Who's on first?
You would have to be a little older or know your T.V. trivia to enjoy Abbott and Costello's old comedy routine, “Who's on first?”
It's a classic baseball routine where the comedy duo confuse each other and make us laugh. The 2013 version could easily be the changes of coaches in the NFL and college football.
If you can figure out the logic of all these changes and be able to explain them all, then you could well be the next Abbott and Costello. Let's take a look.
In the NFL, seven head coaches have been fired so far, there will probably be a few more in the coming weeks. College football has so many changes there isn't enough room in this article.
The Eagles, Bears and Cardinals fired their head coaches on Monday. By Tuesday, the fired coaches were looking for jobs as head coaches with the other clubs. Andy Reid of the Eagles could have been Andy Reid of the Cardinals before he was Andy Reid of the Chiefs. Ken Whisenhunt of the Cardinals could have been Ken Whisenhunt of the Bills. Lovie Smith of the Bears could be Lovie Smith of the Eagles.
To make things more confusing is why Andy Reid got fired. He had a losing record this year after making nine appearances in the playoffs. Okay, so the Cardinals make a mad dash for Andy to replace Ken Whisenhunt who had a terrible year with no quarterback. Ken, you didn't do your job in Phoenix, but Buffalo thinks you are a heck of a coach. You see, in Buffalo Chan Gailey had two losing seasons, so we'll bring in Ken that had a terrible one.
Lovie Smith of Chicago has a winning record, but gets fired for not making the playoffs enough. Maybe he can get a job at Kansas City — the Chiefs need someone to coach them to a winning record. But let's not forget Kansas City's fired head coach, with the greatest name, Romeo Crennel. Some owner in the NFL will be yelling, “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?”
You think the NFL is bad, take a look at the NCAA coaches. They resemble a ring of spies, that work and leave their jobs in the middle of the night, telling no one. Some get fired even if they make bowl appearances. The Music City Bowl is not the Rose Bowl, but Bill O'Brian of North Carolina State got fired after two bowl appearances.
There is not a better example of mystery and intrigue than the University of Arkansas. Sorry Razorback faithful, try to explain this coaching carousel. Bobby Petrino was hired to coach the Arkansas Razorbacks, but he left his coaching job with the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL before the season ended. He did a great job until he had a motorcycle accident that hurt his career more than his body.
The University of Arkansas fires Petrino for inappropriate behavior. They hire John L. Smith, a former assistant at Arkansas, who was employed as the head coach at Weber State. Smith leaves Weber State after coaching the spring football game.
He takes over as the interim head coach at Arkansas. Smith has a bad year and gets let go. Now things get interesting. Arkansas lures head Wisconsin coach, Bret Bielema, to takeover the vacancy as head coach. That's great, but Bret doesn't tell Wisconsin's athletic director, Barry Alvarez, that he is leaving. Barry has to coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl while new Wisconsin head coach, Gary Anderson, watches on the sidelines.
If you get a chance, watch an old rerun of Abbott and Costello's, “Who's on first?” It's a lot easier to understand than coaching changes.
John Blabe is the former athletic director and football coach at Antelope Union High School. He can be reached at email@example.com.