In Elmwood, Berkeley, where I live, the garbage collectors come early Tuesday morning. The sound of trash compactors and the rolling wheels of bins against the sidewalk, bumping up against the curb is what I wake up to. Apparently, Maryland throws their trash out on Monday. The Athletic Department made a big mistake though. They threw something valuable away this time, but there is was, just sitting on the curb Monday morning like some common rubbish. Yesterday, the University of Maryland fired their Football coach, Ralph Friedgen.
The Fridge led the Terps to one of the greatest turnarounds in NCAA history, from a 2-10 season last year to a 8-4 this year, beating quality opponents. In the Fridge’s reign at Maryland, over the past 10 years, there is little room for improvement. Maybe Maryland never made it to the National Championship Bowl, but we made it to the Orange Bowl once and made appearances in bowl games almost every other year. The Football program suddenly rivaled that of the gigantically popular Men’s basketball program. This past year, Friedgen was honored as the ACC Coach of the Year for his remarkable turn around from the 2009 season. A mere two or so weeks later, he was fired.
Sometimes I wonder what has gotten into the program. They said they were looking into the highly controversial, flashier Texas Tech coach Mike Leach (made famous by the locking the player in the closet/garage incident). This guy may have a weird love of pirates, and it may have worked in Texas. This move, many believe, was done in order to put fans in the stand. Leach holds many records for his offensive point totals and fancy pants passing game at Texas Tech. I’m not sold. I’m not sold that this is OK to do to someone who is not only a great person in the College Park community, gives back, believes in the school. He didn’t leave us the year after we went to the Orange Bowl (even though he could have) because he wanted to come back to the team. He famously stated that the team did something great for him and its time for him to prove his commitment to them now. That’s the sort of leadership we need.
And in other news, while the news that McNabb would not start for the Redskins for the rest of the season didn’t just happen, it’s what everyone was talking about yesterday. And mostly because his replacement, Rex Grossman, exceeded expectations. He exceeded mediocre expectations and still lost the game…and people are saying THAT justifies Shanny’s move to bench the starter? No way. It’s not justified, I’m not sold on Rex and the way it was handled was awful. I want McNabb back in DC next year and it’s just not going to happen. I’m wearing my jersey in pride for the rest of the season. McNabb, like the Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL. Philadephia didn’t deserve him, the way he treated him. He was embraced with open arms in DC, and now the way the organization has treated him, well, we don’t deserve him either. He has battered QB syndrome, he keeps going to cities or organization who do nothing but abuse him. Snap out of the cycle McNabb, go to Arizona where it’s warm, the air is dry and the division is soft. Good luck, god-speed.