Chargers fire Marty Schottenheimer. It's like the owner and GM said, "You know, on second thought, losing to the Pats in the Division Playoff really DID suck as bad as we thought it did."
Actually, the real reason is even better than anything you could possibly make up: "Dysfunction." And it's obvious that the GM won that battle. That label probably marks the end of Schottenheimer's NFL coaching career.
So what next? I have two words for you: Pete Carroll. And if the USC coach hears the footsteps of the NCAA heading toward Trojan Nation, he might just decide it's a great time to get back in the pro game. (ProFootballTalk has supporting evidence for my theory, and the NFL Fanhouse is all over the various angles.)
Hell: Who WOULDN'T want to coach the Chargers? You have the best offensive player in the game. You have the best defensive player in the game. You have the best tight end in the game. You have a young Pro Bowl QB. And you DON'T have Marty Schottenheimer.
Duke is out of the Top 25! Well of COURSE they are. The true crime would have been if they had remained IN the rankings.
And, yet, amazingly, how much do you want to bet on the NCAA Seleciton Committee's working S-curve, Duke is no worse than a 5-seed?
(Oh wow: If Duke is going to make the Tournament – and they will – I PRAY they get the dreaded 5-seed. How awesome would that be?)
More College Hoops: Tourney Bias Watch --
I watched both of those
No matter what their ranking, this is a team that has all the parts to make a run to the Final Four. (Including one that I think is critical: A chip on their shoulder from LAST March.)
(I spent some time yesterday discussing Durant-vs-Oden with Shoals from FreeDarko: I walked away more convinced than ever that Oden is the only choice at the top of the draft.)
But I AM rooting for
CBB Tourney Bias Watch, Part 2: The Flip Side. Louisville beats No. 7 Pitt. (At Pitt? At Pitt?!) Another one of those games that I will remember during bracket-picking. I'm staying away from Pitt.
Tiki Barber to "Today": Damn, this would have been so much easier to mock if he hadn't inscribed his children's book to my little son. Damn you, Tiki! (But thank you, too... Damn! See?!?)
NBA: Nash won't play in the All-Star Game. That's too bad, because the ASG can use all the pass-first playmakers it can get.
Riley to return to Heat after All-Star Break: Just in time to take over as the team begins to make its surge for the postseason. Convenient!
MLB: Kris Benson has a torn rotator cuff and will likely miss the entire 2007 season. And the O's season ends before Ps and Cs report.
MLB: Is Mariano Rivera planning to bolt the Yankees after this season? He wants a big payday. How does that gibe with the Yanks' new financial austerity, particularly considering Rivera's mileage. (I dispute that: I think Rivera could be dominant well into his 40s, a la Clemens.)
NFL: Andy Reid to take a leave of absence to help out his delinquent son. Ah, just bring him to the combine. Can't find any trouble there!
Amaechi Watch: With the book about to release tomorrow, he's on the p.r. circuit, and correctly (a) lauding most fans for their positive reactions, and (b) noting that it will take time for true acceptance of gay athletes in major sports. (BTW, I agree completely with Mark Cuban's analysis of the marketing value to an active NBA player who comes out of the closet.)
Beanpot: BU beats BC. We can all go back to not caring about college hockey now (at least until the Frozen Four).