Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Quick Sports hits

The Monk is a big sports fan, not just Yankees but college hoops, NFL, college football and occasionally the sport formerly known as hockey. That's why The Monk joined his college newspaper on day one of school and told his editor later that year that The Monk wanted his job (which I eventually got). So here are a couple of quick thoughts:

1) The firing of Ron Zook at Florida is the end of a bad story that started with the hiring of Ron Zook. In 1991, Zook was the defensive coordinator of #4 Florida in its bowl game against #18 Notre Dame, a team that had been spanked in its penultimate regular season meeting with Penn State 35-13, had a suspect passing game, and had been inconsistent on offense at times. ND whomped the Gator defense for 39 points in a 39-28 upset. Zook was demoted on Spurrier's staff. Zook later became an NFL coach, and a defensive coordinator for the Saints. He got demoted there too to special teams coordinator. In other words, Zook was demoted because his charges failed. Florida hired him, the next day websites dedicated to sacking him cropped up. At 20-13 in 2.5 seasons and getting creamed in the recruiting wars by FSU, Miami and now Georgia, Zook had to go. Next up, the Florida AD who hired him.

2) When I was a kid, Channel 9 in NYC would run the Penn State highlights show at 8 pm Monday nights during football season, then my dad would watch Monday Night Football. Thus, I became a Penn State fan. I agonized with the team, celebrated its big wins (48-14 at Pitt in '81; the '83 Sugar Bowl; the '87 Fiesta Bowl; the '92 Fiesta Bowl 5 TD in 8 minutes explosion, and more) and now I'm at a loss. Primarily because that is the weekly result for this team -- loss after loss after loss. Between poor recruiting and poor coaching, Penn State is not what it was. Everyone in the Northeast likes Paterno, but it's time to take emeritus status.

3) Lastly for today, read Tom Verducci on the World Series. He's probably the best national baseball writer even including Gammons and he writes entirely too little. ESPN needs to poach him from SI.

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