Wow. I go underground for a few days and all of a sudden the outside world loses its collective mind. Britney shaves her head. Scottie Pippen contemplates a return to the NBA. And the Chargers drop a deuce on the Lombardi Trophy. Needless to say, there's a lot to address. So let's get right to it.
First of all, I couldn't be more distraught about San Diego's decision to name Norv Turner as its new head coach. No, I'm not a Chargers' fan. In fact, I don't really have any strong feelings about them one way or the other. But they do have an immense amount of talent and, in the NFL's salary cap era, that's a rarity. And since a team like this doesn't come around too often, you just can't afford to waste an opportunity like the one San Diego is staring at.
Now, say what you will about Marty Schottenheimer (and I have), but at least he can say he led his teams to the playoffs. Turner has done that exactly ONCE in his nine seasons as a head coach. Why on earth would you entrust the most talented squad in professional football to this guy? On what grounds do you base this decision? And can someone please explain the NFL's fascination with coaching retreads to me?
In the last two weeks, we've witnessed two of the NFL's more talent-laden teams (San Diego and Dallas) dip into the recycle bin to fill their most important vacancies. And we're not talking about Chuck Noll and Tom Landry here. We're talking about Norv freaking Turner and Wade freaking Phillips. Between the two of them (14 full seasons), here are their head coaching credentials:
106-121-1 Regular Season Record
1-4 Postseason Record
And that's it. But, apparently, that was enough for both guys to get their third ride on the NFL head coaching carousel. What, were Rick Kotite and Joe Bugel not available? Nonetheless, I fully expect plenty of pro football "experts" to predict at least one of these guys will make a Super Bowl appearance in 2008. Just don't say I didn't warn you when both fall short thanks, in large part, to the fact they're both much better suited to coordinator positions.
On a related note, there's a famous scene in "When Harry Met Sally" where Harry explains that it's simply impossible to have great sex with certain people because they're cursed with dumb names. Harry uses the name "Shelden" as an example, but he might as well have used "Wade" or "Norv", because neither guy is going to take you where you want to go. Memo to NFL owners: If you're looking for a guy to take you to the top of the NFL mountain, you might want to roll the dice with a guy named Bill. Because when it comes to Super Bowls, Walsh, Parcells, Belichick and Cowher certainly knew how to lead their clubs to a satisfied and euphoric climax.
As for Scottie Pippen... yawn. This is even more of a non-event than Deion Sanders' ill-fated comeback with the Ravens a year ago. However, I do hope some desperate club gives him a shot. Because as a lifelong non-fan of Pippen, I'll be ecstatic to see the horrified look on his face when mediocre guys like Ricky Davis and Chucky Atkins are lighting him up. More than likely, though, this will end with a ten day contract and a hamstring pull. If you're really that starved for attention, Scottie, go perform your number one smash-hit, "Humpty Dance" on Dancing with the Stars.
Finally, I've just one thing to say about Ms. Spears: Which shaved body part was more disturbing?
Welcome back, world. I'll try not to you unattended for an extended period of time ever again.