods:
(Kneecaps did not appear on his menu.)
NFL Playoffs As of Right Now:
(Subject to change)
Tampa Bay at Green Bay—Packers 28, Buccaneers 24
It’s Lambeau, it’s Rodgers, it’s cold…and I believe we’re about to see something we won’t see again for a long, long time. This just feels like a special game…The Packers take it, and Brady gets off the field before anyone can shake his hand.
Buffalo at Kansas City—Bills 34, Chiefs 31
My Super Bowl picks when all this started were the Bills and Packers…Even if I think it’s a big mistake to go against the Chiefs. We’ll call it a HUNCH!
I don’t hate the Chiefs, but I believe in the Bills.
Also, I don’t want to be viewed as the type who declares, “Oh, I have always been a (fill in the black) fan!” after the game is over. That kind of guy can never be trusted.
Buffalo safety Micah Hyde does something great to wrap it up for the team from near Niagara.
Loyal Fanview Reader Steven Urena’s Picks:
Packers 24, Bucs 21.
Chiefs 28. Bills 27.
I’ve reached the 40-game mark of my return to the NBA. I hold to my belief the basketball IQ is incredibly low. But personal skills and athleticism are unbelievable.
It reminds me of the season I spent covering the Los Angeles Stars in the ABA reboot, ABA-2000. It was a great experience to meet and interview a lot of basketball legends.
Part of the on-court entertainment during timeouts were twin brothers. These two handled the ball like Harlem Globetrotters. They had a fantastic routine…but I never saw them in uniform, never saw them shoot the ball, I never saw them play basketball.
They just had personal skills…and that was it. And that’s the NBA.
In the ’80s, when I was playing pickup ball seven days a week (obviously, this was before I met my future wife), a soft player was a “Candy-Boy.”
The NBA is a Candy-Boy league. I’ve seen more toughness on a Tuesday night in an open-gym.
Lakers at Milwaukee: Lakers win—113-106
Well, the Lakers (12-4) made that look easy. The Bucks (9-6) are paying too much money to the wrong guy. The best player in Wisconsin is Khris Middleton, but LeBron James is the best player in the NBA.
Again, it was a case of the Lakers not taking a night off and absorbing the best another team had to offer. The Bucks wilted against the champs and remain a pretender for a title.
Giannis hustles, works hard, is athletic, and plays defense…but unless he’s running a fastbreak, he’s a liability on offense.
The Lakers are 8-0 on the road.
NBA Games Seen: 40
The Dude abides…
1 Corinthians 3:18
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…all five available through Amazon.com.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b
MeWe: Joe Torosian