The Virginian Pilot,By Bob Molinaro,, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Va.
Jan. 01–Hot seat: Tom Coughlin’s job is said to be on the line when the Giants play the Redskins on Sunday. It shouldn’t be. Didn’t Coughlin go through this before, when he was blamed for everything that went wrong with the Giants, only to regroup and win a Super Bowl? He’s the same coach now as he was then. What’s hurting the Giants most is a defense that appears to have been highly overrated.
Not welcome Seeing as how the Seattle Seahawks are still alive for postseason play despite losing seven or their past nine games, I propose a new NFL rule that prohibits any team from making the playoffs with a record that wouldn’t qualify it for a bowl appearance.
Impatient Old Dominion reports that highly-regarded redshirt sophomore quarterback Dominique Blackman is transferring for “personal reasons.” Translation: He doesn’t want to play behind Thomas DeMarco next season. It’s too bad for ODU, which thought it had a future star in Blackman, but defections are common in every program, especially at the crowded quarterback position.
In passing The safest prediction about the Orange Bowl meeting between Virginia Tech and Stanford is that it will be Jim Harbaugh’s final game as Stanford coach.
Idle thought No result makes more sense than Army winning the Armed Forces Bowl.
Wrong message We’re accustomed to hypocrisy in college athletics, but let’s be serious: once Terrelle Pryor and Co. were found to have violated NCAA rules, they shouldn’t have been allowed to play for Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. If Ohio State were an actual family, the grown ups in charge would be guilty of bad parenting.
Arms race The reduced role of running backs in the NFL becomes more noticeable every year. Quarterback play decides everything, it seems, both good and bad. The passing game is entertaining, but I miss the days when running backs played bigger roles. A little more balance on offense would be welcome.
Captive Tuesday’s primetime Vikings-Eagles game on NBC drew a viewing audience 25 percent larger than last year’s Week 16 game on Sunday Night Football between the Cowboys and Redskins. Michael Vick was the prime attraction, but it didn’t hurt ratings that East Coast blizzards kept millions of people trapped inside.
Mouthing off Are Americans really the “wussies” Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell said we are? I don’t know about that, but I can recognize a publicity hound when I hear one.
Quick hit The critical and popular success of the “The Fighter” is further proof that boxing is a lot more popular as cinema than sport.
Screen gem “The King’s Speech” is another example of the Brits creating a movie masterpiece from a buried bit of English history.
Numbers game Though it’s not an official NFL statistical category, people who keep track of “quarterback hurries” report that Chris Long, Rams defensive lineman and former U.Va. star, leads the league.
Bottom line As reported by Golf Digest, when Tiger Woods’ earnings on and off the course in 2010 declined by $48 million from 2009, he lost more money than any other player made. No need to take up a collection for Woods, though. He still managed to take in a reported $74 million last year.
At the top There will always be haters, especially where Duke basketball is concerned, but if you don’t appreciate Mike Krzyzewski’s success and demeanor and can’t acknowledge that he’s the standard to which other coaches aspire, you might want to check yourself.
Rising How can a young, exciting NBA player with 20 consecutive double-doubles in points and rebounds and an assortment of the season’s most spectacular dunks remain a relative mystery to the average fan? By playing for the historically bad and irrelevant L.A. Clippers. Welcome to Blake Griffin’s world.
Bob Molinaro, (757) 446-2373, firstname.lastname@example.org
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