Malcolm Gladwell is smarter than you. Just take that for granted. Herein is a condemnation of Charlie Weis and a plea for understanding for Rich Rodriguez wrapped into a couple of paragraphs:
THE MAG: Based on this book, if I'm an owner, I should be the most patient one in sports, right? After all, the Beatles, as you write, played a ridiculous 1,200 gigs—a lifetime—before they became any good.
GLADWELL: It's interesting. Andy Reid has said that with the offense he runs in Philadelphia, it takes a receiver three years to be comfortable in it. A receiver! I don't think we take this into account. We create offenses of such stunning complexity in the NFL, that it's impossible to truly judge anyone in their rookie season. It's ludicrous. How can you, if you're Detroit, draft all these wide receivers and then give up on anything after a couple years, or call 'em busts, when it's far more about executing a system that takes years to master? You have to give them their work.
Or if the Lions offensive players were calc majors…
Yeah, you can't go into a math class and pronounce who the great students are after two weeks. No one can master calculus in two weeks. So we need to be consistent. If you hire a coach that has offensive schemes as complicated as calculus, then you better have the patience you'd have with those students. Let's stop and acknowledge that football is not a sport for dumb jocks. It's a highly complex cognitive activity.
The plea for understanding: everyone's a rookie in this offense this year, and the most important player on the field will likely be a rookie next year. The condemnation: Weis attempted to port an NFL system like this to a college team and it blew up as soon as he had guys he actually had to coach.
ND rewind. Touching on two things you may have already seen:
- They might be able to fire Charlie Weis after all. After 4-5 articles all claiming that Notre Dame had given Weis the world's dumbest contract (example) comes this from the Chicago Tribune:
The common perception of Weis' buyout is not accurate. Multiple sources have told the Tribune the buyout, far smaller than believed, will not affect whether Notre Dame decides to fire Weis after Saturday's game at USC. One prominent alumnus called the amount "loose change."
That is far more in line with what I assume the reality is. Prediction: ND loses dismally to ND, gets shut out of a bowl game due to rules about 7-5 teams getting placed ahead of 6-6 ones, and Weis gets canned.
- Oh, the hilarity. Your faithful corresponded has derived much pleasure from Notre Dame's latest bout of misery and meltdown, but nothing has been quite as enjoyable as the commenters on EDSBS's latest Tommy Kilborn guest post, who, to a man, believe that Kilborn is a real person. Which: ha.
Graham things. There has been further behind the scenes confirmation that Brandon Graham intends to stay for his senior year, but he is leaving the door open:
"I'm not really worried about (making a decision soon)," Graham said. "I'm worried about my team and this loss right now and trying to get better."
Later in that article, Mike Martin guesses:
"When I talked to him personally, I got a good feeling that he'll be back," Martin said. "It would be real big. As much strength as we can have for next year on the D-line would help, and he's a big strength, as everybody knows."
Still feeling good here, but also wishing January 15th would get here ASAP.
Reinforcements. The hockey team is struggling badly of late, but there's some good news on the horizon. It looks like Steve Kampfer may return earlier than anyone had hoped:
“They say I’ll be at full strength in a month or so,” Kampfer said. “They want to make sure the bone has healed, and I’m trying to move my neck around to get the muscles loosened up.”
Michigan takes on Wisconsin and Minnesota in the College Hockey Showcase this weekend; things might be rough. A split would be nice.
I'm out for the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving, all. See you Monday.